Neruda Arts, established in 2001 by Founding Artistic Director, Isabel Cisterna, is a non-profit world-music presenter dedicated to building bridges in the community through music, dance, drama, and literary and visual arts.
Each summer, Neruda Arts presents it's signature event, Kultrún World Music Festival – a free, two-day festival in Victoria Park. Live music from all over the world, as well as local and national bands, plays all weekend - a virtual smorgasbord of culture. This event also highlights arts and crafts people, workshops and interactive events, dance, theatre, food of the world, and in 2019, introduced a concert designed for the deaf and hard of hearing, Feel the Music.
Aside from Kultrún, throughout the year Neruda presents smaller festivals, concerts, establishes panels, facilitates conversation regarding social issues, youth workshops, and creates interactive events with a focus on inclusion. Neruda Arts educates and introduces the community to a more all-embracing attitude regarding multiculturalism, issues of racism and exclusion.
During the past twenty years, Neruda Arts has been a champion to emerging, mid-career and professional artists, often mentoring and encouraging them in their pursuit of life in the arts.
These are some of our projects that bring art, and artists, to the community.
The Peace Stage
Imagine bringing music to smaller towns, that don't enjoy concerts and art happening in their own communities, or bringing music to shut-ins, youth and people who are financially challenged. With a mobile stage, Neruda Arts can bring music, theatre, and dance to the community, especially outlying communities and those with little access to the arts.
And Still She Persists
We have a brand new audio/visual studio: Sound on Sound (SoS). To get things going, we invited local artists in music, theatre, visual art, puppetry and more, to be recorded and provided with a professional quality video of their work with which to further their musical careers.
Our goals, in a small part, were to highlight the careers of women in music in the Waterloo Region, with a focus on unrepresented women (BIPOC). It is our hope that participants will gain a platform to perform, an increase in audience members and the opportunity to be paid a fair wage.
Arpillera of Justice
Coordinated by several volunteers, including Gabriela Bravo, Isabel and Cecilia Cisterna, Alejandra Bravo, Ambar Hernandez, Carol Rawlings and Arlene Thomas, the “Arpillera fue Justice” involved 65 women from around the world and Canada.
This project is standing and supporting victims of the violent state repression of the uprising in Chile that exploded in 2019.
This giant arpillera was designed by Chilean artist Ian Pierce ( Ekeko) and supported by various community organizations including Neruda Arts, La Vitrina KW and Quarry.
Charles Street Mural
More than 100 volunteers and artists created Neruda Arts' new 150-foot mural for downtown Kitchener. The theme, A Mural About Belonging, is about recognizing Canada as a nation of immigrants living on Indigenous land. The mural explores Indigeuneity, multiculturalism and Canadian identity.