CGAS RISER Found Festival

Announcing 2022-23 Fresh AiR Artists Nicole & Steven Sobolewski!

Common Ground is excited to announce sibling duo Steven Sobolewski and Nicole Sobolewski as the 2022-2023 Fresh AiR artists!

We’re launching an expansion of the Fresh AiR program: Starting with Nicole & Steven, our Fresh AiR program will extend over two Festivals. The artists will be encouraged to experiment and workshop in their first Found Festival towards a fully realized production the following year. This will allow artists to develop a proof-of-concept and gain more hands-on project management mentorship to build their resources for their production year. Next year, we will welcome a second Fresh AiR artist/company who will begin their development year while Nicole & Steven premiere their new work.

Over the next 18 months, Nicole and Steven will be the Fresh AiR artists-in-residence and will be working closely with the Common Ground team to produce Gym Class Queer-roes. We are excited to be working with them for this piece, which will premiere at the 2023 Found Festival with a work-in-progress showing at Found 2022!

You can learn more about the Fresh AiR program here

The Found Fest team spoke with Steven to share some of the details behind Gym Class Queer-roes.

FF: Can you describe the concept in 1 to 2 sentences?
SS: Gym Class Queer-roes is about a small group who all are a part of the same queer gym. This piece will explore why queer-led spaces are important to the larger community, the relationship between queer people and their bodies, and finding connection and being a little less lonely.

FF: What are the inspirations for the project?
SS: I was inspired to create this piece after going to the gym and feeling anxious. In my mind there is a lot of things to be anxious about when I step foot in the gym: will people judge me if I’m doing thing’s wrong? Do I look like I don’t belong here? If they know I don’t belong will they harass me? Will they harm me?

I then started wondering about what kind of gym I should go to and I remembered QueerFlex. QueerFlex was a local Edmonton gym that closed down due to unfortunate circumstances. I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if I went to QueerFlex and would I feel safer and more comfortable there? Gym Class Queer-roes is not just an opportunity for me to explore my own questions and anxieties about the gym but also a way to reach out to those who also crave more queer affinity space in Edmonton.

FF: What are you excited to explore through the Fresh AiR program?
SS: With the help of the Fresh AiR program we are both excited for the time to be able to produce and create a new work. This time will not only allow us to both create and develop a rich and complex story but also give my sister and I the chance to further our own artist development as we grow as playwrights and producers.

The rest of the Found Festival 2022 lineup will be announced in early June.

Want to get the news about the rest of the Found lineup – plus early ticket access – PLUS a free Found shirt? Groundwork members get all the first dibs. Click here for more on Groundwork.


For media inquiries, contact:
Mac Brock
Managing Producer, Common Ground Arts Society
macbrock@commongroundarts.ca
(306) 530-3597

We find ourselves in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ) on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Nakota, Blackfoot, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis, and other indigenous peoples who have made this place home long before we settled here. For thousands of years, people have gathered here to share in story, community, and creative exchange.

We find ourselves thankful: thankful to play a small part in that long-standing tradition, a tradition carried on the shoulders of so many creators, builders, dreamers, agitators, and makers who came before us, and who will come long after us.

We find ourselves inspired: inspired by an evolving community of artists who passionately spark the magic that manifests when we surrender ourselves to the long summer days of this northern place.

We find ourselves grateful: grateful to everyone who rallies around this tiny but mighty Festival — the artists, the volunteers, the staff, the audience, the board, the mentors, the partners and sponsors, the funders, the believers. Found Festival exists because of you.