In December 2022, I joined Jumblies Theatre, The Community Arts Guild, and Arts4All for Artfare Essentials.

Artfare Essentials is an immersive workshop for artists working with community and community-engaged arts.

The 5-day workshop was facilitated by Ruth Howard (Jumblies Founding / Outgoing Artistic Director), Sharada Eswar (Incoming Jumblies Artistic Director), Beth Helmers (Community Arts Guild Artistic Director), Tijana Spasić (Arts4All Interim Artistic Director), amongst many Jumblies partners.

There were many takeaways from Artfare Essentials that helped to bolster my skills and confidence for navigating the waters of community arts. My week with Jumblies offered me the opportunity to drop anchor, form new relationships, and bask in the beaming light that is creativity and kinship.

From start to finish, my time at Jumblies was evocative and intimate. The foundation of relationships built was, as one of my peers put it, like “finding myself in others and others in myself.” The room overflowed with knowledge, appreciative listening, and laughter.

As we neared the end of the workshop, I began to reflect on the pieces I would take away with me:

How will I form my next steps while I continue to build and grow?

What dreams, passions and curiosities steer my course as I sail off into the future?

What transformations, impact, and legacy do I want to foster and sustain within community arts?

Raising anchor and setting out for open waters, I hold with me all the people, places, and pieces that make up my map for navigating community arts practices – one with an abundance of unique and distinguishing aspects, shaped by my experiences of the world. My map takes on many different forms; sometimes it’s a crumpled ball of paper, other times it’s a very organized list, and sometimes… I just follow the sounds of the waves.

– Megan Wilk, Program & Access Coordinator


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