A weekend of fests
Art in the Park and People Fest meet at Veterans Park
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Artists Association presents “Art in the Park” Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Veterans Park, on Elm Street between Merrimack and Central Streets in downtown Manchester. This year about 35 artists will be showing and selling original artwork, prints and cards. On average, each artist brings about 30 pieces per booth, according to organizer Tiffani Frisella. Although it is not juried, judges will choose pieces to award first-, second- and third-place prizes in categories of oil and acrylic, watercolor, pastel, photography and mixed media. Mayor Frank Guinta will present the awards with Georgie Reagan, the Mayor’s Assistant for the Arts. One of the NH Moose Parade sculptures is expected to be displayed.
Each artist marks a piece that is available for the Art in the Park raffle. Visitors can buy raffle tickets and pick the artwork they want to win. Raffle pieces are valued between $500 and $1,000.
New this year, MAA will provide a booklet with a map of the booths, and information about the artists including how to contact them. Peter Noonan, who illustrates and creates editorial cartoons for the Hippo and the Manchester Express, will be one of the judges.
Art in the Park started more than 40 years ago, but has been consistently held at Veterans Park for nine years. The show includes emerging artists and well-known ones who’ve won national awards, Frisella said.
Pastel artist Robin Frisella, Darlene Boissonneault, who works in oil and pastel, photographer Kathy Radford, and mixed media artist James Chase are some of the participating artists.
Art in the Park took place at the same time as the “Bel Esprit Arts and Cultural Event” last year. It was started as an umbrella to the MAA art show and Mill City Festival. This year, however, the MAA is sharing Veterans Park with People Fest.
People Fest is a revival of an international festival in Manchester. The last one before was in 1990, according to People Fest organizer Nabil Migalli.
Manchester has Greek festivals, Latino, African and Lebanese festivals, “but for a long time, we didn’t have a celebration for all people together — this is for all residents of Manchester,” Migalli said. It’s to welcome new neighbors and acknowledge heritage, he said.
“As residents of Manchester we live next to each other, we meet at work, at coffeehouses, at the supermarket ... but we rarely have a chance to get together with no agenda,” Migalli said. This event is for everyone to meet just for fun and entertainment, he said.
It’s a chance for people to demonstrate dances, music, culture and food. The “more we know each other” the more pleasant it becomes to interact, he said.
Migalli is president of the Arab-American Forum in New Hampshire, among other duties such as serving on the Martin Luther King Coalition in New Hampshire.
Last year was the initial People Fest and it was held in October at Beech Street School. This year it is being moved to Saturday, Sept. 6, in Veterans Park along with MAA’s Art in the Park.
People Fest is an opportunity for cultural associations to provide information, and government and nonprofit service providers to make themselves known, such as New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Businesses can also introduce themselves. The number of exhibitors grew from 30 last year to about 49 for 2008. The number of sponsors also increased.
Admission is free. Entertainment is planned from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Art on the Common
When: Saturday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (rain date Sept. 7)
Where: Town common at Mammoth and Pillsbury roads in Londonderry
Who: Londonderry Arts Council, www.aotc.londonderryculture.org
What: Art on the Common has grown popular with artists in its fourth year. Organizer Elaine Farmer said 50 have signed up for this one-day event on the common. Last year, 42 participated. Artists come from the local area plus Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. Some will be demonstrating, including one who will create portraits on site for visitors. “Not too many artists feel comfortable with that kind of pressure,” Farmer said.
At Art on the Common find Phil Bean’s oils; Bill Earnshaw’s watercolor collage; copper mixed media from Phil Gauthier; acrylic, gouache, pastel from Lois Beighley; oil and collage by Debra Grubbs, and other work.
Nutfield Session musicians perform between 1 and 3 p.m. The Londonderry High School math club is selling food concessions as a fundraiser. There will be an artwork competition for monetary prizes. Traditional original fine art, prints and cards will be shown, but not jewelry or crafts, Farmer said.
