What We Did This Summer: Grassroots Literary Culture


Former UFV Cascade editor and ESA President Katie Stobbart remained immersed in literary culture all summer . . .


Student guest post by Katie Stobbart

In one branch of possibility, I spent my summer pressed to the ground, lying on the beach or in the park with a book in hand, or a pen. I took a much-needed break from the fervent final years of my honours degree, I spent more time with friends, and house-sat for my mom.

But what really happened is . . . I applied for a full-time summer job with the Abbotsford Arts Council, and spent the hours of scorching sunshine in a small office in the Kariton Art Gallery, working with three passionate and dedicated powerhouses — gallery coordinator Aymee Leake, arts administrator Jennifer Hickey, and outgoing executive director Gail Gromaski — to deliver cultural events and arts programming in the community.

Photo Credit: Abbotsford Today, http://www.abbotsfordtoday.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Kariton-Art-Gallery-300x336.jpg

Photo Credit: Abbotsford Today, http://www.abbotsfordtoday.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Kariton-Art-Gallery-300×336.jpg

At the Arts Council, I did a little bit of everything. I wrote and proofread press releases, planned events, organized event registrants and volunteers, helped plan and assemble a Canada Day parade float, sat in on committee meetings, researched, designed marketing materials for artist talks and gallery shows, put together the monthly newsletter, and completed a number of additional tasks as they cropped up over the course of the summer. I also got the behind-the-scenes view of events and gallery shows.

Even though it wasn’t part of my official post-grad plan, my work with the Arts Council also gave me practical experience in areas that will supplement my career as a writer. I gained connections, marketing experience, and a small taste of the arts grant application process. In the end, giving up some sunshine time was well worth the experience.

*Katie helped organize the Lit Up in the Gallery event at Kariton Art Gallery. Come on out this Friday, September 25th to see local writers—including UFV Creative Writing profs Andrea MacPherson and Michelle Superle—talk about their writing processes and read their work. UFV Canadian Literature prof Ceilidh Hart is moderating the event. Find event details here . . .

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