CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area is an artist-run, charitable organization that produces an international biennial exhibition of art projects in the public spaces of Waterloo Region. Through the exhibition, lectures, tours and related special events, CAFKA develops opportunities to learn about contemporary art and participate in its making. CAFKA creates memorable experiences contributing to the creation of an engaging, animated and stimulating urban environment.
CAFKA Biennial Exhibition
CAFKA was founded by local artists in the spirit of an artistic-run initiative: to bring challenging and experimental contemporary art to the community, to create an artistic dialogue between artists in the region and the wider world, and to share the energy, passion and excitement of contemporary art with our friends and neighbours here in Waterloo Region.
CAFKA’s commitment to public art and to bringing contemporary art to the general public is a major part of its mandate. Because of CAFKA, people of all ages, from all backgrounds and from all walks of life have been able to experience contemporary art, and participate in discussions about it.
Since its inception, CAFKA has produced eleven major exhibitions, and has exhibited 206 art installations, interventions, projections and performances by 192 artists from every continent. The biennial exhibition galvanizes the community of artists in the region, who in 2014 dedicated 3,500 hours of volunteer labour to help make it happen.
CAFKA is an anchor for many in the community of artists who call Waterloo Region their home. Through participation in the curatorial and programming committees, as installation hands, and as hosts for visiting artists, CAFKA has helped make Waterloo Region a destination and a home for contemporary art.
Financial sponsorship of the CAFKA biennial exhibition can help in many ways: A donation of $1,000 can support the travel costs of an internationally recognized artist, while $5,000 can help cover the cost of materials, technicians and installation labour for a featured artist’s project. Gifts of $10,000 can help CAFKA expand its reach and gain greater awareness through professional marketing and public relations. A gift of $25,000 can help CAFKA add a contract employee to support the biennial exhibition’s logistical and marketing challenges.
CAFKA must raise money for the day-to-day operations (maintenance of an office, administration and professional expenses, website maintenance and communications), ancillary educational and promotional activities (lecture series, family and children’s programming) and to carry out the biennial exhibition.
CAFKA currently spends approximately $5,000 per featured artist for the biennial exhibition for a biennial year program budget of $75 – $85,000. Additional money is raised for marketing and promotion of the biennial including graphic design and branding, paid advertising, and media relations.