The completion of the first phase of North Boulevard Town Square couldn’t have come at a better time for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.
The Council presents FestForAll each May, and now has a brand-new venue for some of its performances during the two-day event.
“We have some new fun vignette performances that are going to be on the Town Lawn stage (part of Town Square). We really wanted to engage the new Town Square, so we’re very excited that the construction fences are down and we can really use this dynamic space,” said Kathy Scherer, deputy director of the Arts Council.
“We’ll have our main stage on the Galvez Plaza and while that stage is changing from act to act, we’re going to have our vignette performances.
Those performances will include Ben Bell and the Stardust Boys, Betsy Braud, N’Fungola Sibo Dance & Drum Company and others, a sprinkling of things on that stage,” Scherer said.
Diverting from just music, also on the Town Lawn will be hula hoop and flag performer Elise Duran, chainsaw wood sculptor Burt Fleming, and pottery demonstrations, “Cup/Cake Pottery,” by Leann McClurg Cambric.
For some hands-on art interaction, Anita LeJeune and the Community School for the Arts will offer live painting.
“They’ll set up canvases, and people can come by, pick up a paintbrush and make their mark on the festival,” Scherer said. “I think people will have a lot of fun with that.”
“We just wanted to keep the whole space animated, because it’s such a lovely environment,” she said. “Seating is available, but bringing lawn chairs is also encouraged.”
For a second year, the Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets (BRASS) is coordinating a Velo des Artes bicycle ride beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St. The two-wheeled tour will view public art downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods until noon when the festival opens, and riders can park at the BRASS bike corral and take in the festival.
“Around the world” is the theme of the Children’s Village. The Junior League of Baton Rouge, which operates the village, will focus on the U.S., Mexico and China with its activities for the little ones.
“The kids can make Chinese lanterns and maracas,” Scherer said.
Also planned are animal encounters from BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, face painting by Liz Lopes and Natalie Romero, a “Keeping Kids Safe” program by Volunteers of American and the Junior League, a Lego booth from KidCam Summer Camps, cartoon caricatures by Keith Douglas, music lessons by Baton Rouge Music Studios, and art lessons by Terry Farrell.
Moving over to the Artist Village on the Shaw Center Plaza and on North Boulevard, visitors will find close to 100 visual artists from across the U.S. showing and selling pottery, woodwork, stained glass, jewelry, painting and more. As a shopping incentive, each $30 spent will give the buyer a chance to win prizes including a two-night stay at Auld Sweet Olive Bed & Breakfast in New Orleans’ Faubourg Marigny and gift certificates to Bistro Byronz and Tsunami.
The artists will likewise receive cash and other awards, including Best of Show, Award of Excellence, three Awards of Distinction, two Awards of Achievement, and five Awards of Merit. This year’s judge is Rick Perez, assistant director at the Stephen Cohen Gallery is Los Angeles.
FestForAll goers also can take a break from the sun and the strolling and take in a movie at the Manship Theatre. Man in the Glass: the Dale Brown Story will be screened at 1 p.m. Saturday. The documentary tells the story of how the overachiever Brown, from tiny Minot, N.D., found his way to the LSU, where he was hired as the head men’s basketball coach in 1972. Brown succeeded on the court, as off the court he worked to desegregate the basketball program, which would lead to complete integration of the school; battled with the NCAA, and wrote letters to a teen Shaquille O’Neal which would help mold him into a superstar. The film stars O’Neal, Matthew McConaughey, John Wooden, Tim Brando, Dick Vitale, Dick Greogry and Don Yaeger. The sneak preview is free.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved