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Arts-FI


"Undoubtedly, a thorough fusion of the art forms..."

Libby Hanssen
Special to The Kansas City Star

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Arts-FI


"Undoubtedly, a thorough fusion of the art forms..."

Libby Hanssen
Special to The Kansas City Star

What's New

One Poem | Diverse Artistry | Live Music | One Vision

The Arts Fusion Initiative is a group of New York based artists. Within this initiative, each year's project will have one poem that inspires the fusion of different art forms culminating in an innovative, live performance. In addition to a live performance, the group is dedicated to educational outreach within each community.  

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Photography courtesy of Jiyang Chen at jiyangchen,com

Photography courtesy of Jiyang Chen at jiyangchen,com

KD: I have always felt a deep connection and love for the people across Kansas who have supported me through the years, not only in my musical endeavors, but in my personal development as well. When Maria Im agreed to travel to Kansas in August of 2013 to perform, I was incredibly excited to introduce her to my world outside of New York City. As Maria and I worked in Kansas that week, a hazy vision of this project began to take shape. When I made the solid decision to move forward, it was exciting to ask my close friend and colleague, Maria, to be a part of this vision.

Many people have asked if this project is school initiated, or if I will receive school credit at the end, and the answer is no. It is my deep sense of community, intertwined with my love of music that compels me to move forward with this project. The support I have received from the collective Kansas community throughout my life is one for which I am extremely grateful, and is at the heart of my efforts. We have already witnessed,    during the first year, how this project is bringing the people in each community together. The community’s interest in what this project will mean for our youth is creating connections in my hometown and across Kansas all the way to New York City.

 

MI: One of the major components of this project is our work within the schools. It is our vision that this project not only exposes students to the world of the performing arts, but inspires these young individuals to look outside the box, to see a world full of potential, and to feel the exciting spark of a dream that may lead them to a life as a performing artist.

The six other artists that will be joining us in Kansas are completely invested in the community aspect. It is a rare opportunity for us as artists to connect with our audience up close and personal before we perform. It is truly a unique experience for both the artists and community members.

The project had an incredible first season this past September, touring through Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. With the success of our premiere Kansas tour, we have begun to build the foundation for an annual concert series that will tour through Kansas, with the potential to extend to other states across the country. With each year we hope to add more cities and schools to our roster. In doing so, we will be taking an active role in creating a place for the arts in the next generation.

KD: This project is, in a way, my most sincere expression of thanks and gratitude to those who have supported me along my own personal musical journey. 

Kristen M. Doering
Executive & Artistic Director

Maria O. Im
Executive Assistant Director

 

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Project 2016 | The Sleepers


This year's project will combine multiple art forms to explore the text of The Sleepers by American poet, Walt Whitman. 

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Project 2016 | The Sleepers


This year's project will combine multiple art forms to explore the text of The Sleepers by American poet, Walt Whitman. 

ArtsFI: August 29, 2016 - September 10, 2016

Garden City

Dates: August 29 - September 6
Workshops: September 1 & 2
Concert: September 6 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: Available online beginning August 15

 

Lawrence

Dates: September 7 - September 10
Workshops: September 9
Concert: September 8
Tickets: Available online beginning August 15

ArtsFI is looking forward to working in Kansas this fall! In addition to our continued work in Garden City, we have been invited to return to Lawrence and partner once more with Lawrence Arts Center. Last year our Artist Residency provided an incredible opportunity to work with the students of Garden City High School every day for two weeks. This allowed us to create our own unique workshop model and work with the students closely.

As the Executive Director, I also feel strongly that our ensemble needs the space to push past our own creative boxes, so this year's project will turn the focus to our innovative concert program. We will still continue our workshops with the students, but our performance will feature our ensemble as we find our individual interpretation of Walt Whitman's poem, The Sleepers.  We are excited to welcome visual artist Valeria Lombo and composer Sam Reising to this year's project, The Sleepers.Click the button below to read through the poem!

Featured below, students from Garden City High School who took part in our workshops during our Artist Residency | Project 2015.

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2016 Artists


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2016 Artists


Feel free to explore! Click on each Artist's picture to find out more about the Artists of project 2016 | the sleepers.

Kristen - Piano

Kristen - Piano

Kyle - Dance

Kyle - Dance

Cleo - Dance

Cleo - Dance

Nathan - Cello

Nathan - Cello

Maria Im

Maria Im

Valeria - Visual Artist

Valeria - Visual Artist

Tiare - Dance

Tiare - Dance

Jake - Baritone/Actor

Jake - Baritone/Actor

Sam - Composer

Sam - Composer

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Project 2015|The Invitation


Artist Residency: This year's project will combine the creative minds from the artists behind ArtsFi and the high school students. We will be exploring multiple art forms and the text, "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

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Project 2015|The Invitation


Artist Residency: This year's project will combine the creative minds from the artists behind ArtsFi and the high school students. We will be exploring multiple art forms and the text, "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Garden city high school - artist residency

Our hot-spot destination - - Garden City, Kansas!

Our hot-spot destination - - Garden City, Kansas!

The artists from Arts Fusion Initiative (ArtsFi) are so pumped to back in Garden City this August! We had such an incredible time with the students last year, but with only three short days, we knew we had to do more. So...our Artist Residency will take place at GCHS from August 17 - August 28. Our workshops will be the Intro to Theater, Orchestra, Choir, and Theater Tech classes over the two weeks. We will also be working with the dancers from the Steps Dance Studio and hopefully be able to work with the High School Dance team, too! 

The Executive Artistic Director, Kristen Doering, may or may not have some pretty ambitious goals for the two weeks and is looking forward watching the creative force of the artists interact with the energy of the high school students. In addition to the large class workshops that will take place daily, ArtsFi will also be working with a smaller group of high school students to explore a new piece of poetry and create a culminating performance for August 28 at the GCHS Auditorium. The performance will be a combination of ArtsFi and the high schoolers! 

 
Garden City High School. Home of the Buffaloes!

Garden City High School. Home of the Buffaloes!

The initial vision of this truly being a community based project has only become stronger over the past year. The collective community throughout Kansas is what makes ArtsFi possible, from monetary contributions (which we will never turn down, even if it is $1 buck!), to Host Families welcoming us into their home, to Food Donations to feed our artists, this is a collective effort from the Kansas community and every little bit helps, REALLY! Interested? Find out how you can be a part of this year's support by reading on below! 

This year we have set up a way for our community members to sign up through our website to donate food items. If you are interested, CLICK HERE for more details! We designated food items based on the dietary needs of the artists and truly appreciate every item donated, even if it only costs you $2! CLICK HERE for more details. 

Curious about the inspiration behind this year's collaboration with the high schoolers? 

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Project 2014 | Into the Sun


Last year's project, Into the Sun, combined multiple art forms with the text of A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island by American poet, Frank O'Hara.

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Project 2014 | Into the Sun


Last year's project, Into the Sun, combined multiple art forms with the text of A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island by American poet, Frank O'Hara.

Behind the Scenes

THE AFP COLLECTION

WHERE WE went

During our weeklong tour through Kansas we put on school workshops, concerts, and different events within the larger communities. Please feel free to click on the links below on each city for more information, video clips and photographs! 

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2, 2014

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4, 2014

SATURDAY, SEPT. 6, 2014

Click below to view the program for our concert Into the Sun.


 


SCHOOL WORKSHOPS

Garden City - Sept. 2

Lawrence - Sept. 4

Kansas City - Sept. 6

 

Read the inspiring text behind this year's theme.