Every evening, there is a choice of some sixty lectures and performances - music, dance, street theatre, art - in Maastricht's ‘Quartier Latin’, the triangle formed by Bonnefantenstraat, Minderbroedersberg and Kapoenstraat. The fact that this ample selection causes stress of choice for many visitors, is a well-known fact, says Rob van Duijn, head of Studium Generale, the organiser of the festival. “That is why this year we have a few ‘ambassadors’, who have known PAS for years, tell us their choice.” In addition to a refugee, a ‘true Maastrichtenaar’ and a community worker from Witte Vrouwenveld, rector Rianne Letschert will also speak. She will be visiting PAS with her children and choose her programme accordingly. “The audience can also choose a particular theme, such as historic cooking (presentations and a tasting), diversity (refugees will prepare bite-size food for the visitors: eat and talk), or sustainability. The latter includes technological innovation. In the Faculty of Law's hall, we have the Brightlands corner with the Brain Coach project, virtual reality glasses, as well as professor Kingma’s balance belt.”
New this year is the collaboration with the Stadsnomade, says Van Duijn. This is a project by a group of people in their thirties who travel in convoy through the city this summer, going from suburb to suburb in an attempt to activate youths. “They set up a skating track and a half pipe, and give skating workshops. Together with the children, they create a tribe - how they think it should look, which colours, which characteristics - that would suit their neighbourhood. Eventually every neighbourhood should have its own totem pole.” The convoy ends during PAS on the Oud-Gouvernement's parking lot. The skating track will be set up and everyone will be given the opportunity to try it out. There will be a small stage for music performances and an exhibition with portraits that the youths from the neighbourhoods made of each other.
Not new, but back because of tremendous success, is singer-songwriter Noam Vazana, who can be heard in the courtyard of the Minderbroedersberg. She mixes, according to Van Duijn, Sephardic, Arabic, North African music and jazz in a contemporary style. As tradition has it, a band will bring the evening to a close in the Student Services Centre's courtyard. On Friday, it will be Coco and the Butterfields (Indie pop band) and on Saturday, the African group Mokoomba.