In September, I had the terrific opportunity to work as a production assistant with Imaginology, to produce Mask Alive. This is the third annual Festival of Masks, originally an in-person event, now transitioned into the virtual festival world. This festival is rapidly evolving, while still keeping the family fun.
The Mask Alive event was live-streamed simultaneously on YouTube and Facebook on September 13, 2020. This fantastic event, full of culture and energy, can still be enjoyed on Cultural Coalition’s social media platforms. The festival showcased the beauty and artisanship involved in producing these unique masks, while highlighting the artist’s expressions through dance and music.
Imaginology took great care, collaborating with Culture Coalition, to ensure this cultural festival had the ability to highlight the performers in away in which they could tell their story through video, and audio, while allowing emotion and creativity to emerge.
During the journey to create a family-friendly virtual event, filled with culture and life, Imaginology produced all of the introduction performances with artist Zarco Guerrero, Board President of Cultural Coalition, Inc. I would like to note that the collaboration with Zarco was not only fruitful in the countless light-hearted characters he brought to life, but it was enjoyable to see an imperative part of Cultural Coalition engage with the audience. The positive feedback from the audience, and their love for these playful characters, was all thanks to Zarco. This was a wonderful collaboration.
While in the midst of production, watching the stream go live, I reflected on the fact that, this event being virtual, has the potential to reach people around the world. While, of course, I look forward to once more enjoying the beauty of the commotion of in-person events, inhaling the smell of cooking foods, or taking in the sheer beauty of the dancer’s costumes while they perform, I also see the beauty in this event appearing in the digital world.
This new form can allow families to spend time together at home while learning and absorbing the love shared around this culture and artwork. Through this event, I love the idea that people who are not local, and who may not have had the opportunity to see this cultural exchange live, can now revisit and enjoy the festival when they have a moment of peace.
On a personal level, I would like to take a moment to touch on how much love and passion is evident within the hearts of these performers. I enjoyed the clear level of pride that could be felt through the masks. I applaud the energy and dedication infused in this project and look forward to other exciting projects birthed by this collaboration in the future.
- Christy Caldwell, Imaginology Intern
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