This might be my simplest blog post yet. All I want to do is encourage you to come to Rotterdam at the end of next month and be part of a huge, friendly, inspirational community art festival. ICAF runs from 25 to 29 March 2020, and if you miss it, you’ll wait three years for the next one. You’ll also miss the last festival programmed by Eugene van Erven, who’s done as much for community art as anyone I know. He’s passing on the baton to some brilliant young people who will remake community art once again.
ICAF is run on a shoestring by a tiny team who move mountains to gather people in a spirit where everyone has a place and a voice, things to learn and things to teach.When I watched this video, my first reaction was ‘Oh, come on’, but then I thought – actually, that has happened to me at ICAF. I have been changed by what I’ve seen there, challenged too, and, even, confused. But I’ve never regretted a minute of the time I’ve spent at ICAF.
A week in Rotterdam is a big commitment, and the cost of the festival, accommodation and travel is huge for most freelance artists. But I’d gladly spend my entire training budget (if I had one) on this because it is the most rewarding creative and professional development in community art. So if you haven’t ever been, download the programme and get a sense of what’s on offer. And if you care about community art – which I guess you must if you got this far – I hope you can find a way to join in.