Chelsea Center coordinates downsized All Write Festival

Hadley Hoskins
Contributing Writer

St. Louis hip-hop artist, alumnus Che Sanchez performs at the 2018 All Write festival. Photo by Rosa Parks

Preparations for the annual All-Write Festival, which will be Feb. 28, through March 1, have begun. The festival will be smaller than past years due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Chelsea Center Director Dr. Kerry Arens explained that the Chelsea Center is shortening the festival. In previous years, it was three or more days, this year, it will only be two days. As a result of the shortened festival, the festival will not include the filmmaking section or the classroom wordshops.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that the Omicron variant has calmed down by the time All Write happens,” said Dr. Arens via email.

The drama department, who is contributing several performances to the festival, is hopeful that by the time of the festival, they will not have to require performers to wear masks but at this time both performers and audience members will be masked.

As with the whole festival, the drama department is scaling back its performances. Drama teacher Todd Schaefer said four slots were reserved for the drama department, including a Women’s Project and a Sondheim tribute.

Students who would like to enter should use the Canvas course available. Deadlines are also on the course.

The Chelsea Center said that since this is its first year hosting the festival, it has no way to estimate exactly how many students participate. English teacher Katie Guymon, who helped organize the festival in past years, said that about 100 students participated in the 2020 festival.

Guest speakers have not been confirmed by the Chelsea Center, although Dr. Arens said that Franzie semifinalists, student musicians, student artists and students in other supporting roles will be participating in the festival.

All Write will continue to have a theme, which will determine memorabilia, such as T-shirts. In 2020, the theme was “Camp All Write.” This year, Dr. Arens said the theme is “Metamorphosis.”

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