CommonTime International Artist Festival: A Retrospective of Success — and more great arts experiences ahead!

On December 3rd and 4th, the artist community held its first annual International Artist Festival. Ten artists from around the world hosted more than 10 hours of online interactive workshops and livestream performances.

When offering an online Artist Festival for the first time, there are many concerns for a new platform. Will the audience be engaged? How will the teaching artists deliver their content? And the biggest nail biter as an entrepreneur of an arts education platform: will the technology succeed in breaking the digital divide?

Despite our worries, the CommonTime International Artist Festival was a great success! We used the Artist Festival as an opportunity to launch the new Events feature on CommonTime. We had artists from the United States, Hong Kong, Slovakia, Dubai, and Germany give interactive sessions and performances focusing on theater, dance, music, and visual arts. Four-mallet marimba patterns with Michael in Dubai; pocket rudiments in percussion with Brenda in Hong Kong; structure (and haiku) as process in hip hop writing with Joshua in the USA; the arts and architecture with Kanchana in Germany; improv for all with Hon in Bratislava; some great interpretations of modern dance from Alvin Ailey dance instructor Manon — and the lineup didn’t stop there! From the spiritual to the sublime in music, art, dance and theatre, our artists engaged learners with content well beyond the norm. Each session was an exciting and tantalizing glimpse into their craft and artist space.

It was global. It was inclusive. It was accessible to all time zones. And when you were in a session with these artists, you felt like you were right there with them. It was a journey to the next town or the next continent. Each artist provided quick, engaging, and process-based workshops and performances with clearly defined outcomes. Every learner left knowing something more than when they came in. And every person connected to someone else, through the arts, across the world.

From the comfort of our homes, offices, or classrooms, we enjoyed these live, interactive virtual experiences that offered authentic connections with artists around the globe. Now imagine CommonTime in the near future — every learner, every educator, every artist, and every arts organization on the platform making these connections everyday. Imagine a world where the arts and art education are front and center.

Didgeridoo in Dresden? Alpenhorn in Arunachal? Kathakali in Kansas? Shadow puppets in Santiago? I’m ready! So, when’s the next festival?

We’re glad you asked!

There are amazing arts experiences to be had on CommonTime. In addition to our growing community of skilled teaching artists, our arts organization partners have some exciting events coming up. The Portland Youth Philharmonic from Washington in the USA will be streaming their 60th Annual Concert-at-Christmas: Far Off Places on December 26th. And the Taranto Opera Festival from Italy will be streaming their winter programming in January, February, and March 2022. Or, if you’re wishing that you had seen the International Artist Festival events, you’re in luck! Recordings of some of the 2021 Artist Festival presentations are available for purchase.

This holiday season, you can give the gift of arts education with CommonTime! From now until January 31st, 2022, CommonTime will be partnering with the Global Schools Forum for a Giving Campaign. The Global Schools Forum (GSF) is an organization that provides millions of children with access to education, through their thirty thousand member schools in the southern hemisphere. If you book a session with a participating artist on CommonTime, that artist will donate a session of equal or lesser value to one of the participating GSF schools. The arts have the power to leave a lasting impression on a child, and by booking artist sessions and virtual series through CommonTime, you will help to inspire the artists and arts lovers of tomorrow.

To enjoy an artist session on CommonTime…

Visit and browse our catalogue of vetted teaching artists:

To book an artist or arts organization, sign in as an Educator or Individual, or sign up for free!

Check out our blog and our social media, and if you have questions, email us at [email protected].