Neptune Theatre announces Prismatic Arts Festival as its company-in-residence

The annual showcase of Indigenous artists and artists of colour will find its new home at Neptune Theatre in downtown Halifax.

The Prismatic Arts Festival in 2020 presented Shifting Verse as part of the National Arts Centre's Grand Acts of Theatre. Photo: Facebook/Prismatic Arts Festival.
The Prismatic Arts Festival in 2020 presented Shifting Verse as part of the National Arts Centre's Grand Acts of Theatre. Photo: Facebook/Prismatic Arts Festival.

Neptune Theatre has announced the Prismatic Arts Festival as its company-in-residence that will see the annual showcase of Indigenous artists and artists of colour from across Canada anchored at the Halifax theatre company facilities in downtown Halifax.

Through the partnership, Prismatic will find its new home at Neptune Theatre with office, rehearsal and workspace, as well as access to both Fountain Hall and the Scotiabank Stage for future performances and productions during its annual arts festival.

Neptune and Prismatic see it as an opportunity to broaden their connection with artists and audiences, with plans to develop work vital to keeping the arts relevant, accessible and reflective of the community.

Social values and cultural interests are changing; this partnership is a great opportunity to address the issue within our sector by creating space. – Jeremy Webb

“As a leading arts organization in Atlantic Canada, Neptune needs to advance change in our sector to address systemic barriers that have stifled creative voices,” says Neptune’s artistic director Jeremy Webb in a media release. “Social values and cultural interests are changing; this partnership is a great opportunity to address the issue within our sector by creating space. A willingness to learn and explore is the way forward for the arts so that we continue resonating with artists and our audiences.”

By forging a shared vision to serve the needs of artists and audiences, the partnership will also be a critical step in creating space in Nova Scotia’s arts communities.

“Prismatic exists to create a necessary platform to showcase and uplift the voices of Indigenous artists and artists of colour,” says Raeesa Lalani, Prismatic’s artistic director. “It’s about community, collaboration, and the artists. We are thrilled to be building this relationship with Neptune Theatre with the aim of establishing a cultural hub where all are welcome in the space.”

This is not the first time the two organizations have come together, although the pandemic halted two planned co-productions during Neptune’s 2020-2021 season. Instead, looking to support artists during this time, the two organizations came together to modify Neptune’s Open Spaces program to make performance and rehearsal space available to underserved artists. More than 20 artists and organizations benefitted from this collaboration.

“One of the best aspects of life in Halifax/Kjipuktuk is its vibrant arts scene; we really punch above our weight,” says Dr. Jacqueline Warwick, chair of the Prismatic board. “This is possible because of the extraordinary spirit of generosity and collegiality in our various arts organizations, who share resources and help one another out. The partnership of Neptune Theatre and Prismatic Arts Festival is an emblem of how arts institutions lift one another up, to the benefit of everyone.”

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