Published Apr 5th, 2012

7 Questions with ArtsScene Edmonton Co-chair Miranda Wulf

Miranda Wulf, Co-chair of ArtsScene Edmonton
Miranda Wulf, Co-chair of ArtsScene Edmonton

Miranda Wulf is one of ArtsScene Edmonton’s two fresh-faced co-chairs. Together with visual artist Erin Ross, the 30-year-old image consultant and owner of LoullouDi Image & Style heads the volunteer organization aiming to mix arts and business in the city through networking events and parties.

After founding co-chairs Ken Bautista and Sam Jenkins got tied up with Startup Edmonton, another project of theirs targeting young professionals, they wanted to hand over the reigns to lighten their load.

To get off to a strong start, the organization is holding the Trip the Light party inside Breakfast Television’s studios this Saturday, with musical guests Scenic Route to Alaska, Mitchmatic, Axe & Smash and Alex Faid (click here to purchase tickets). With partygoers from both worlds, arts and business, Wulf says it will serve not just as a networking opportunity but a chance for people to meet the new board of ArtsScene, which is in its third and, she hopes, strongest year yet.

“This year it’s Miranda and Erin,” she says. “It’s lady power time.”

What does ArtsScene do?

It’s essentially getting people in that young professional crowd together and connecting them with the arts in our city, with the idea that they will be inspired to continue to contribute to the arts. And, also, to have fun and give exposure to artists. We like the idea of being an exciting group that people want to come hang out with, and find out what’s going on.

Can you give me a brief history of how you got started with ArtsScene?

I’m from B.C. originally, so you kind of always think, ‘Well, eventually maybe I’ll wander back to Vancouver,’ but I just haven’t. The people that I’ve met since I moved to Edmonton six years ago and have connected with — our movers and shakers — are making a stamp in Edmonton, and want Edmonton to make a stamp in Canada, which is really exciting to me.

Why is ArtsScene Edmonton so important?

It’s kind of going back to the belief that to have a vibrant society and to have a vibrant city that is growing, we need to keep the arts going.

It’s important because it provides a platform or opportunity for people to be exposed to, and contribute to, and be a part of the arts in our city. Looking at all the work that goes into this, and even just appreciating everything that goes behind a final product whether that be in theatre or in a visual artists studio, I think it just garners a greater appreciation and exposure, and ultimately encourages that next generation to continue investing and continue to be inspired by it.

What are some things that ArtsScene does?

ArtsScene past has done behind-the-scene events with everyone from ballet and the symphony to Rapid Fire Theatre, and also providing some spaces for business and arts people to mingle and connect, and see if there’s a synergistic way that they can come together or build on ideas or network.

We’re looking to cover maybe a bit more than necessarily the established arts “houses” in Edmonton. They’re definitely important pillars in our community — like the opera, and symphony, and ballet, and the citadel — but we also would like to gain some exposure for more grassroots artists. People who aren’t attached to a large company that have full-time fund developers and that sort of thing.

Why is that important?

Giving exposure to a wide variety of the arts in our city is to say, “Look what is going on in our city.” We have incredible people here doing amazing, amazing things and we want to keep them here. We want to invest in them instead of saying, “Well, we have no money for you, we have no interest in you, so you’re going to have to go to Vancouver or Toronto or New York or Montreal.”

Let’s connect our business people and see if they can create something together as well.

What are your thoughts on the “business and art don’t mix” school-of-thought?

I believe that neither could exist without the other, and that society as a whole essentially would break down without the arts. Human beings are multi-faceted and we’re all creative and you need outlets. But you also need beauty in your life — things that challenge the way that you think, or shift your paradigms.

So would you say that there is an artist in every businessperson, and a businessperson in every artist?

Yes, in both ways, and a lot of artists are businesspeople and have to sell themselves. There’s probably no harder business to work in than the full-time artist.

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