Musagetes promotes the arts and artistic creativity as tools for social transformation. Musagetes is a catalyst for ideas and actions that make the arts more central and meaningful to peoples’ lives, in order to promote healthier democracies and creative societies; “to start sparks, cause explosions…and make a difference in the world.” The name “Musagetes” was the Greek god Apollo’s title as protector and supporter of the Muses.
In Classical mythology, Musagetes (pronounced ‘Mews-a-get-ees’) is the name given to the god Apollo in his role as protector and promoter of the Muses. It’s an apt name for a philanthropic entity that strives to make the arts more central and meaningful in peoples’ lives and in our societies and communities. Apollon Musagetes was the leader of the three Muses: the goddess of poetry (Aoidē, meaning “song” or “tune”), the goddess of thought and meditation (Meletē, meaning “practice”), and the goddess of memory (Mnēmē, meaning “memory”). It wasn’t until Hellenistic times that they were expanded to nine muses, corresponding to the artistic disciplines and humanities that we refer to today.
Musagetes creates living experiences, some small, some large, that bring people together to articulate social needs, generate ideas, and spark action. Musagetes’ artistic projects consist of aesthetic, social, critical, and pedagogical elements. The critical often takes the form of societal critique, spatial reorganization, or social-justice activism. The pedagogical hones the spirit of contemplation; practices the acts of seeing, listening, and feeling; and investigates forms of articulation. We engage in sense-making processes whereby we begin to understand more deeply how individuals make sense of the art they are experiencing. This is our approach to cultural mediation. Musagetes, in practice, doesn’t have much mind for separating the disciplines but rather returns to the three original Muses that were protected by Apollon Musagetes. Musagetes works iteratively and collaboratively, values embedded in our Manifesto which guides our program direction. Our founders believe that art, ideas and culture are essential to the human experience.
Musagetes’ office is located in Guelph, Ontario, which is situated on land that is steeped in rich Indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people today. We would like to acknowledge that we are guests on the ancestral and treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Aanishinaabek Peoples. Throughout history, this land and these waters have also been home to the Chonnonton Peoples (“People of the Deer”), as well as the Haudenosaunee from the south, and the Anishanaabe and Métis from the North. We offer respect as we strengthen our relationships with them. We express our gratitude for sharing these lands for our mutual benefit.