An image of Kevin Jesuino
Kevin Jesuino | Photo courtesy of Kevin Jesuino

Kevin Jesuino

Local creative asks “How can art and culture create spaces for connection and safety?”

Cherie McMaster

Kevin Jesuino is an interdisciplinary performer, facilitator, activist, movement arts coach and arts educator. As co-artistic director of the TRAction collective, he also tries to engage communities in art-making to tackle issues of climate justice. Jesuino credits his curiosity and love of artistic expression to his early exposure to culture through festivals and dancing, thanks to his parents, who are both Portuguese immigrants.   

I’m really curious where art and culture meet, and where we take away the power and the mysticism of art… which I think there’s a place for that. I do agree that we need the institutions of art galleries and museums and the theatres and stuff, but there was something about rooting in my own culture and expressing through the way that my culture expresses artistically, and then going out into other communities and sharing that….” 

Jesuino’s early experiences expressing his culture through festivals felt like an accessible way to experience art, and helped to influence his path as an arts educator. “These past 10 to 15 years I’ve been really diving into the world of socially engaged art…. I come from a devised theatre and making and a collaborative background in performance-making, but I wanted to take those tools and go out into the world and give those tools to people so then they could do whatever they wanted to do with them.”

Jesuino credits Richard Campbell of Antyx Community Arts for his success. “Antyx Community Arts gave me the space and time to research how socially engaged arts are impacting other communities across the world and cross-disciplinary, but I also applied my curiosities and my arts facilitation skills to meaningful deep impact work I was doing with youth in Greater Forest Lawn.”

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more about Kevin Jesuino’s work in socially engaged arts and his work in this field.

About The Storytelling Podcast

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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