Kristen Fahrig In Rio de Janeiro

In August 2010 while visiting friends in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil I had a number of conversations with Henrique Pio, a local writer and cultural producer. We shared ideas around the importance of the arts in promoting healthy communities and in due course we had developed a concept for a community art project for the favelas in Rio.

With assistance from the touring office of the Ontario Arts Council (International Residencies), I am returning to Rio de Janeiro to help develop the supports necessary for the establishment of a community arts projects in the city’s the under-served neighbourhoods.

In these ‘on the road’ reports I will be:
*Observing ‘how things get done’ in the favela, keeping in mind economist Elenor Ostrom’s theories on governance of the commons

  • Interviewing local artists to see what they’re up to, what are their motivations, what are they making

  • Recording the process of beginning community art projects from the ground up

March 28, 2011
Kristen Fahrig

Bios – Henrique Pio & Kristen Fahrig

Henrique Pio is a Writer, Educator and Cultural Producer living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between 1988 and 2007 he lived in Europe where he worked as a writer for advertising agencies in Portugal and London, England and produced musical events and cultural festivals. The Cosmopolitan Festival (a Brazilian-oriented festival in London, whose five editions focused on individual artistic themes) in particular garnered critical acclaim.

Upon his return to Brazil, Henrique became committed to social transformation through engagement in the arts. In his role as professor of Creative Advertising in the Social Communication program at Estacio de Sa University, he involves his students in promoting international projects such as the ‘Peace One Day’ initiative through music, lectures and exhibits about the peaceful coexistence between different communities. He works as a freelance Creative Director for advertising agencies in Rio de Janeiro and London, and volunteers his expertise by producing commercials for the Brazilian NGO ‘Viva Ro’.


Kristen Fahrig is a Community Artist, Cultural Animator and Sculptor living in Toronto, Canada. Her focus in the past ten years has been on community collaborations in Toronto’s west end, Harbourfront Centre and MacGregor Park, where she is currently artist-in-residence. In this process she brings together professional artists of a variety of genres to work with people of all ages and backgrounds, to create collective works of art, both performances and installations.

Kristen has received two Best Practices Awards from Community Arts Ontario for Equity & Diversity Achievment for initiating and producing the Urban Infusion Project (2003) and the Neighbourhood Legacy Project (2004). In 2010 she was honoured with the Lynch Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts in the field of Integrated Arts and Community Collaboration.

Kristen’s residency in Rio de Janeiro for Phase One of this project has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council, International Residencies Program, and the Canada Council for the Arts (Travel Grant).