About 2016 Bloomin Arts Festival
Bloomin' Arts Festival is a juried Fine Arts festival and is Bartow's premier event of the year. It is held on the first full weekend each March. Originally called the Spring Art Festival, it has evolved into one of the top festivals in Central Florida and features artists from all across the country.
The festival is a collaboration of the Bartow Art Guild, Bartow Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Bartow. Event Co-Chairs, Michel Githens and Lara Fredericksen, coordinate an all volunteer staff and workers consisting of members from all areas of the community. These are dedicated, hard working volunteers and truly the backbone of the event.
The festival takes place along several blocks of beautiful, historic downtown Bartow and local businesses and restaurants are open to welcome festival goers.
March 5-6 2016
46th Annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival
Recipe for a fun-filled family weekend: Select 220 of the country’s finest artists to exhibit their colorful creations against a background of elegant homes. Blend in lively local singers, dancers and musicians. Add delicious local food, from corn on the cob to strawberries. Stir in an active children’s art area. Dust with blooming dogwoods and azaleas and top with spicy jazz, both hot and cool, performed by musicians who have toured the world.
Santa Fe College has been committed to excellence in every aspect of service to our students and community since the college opened its doors almost 50 years ago,” said President Jackson Sasser. “The recent honor of the Aspen Institute's recognition of Santa Fe as the nation's best college reflects these collective efforts, and the Spring Arts Festival is an integral part of our mission and our community. As we celebrate the artistic excellence of some of the nation's best artists and the beauty of Gainesville's historic downtown, we invite everyone to join us as we continue our passion for our community, the arts, and, as always, our students."
The festival image, “Spring Morning, Cross Creek” by Kate Barnes, will be available on limited edition silkscreened posters and t-shirts that Barnes describes as “handcrafted works of art.” The Cross Creek image dovetails with the play “Invasion of Privacy” about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings that will be directed by Master Artist Judith Chapman in June in the college’s Fine Arts Hall.
“This year, the main stage has been moved to the grounds of the Thomas Center,” explained Cultural Programs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman, “but what has not changed is the high quality of the art you will find at the festival. Spring Arts continually attracts applications from some of the very best artists in the country who face tough competition for acceptance into this juried show.”
Entertainment highlights include Saturday evening jazz performances by the David Jones Jazztet, all-stars of Orlando’s jazz scene (5-7 p.m.), and the Cuban jazz legend Chuchito Valdés (7-9 p.m.).
Led by Jones, a longtime Disney musician, the Jazztet will play a combination of swing, trad (Dixieland and ragtime), and jazz standards. Valdés—who is recognized as a master of Cuban music—continues the legacy of great piano players from Cuba, performing an energetic blend of music that ranges from sensitive to exciting.
April 11-12 2016
Mailsail Art Festival
Mainsail Art Festival started in 1976 when the city’s Bicentennial Committee, the Saint Petersburg Recreation Department and the new Saint Petersburg Arts Commission joined forces to sponsor the “First Annual Saint Petersburg Sidewalk Arts and Colonial Crafts Festival.” For the second show, the name was shortened. “Mainsail” was chosen in 1977 to convey the event’s importance, its excitement and marina setting in waterfront South Straub Park. For several years, a huge sail was hoisted prominently in the park as the festival’s trademark logo, provided by a local yacht corporation.
In the Spring of 1988, the show moved to a larger location in North Straub Park, just one block north of the original spot, to accommodate needs for a larger entertainment tent, children’s activity area, demonstration area and food vendors. In 2004, the show was moved to Vinoy Park to accommodate more artists.
Originally, first and second place awards were given out in each category. In recent years, awards of excellence, distinction and merit are given at the 2008 Judge’s discretion without regard to category. Early records indicate the festival offered less than $4,200 in cash prizes the first five years; which increased to $9,000 by 1982; $13,500 in 1986; and as of 2006 cash awards total $50,000.
Mainsail’s nautical theme saw the addition of the bright pink flamingo design in 1986, which is now a tradition on festival letterhead and park signage. The sailboat trademark from the origin of the festival is still used for souvenir merchandise and the annual commemorative poster.
Various additions have developed into traditions over the past 31 years, such as: The Awards Ceremony and Saturday evening barbecue in the park added in 1978 to accommodate artists. In 2005, the Saturday evening affair was replaced with a Sunday Morning Breakfast and Awards Ceremony. Catering to the participating artists was a priority from the start. Another traditional perk for the exhibiting artist was established approximately in 1985: a “Purchase Award” consists of the purchase of selected pieces of art by up to a dozen corporate sponsors. In addition to their artwork being selected, the artist receives a ribbon award and extra $200.
Entertainment now consists of mostly local talent which has a large local and regional drawing featuring R&B, Jazz, Country, Big Band, etc. Occasionally, a known national entertainer may perform which adds to a fun filled weekend of quality visual and performing arts.
April 11-17 2016
Mailsail Art Festival
The MAF began in 1985 in the nearby town of Indialantic, seeking to showcase the region's flourishing artistic community and bring visitors to 5th Avenue businesses, says Linda Castelli, Vice President of the Melbourne Art Festival. "As the festival grew and US-192 was widened and an additional causeway bridge was built, the merchants on 5th Avenue decided that the festival was more of a hindrance than a help so a motion was made to find a new location." It wasn't long that the City of Melbourne was recognized as an appropriate location for future Festivals, with the historic downtown and strong support for the arts.
Today, the Melbourne Arts Festival contributes a flavor to the City of Melbourne that benefits everyone, from business people to local citizens to visitors from throughout the region. "Supporting the arts and local artists in any community is important because it improves the quality of life," notes Castelli. "And according to the Department of Education, students with high levels of arts participation outperform arts-poor students on virtually every level."
Castelli is bullish on the arts in general, noting that studies have demonstrated that children who engage with the arts for three hours each day for a year have significantly better outcomes in a variety of measures, including being between three and four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office, participate in math and science fairs, and win awards for writing. Between this evidence and the long history of humanity's artistic endeavors, it's fair to say that the arts seem to play a big part in healthy development.
Artists from throughout Florida and beyond apply for positions showing at the MAF. Artists are chosen by jury selection, says Castelli. "Artists are then invited to participate and awards are presented in each of the different medias represented. Judging is done by professional judges and winners are automatically invited to return the next year."
The MAF goes beyond just selling art, or course. Otherwise it wouldn't really be a festival! "The MAF does provide a full stage that hosts great live music throughout the two day event including a street party on Saturday night," says Castelli, "and a wonderful Kids' World area where the kids can have their faces painted, make crafts and enjoy entertainment on a smaller stage geared just for them."
April 23-24 2016
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