Essencia is an independent collective of artists from different backgrounds. Their aim is to Essencia uses art as a means of communication and education, exploring diverse issues and themes that impact our daily lives. Their collective energy unite artists from around the world using art in their own communities, with the aim of learning and teaching through the exchange of colours, music, dance, photography, performance and the infinite possibilities of creative expression.
Essencia now is a Street Art festival; its roots come from the ‘’essence’’ of street art, graffiti, and hip-hop culture, and the values that these art forms manifest. Essencia works through community workshops with youths, using the power of art to break borders, overcome taboos, promoting understanding about important matters that affect our daily lives and global community.
Each year the Festival unites artists from across the world in an annual nomadic meeting. So far artists from Canada, Brazil, Chile, Senegal, France, the USA, Australia, Peru, Philippines and Tunisia participated in its workshops, exhibitions and public events.
The first Essencia Festival was launched in Montréal and Toronto (Canada) in September 2010, celebrating the four elements of the Earth, the four Cardinal directions, and the four elements of Hip Hop culture Their objectives were to gather various artists from around the world and bring a different vision to their own communities of how graffiti and hip-hop was being used in other parts of the world, as a tool for social empowerment.
In March 2011,five Essencia Collective’s artists were invited to Senegal to perform at the 2MGra festival, which also uses art as a tool of education. This delegation included three street artists, Shalak, Fiya, Aishaa, MC Meryem Saci, and photographer Mariel Rosenbluth. They painted various artistic and community murals and, through workshops, 40 children and youths of the community actively participated in discussions exploring ways to resolve child poverty.
Recently, the Third International Essencia Festival took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This year’s festival united over 80 artists from five continents of the world to use art as a tool for community empowerment in five didifferent neighborhoods of Sao Paulo, the main team: Mother Earth. Over 400 youth and children from the “periferias” (underprivileged communities) participated in educational art workshops. Artists from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Senegal, and the USA, participated in the final Essencia Art Exhibition at one of Sao Paulo’s most popular artistic spots, the Matilha Cultural Gallery.
The success of this year’s festival was enormous and Essencia is now embedded into the hearts of its many participants, artists, and collaborating organizations. Essencia Collective keeps on growing and it is proof that art and culture can make a positive difference and impact on our daily lives and global community. Next year’s festival will be returning to Canada with positive and booming energy from around the world!.