April 29, 2020Print | PDF
The Wilfrid Laurier University Library welcomes community arts leader Isabel Cisterna to the role of manager: Cultural Programming and Community Engagement.
In her role, Cisterna will engage Laurier faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as the wider community, in cultural events and programming offered at the Laurier Library while developing new initiatives that align with library and university strategic priorities.
“I am delighted to welcome Isabel to the Laurier Library. It is very exciting to have a community leader of her calibre joining our journey of transformation into an engaging cultural hub,” says Gohar Ashoughian, university librarian. “Isabel brings a wide range of skills and talents to our team that will help us amplify our vision.”
Cisterna is an accomplished arts professional with more than 20 years of experience in artistic and cultural programming, community event organization and social innovation. She is an award-winning scriptwriter and decorated community member of Waterloo Region, receiving the Canada 150+ Commemorative Medal in 2018, the Waterloo Award and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship in 2018, and Ontario’s Leading Women Building Communities Award in 2014. Cisterna is also the founder of Neruda Arts, a non-profit arts organization committed to creating community through music, dance, drama, literary and visual arts. Cisterna began her role at Laurier on March 11.
“Libraries are evolving from places to find knowledge to places where you can contribute to knowledge, be engaged, have your ideas heard and participate in a safe and welcoming environment,” says Cisterna. “Libraries are the heart of a community. The Laurier Library is the heart of the university community and I am honoured to be a part of it.”
Cisterna is holding virtual meetings with the Laurier Library’s campus and community partners to understand their needs and co-create meaningful programming that will engage audiences in issues including poverty, reconciliation, racism and diversity.
“I want to hear from people both inside and outside of the university to understand the needs within our community and how the library can support the work,” says Cisterna.
Cisterna sees campus venues such as the Robert Langen Art Gallery, an integral part of the Laurier Library, as spaces to engage in such programming. When physical distancing measures in place due to COVID-19 are eased, Cisterna hopes the Library can continue bringing faculty, students, staff, alumni and community members together with arts and cultural groups for purposeful dialogue, engagement and creative expression.
Cisterna welcomes programming ideas and input from members of the Laurier community. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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