Kaleidoscope Festival Celebrates the Creative Journey


by Brett Buckner

Art, in its many forms, is about giving life to the imagination. It’s about offering inspiration so that others might be inspired. Art is not about what is looked at, but rather what is seen. In that spirit of discovery, JSU is hosting Kaleidoscope: A Festival of the Arts. 

The annual event, which opens March 28 and runs through April 23, features 29 different events with visiting artists, lecturers, authors, performers, musicians and filmmakers, as well as student exhibits, concerts, recitals and performances. All events are free and open to the public. 

The festival's intent is to support and bring awareness to the arts and humanities at JSU, said Seth Johnson, assistant dean for JSU’s College of Arts and Humanities.  

“Half the events are outside professionals we bring in that will give our students and the public access to opportunities they wouldn't ordinarily experience,” Johnson said. “The other half of the events are designed to showcase the talents of our students and bring an awareness to the successful, competitive and professional programs in the arts and humanities we offer at JSU.”

The theme for this year’s event is “Here and Back Again,” which Johnson said “pays homage to the journey many creative individuals take in the discovery and creation process.” 

Kaleidoscope started in 1995 under former JSU President Harold McGee and ran for 21 years before going on hiatus in 2016. Last year, the College of Art and Humanities revived it. Now, for the first time, the festival is hosting an Innovation Expo and Market to showcase the portfolios of students in the arts and humanities. 

“We've invited industry professionals from the area to review our students' works and create networking opportunities for employment or internship opportunities,” Johnson said. “Students from art, graphic design, photography, printmaking, creative writing, professional writing, filmmaking and theatre production are exhibiting portfolios.” 

The Innovation Expo and Market will be held on April 7, 12-3 p.m., in the Theron Montgomery Building Auditorium.