A look inside the fine art of directing music and arts festivals.
Creative directors at music and arts festivals are mostly anonymous by nature, but their role is arguably as artistic as the performers they curate. A creative director may go unseen, but their work is felt by each attendee, making it something of a subversive art in corralling innumerable variables into a positive experience.
Plying her trade in Pittsburgh, PA—a city thousands of miles from the comparatively well-funded experimental events littering Europe—Lauren Goshinski became such a figure, all while working in the tenuous conditions accompanying cultural work in the US. As co-founder and director of VIA festival, Goshinski helped build a reputation that saw her become a board member of International Cities Of Advanced Sound (ICAS), a global network of forward-thinking music festivals, and co-curator of Vancouver's New Forms. This was no accident, however. Goshinski has also worked in bonafide Pittsburgh art institutions, namely the Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Center for the Arts, curated countless artistic collaborations and even holds a DJ residency at Pittsburgh's storied Hot Mass party.
In conversation with Christine Kakaire, Goshinski shares the difficult but ultimately rewarding experiences of curating culture outside of major centres and how her homegrown talents ultimately equipped her with a skill set that would see her influence extend far beyond the local.