People Fest 2008
Saturday, Sept. 6, at Veterans Park in Manchester
10 a.m.: opening remarks from Natalie Shaw
10:30 a.m.: Native American Dance
11a.m.: Dragon Dance, Vietnamese dancers, Mexican dancers
11:30 a.m.: Bagpipers Doug Rickard and Sam Bradley
noon: Peruvian dancers, Ballet Apu, Rwandan singers
12:30 p.m.: Rosheen Irish dancers
1 p.m.: Boston Arnis Club (martial arts)
1:30 p.m.: African’ Dinka dancers
2 p.m.: Jerry Jean and His Pickin’ Buddies blue grass/old timey music
2:45 p.m.: Smoked Kielbasa world music
3:15 p.m.: Candombe dancers of Uruguay
3:45 p.m.: Kelley Morris & The Fallen Free blues-folk
4:30 p.m.: The Lufungula Family singing group of Congo
5 p.m.: cloggers
5:30 p.m.: Indian dance
5:45 p.m.: Muchachos
Art in the Park
What: About 35 artists show and sell work
Who: Manchester Artists Association
When: Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Veterans Park, on Elm Street between Merrimack and Central streets in downtown Manchester.
Contact: www.manchester-artists.org, 785-6437
New England Culture Fest
When: Saturday, Sept. 6, 2-10 p.m.
Where: Enterprise Bank Parking Lot, across from 172 Middle St. in Lowell, Mass.
Contact: (978) 455-6025.
What: Visual arts is a big part of the New England Culture Fest, as is world music and a fair trade fashion show.
The Culture Fest area will be marked on Middle Street by the 200-foot long Art Fence, made from cotton spun at the historic Boott Cotton Mills. Sarah Kolker of Brooklyn heads the project. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, studied in Jamaica, Pennsylvania and New York, and has worked with the Philadelphia Mural Arts program. She’s exhibited at The Protest Space in Chelsea, N.Y., and Infusion Gallery in Philadelphia. The Art Fence team includes artist and art educator Eduardo Alexander Rabel of Brooklyn, Brazilian graffiti artist Eder Muniz, and youth artists Prrom Chan, Erik Vorn, Shampain Reedy, and Damaury Lizardo from the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell.
Valerie Parker of Second World, which organizes Culture Fest, said that the Art Fence project evolved this year. UTEC’s Fresh Roots Farm program provided beets to dye the fabric. Boott Cotton Mills is about three blocks from the festival grounds and Parker pointed to the Lowell mills’ role in the labor movement. She thinks it’s an interesting connection with the festival, which focuses on fair trade. Each artist is contributing his or her own concept to the fence, including “scenes of empowerment from around the world.” Greenleaf tree service is providing tree branches to secure the Art Fence.
When the sun starts going down at about 8 p.m., a video projection onto surrounding buildings will start. Parker said the video features images from Second World’s fair trade story archive which has been filmed around world over the past 10 years. “Part of the reason for festival is to raise funds to complete films,” Parker said. That video will be mixed with images from the stage. The 15- piece Brazilian “Dance-Drum Extravaganza” Samba Tremeterra is a headlining act. The Juanito Pascual Flamenco Quartet, Black Bear Moon Ensemble, Vadalna Tribal Dance Company, D. Scott and The Family, System Noise, La Tuza, Incus and Every Good Boy also perform. A quick “Fashionably Fair” runway show is scheduled for about 9 p.m. during the Samba Tremeterra performance.
The “Ethical Art & Biz Expo” will include more than 70 booths. Art projects and children’s activities, local artists and arts and crafts demonstrations such as lace weaving are planned. The fair trade businesses at the expo mean giveaways like coffee from Green Mountain and coffee and chocolate from Equal Exchange.
Buy two Culture Fest admission tickets for the price of one at www.second-world.com or pay $10 per adult at the event. Children under 12 are admitted free
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