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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Apollo 2018 World Festival of Masonic Arts: May 10-13 at GW Memorial

The Second World Festival of Symbolic and Masonic Arts, APOLLO 2018, will be held May 10th—13th at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. 

The Apollo Festival of Masonic Arts is a world celebration of the symbolic culture of Freemasonry, organized by the Association of Masonic Arts (AMA), and hosted by different grand lodges around the world. The main purpose of the festival is to present the centuries old masterpieces of the Craft and contemporary art products, made by brethren from different cultures and countries.

Because Freemasonry has a distinguished history of reaching back to operative masonic times, so rich in religious symbolism, much artistic imagery falls within the Masonic milieu. The AMA considers that many works of art, architecture, music, and literature have a Masonic relationship in their origin. Therefore, works which manifest a sincere respect for deep Masonic convictions, in their use of Masonic symbols or themes are included as Masonic arts. These include: visual and plastic arts, music, drama, literature, and architecture crated by Masonic artists to evoke Masonic themes; all "ornaments of the Lodge" including regalia, jewels, and ritual implements; historical designs and motifs connected with operative Masonry; fine arts or artisan objects created by

While it has not been finalized yet, the preliminary APOLLO 2018 program includes:

• General Exhibition of Masterpieces of Masonic and Symbolic fine arts. Presentation of the history of grand lodges, Masonic libraries and museums, Masonic authors and artists. 
• Lectures and presentations on the history and contemporary development of the Symbolic and Masonic arts and material culture. Papers by writers and researches from all around the world are welcomed. The papers will be published in the Catalog of the Symbolic Arts.

• Concerts, Musicals, Dramas. The stage is open to all musicians and performers of Symbolic and Masonic art 
• Student contests at poetry, fine arts, music and short documentary movies.
• Lunches, dinners, cocktails, and awards.
• Fellowship time.
The organizers are still actively seeking more interested authors, researchers, artists, craftsmen, and musicians to participate in the event's programming. Confirmed speakers at this time include AMA Chairman Thomas Jackson, Dimitar G. Mavrov, Ryan Flynn, Barbara Castrucci (Italy), Ferenc Sebok (Belgium), and more. Concerts will be performed by Alexandre Dietrich (Brazil), Janos Cegledy (Japan), and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

Vendors, publishing companies, museums, and libraries related to the themes of the symbolic Masonic arts and culture are also welcome. For information on entering and presenting, contact the Festival though the website or at masonicartsmedia@gmail.com

As part of the APOLLO 2018 Festival, the AMA is also holding a Student Art Contest. The Student program is intended to reward culturally artistic work, pieces, or compositions whose themes relate to Masonic and Symbolic art, Masonic history, Masonic culture, Masonic traditions, or famous Masonic figures who have contributed to the progress of humanity. The Student Art Contest of APOLLO 2018 will cover the following areas:
• Poetry
• Fine arts: paintings, graphics or sculptures

• Short Documentary movie

• Music: musical composition, which may also include lyrics.
Tickets for the four day event are $400 and include admission to all presentations, exhibitions and concerts. Lunches and three dinners are also included.

If you are interested in being a part of the program as a presenter, exhibitor, student entrant, or other active participant, please contact them IMMEDIATELY before the March 30th deadline via the website or via email at masonicartsmedia@gmail.com

Founded in 2013, the Association of Masonic Arts is actively involved in laying the groundwork for a far greater appreciation of the significance of the Masonic Arts, and its recognizable material culture in Western history and beyond. Though the beautiful objects of the Craft have long been a focus of great fondness for Masons, the serious potential in using the wider appreciation of its themes and symbolic meanings has been under-appreciated as a simple way of bringing all those connected with Masonic traditions together. The AMA will strongly pursue the goal of fostering greater research, dialogue, courteous debate and vigorous application of basic artistic enthusiasm towards a higher purpose.

1 comment:

  1. The arts idea is very praiseworthy and warm congratulations are in order, but the admission charge of $400 will be a consideration, especially for younger people that it would be nice to see there, but possibly for a lot of older people as well. Possibly the sponsors will award scholarships? The Memorial is set at a distance from the town of Alexandria, on a rather steep hill, which makes access to the inviting cafes and shops of the town a challenge, especially for seniors. A regular shuttle might be considered.

    Washington has for two centuries been a center for African-American Freemasonry, which had lots of ties with the rise of the American jazz
    tradition -- notably for example Brother and Washingtonian Louis Armstrong. The University of the District of Columbia collects related materials and has one of the best jazz academic programs anywhere. Some of the brothers in the Prince Hall community are very very up on all of this. In fact, it probably is one of the most important instances of Masonry and music going hand in hand.

    Another significant tie between Freemasonry and culture in Washington is that the lodge was an incubator for African-American Masonic traditions of stepping, a dance form that any brother will recognize as having origins in the steps we first took when we started our Masonic journal. This is very much alive at Howard University in D.C. As a dance form it is absolutely amazing. An examination of it is at


    Since the area has notable examples of Masonic buildings and cemetery art, and since the Library of Congress has great Masonic bibliographical treasures and the textile collection at George Washington University has relevant items in profusion, there are opportunities to make the visit of brethren really notable.

    A four day event means that housing becomes a budget worry. One answer might be to ask brothers in the area to act as hosts, but that is probably not a real solution. Transportation from hotels that are economical becomes an item.

    Another note is that for the last two years plans have been in place for the third World Conference on Fraternalism and Freemasonry on May 18th at the historic Whittemore House in downtown Washington, and which is free including the meals and which includes an unusual performance of original Masonic music on period instruments, authors of several new controversial Masonic books, and a debate on the virtues and vices of fraternalism by winning teams from the national collegiate champion debating teams.

    This was announced at the 2016 WCF. The 2019 Conference in Paris as well as the Washington conference downtown at Whittemore House are at


    One hopes people will find time for both events.


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