“Art to me is the ground of being–not a noun, but a verb; something primordial that defies and predates the bounds of language.”–Katie Hoogendam.
Writer and artist Katie Hoogendam serves on NFOTA’s Program Committee.
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Katie Hoogendam (“Merkat”). I’m a local writer, poet, playwright and interdisciplinary artist.
Why do you believe in the Northumberland Festival of the Arts?
Northumberland Festival of the Arts is dear to me because it is a labour of love all around. The folks birthing this next iteration (2022) of the festival are a mixture of long-time supporters and original founders alongside fresh faces, some of whom work in the arts themselves. Across a diverse range of backgrounds, we all share a deep love of both local community and the arts and have a passion for inclusivity and accessibility. Art for all, all for art!
Any passions and talents you want to share?
As a poet/playwright/performer/sometime-local radio voice I am inspired by the dynamic relationship between word and musicality, symbol and sound, and I play with these elements in performative poetry readings on stage and online. The pandemic era has translated, for me, into a fecund time of inspiration and opportunity–to try new genres, hone different creative skill sets, and deepen relationships with other local writers and artists. I am at work on my next poetry collection, forthcoming 2022 from a new local press.
What are your roots or groups – connections in the community?
I am currently in creative collaboration with two fabulous local artists, Shannon Linton and Saskia Tomkins, as co-founders of the artist’s collective, We3. (Check us here.) I am also very fortunate to participate in a poetry group–one formed virtually at the outset of the pandemic–alongside three local poets for whom I have deep respect. And I am on the programming committee for NFOTA, an extension of my long membership with the Spirit of the Hills Writers’ group.
What does “art” mean to you?
Art to me is the ground of being–not a noun, but a verb; something primordial that defies and predates the bounds of language. From birth we are marinated in curiosity, driven by it. This is how we grow. Art is what happens when we follow our curiosity–on the page, the stage, or simply just in the way we make our coffee. Festivals like NFOTA are a celebration of this way of approaching and responding to the world, the universe–together, as a creative community.