The Walk Continues:
ArtWalk 2010 prepares for its biggest event to date
ine years ago, Wilmington arts and antiques joined forces to create a little downtown festival called the “Art and Antique Walk.” As the antique stores began to move toward Castle Street, drawn in by the newly-minted antique district, the arts were left to walk alone. Yet, the festival began to expand. “I also wanted to focus more just on various forms of art, like literary, music, dance,” Chris Andrews, ArtWalk’s head promoter, says. “So, it made sense to drop ‘antiques’ from the name and just become the ArtWalk.” Andrews took over the event in 2004 after moving to Wilmington from Cleveland, Ohio. With years of experience promoting concerts and events under his belt, Andrews asked the Downtown Business Alliance if he could reorganize what was still the Art and Antique Walk. After getting the green light from the DBA, Andrews says he wanted to focus on two things: the local artist and the abundance of historic downtown. Since, the festival has become a tour
by: Lauren Hodges
ArtBlast/ArtWalk 2010 September 8th - 11th All over Wilmington! www.artsblastwilmington.com de force of creative celebration. “It is a great testament to our city, our historic downtown venues and, most importantly our artistic community, to see this event grow and show what secret gems we have been nurturing in Wilmington,” Andrews says. ArtWalk 2010 offers the biggest year yet. With a record number of participants, the attractions are almost too many to list. On the roster this year are independent film screenings, live theater productions, a visual-art festival, live musical performances, dance performances, literary readings, galleries and an art parade. Andrews has
WALK THE WALK: The 2010 ArtWalk will be a part of the first ArtsBlast, taking place September 8th -11th all over Wilmington, celebrating art in all mediums. Photo courtesy of Chris Andrews
Grab a cup of Joe and pull up a seat—Encore Cafe will titillate your curiosity and fulfill your desire to stay connected!
Here, you’ll find a collection of wondrously random information, staying true to the spirit of Wilmington’s premier printed weekly. We’ll be serving up podcasts, blogs from new writers, events, random posts—a whole mish-mash of entertainment, right at your virtual fingertips.
“Everything. Anything. The World.” by Carley Yansak
“ILMusic: Songs penned in Wilmington” by Justin Lacy
“Smorgasbord” by Marco Raye
“The Fashion Beat” by Claire LaSure
www.encorepub.com/encorecafe 10 encore | september 8-14, 2010 | www.encorepub.com
been hard at work updating the calendar on the event’s Web site to make sure the public can stay in the know. “There will be such a wide range of items to observe, enjoy and purchase,” he says. “There’s something for everybody.” He is most excited about a new schedule he and the staff are calling ArtBlast. “I think that is the biggest news,” he says. “This year, I’ve created a larger five-day event that is like an umbrella that covers and includes all things artistic, and brings focus to the wonderful venues that feature and or support the arts.” ArtBlast is making its debut this year, turning the walk into a week-long celebration. Theater performances will take place at Cape Fear Playhouse at Newcastle, Front Street Brewery’s Beam Room, Nutt Street Comedy Room and Thalian Hall. DanceBlast will take place on a Friday at the Hannah Block Historic USO with Contra Dance performing on Saturday. Live music venues include Friday night jazz at Bellamy Mansion and the Soapbox. Film screenings will be at Thalian Hall and the Beam Room on Wednesday. Visual art exhibits will be held at Opera Room Bar and Gallery on Thursday, Bottega Gallery on Friday, and the New Hanover County Public Library on Saturday. A juried art exhibit will be shown on Thursday at Projekte.
The parade is a returning event, known as “The Grand Procession of Peculiar Pets,” taking place on Saturday during the ArtWalk at 1:30 p.m. on the corner of S. Front and Orange streets, making its way north along Front Street. Participants spent last week in free workshops all over town making costumes themed toward peculiar pets. “The parade was a hit last year,” Andrews says. “We can’t wait to see what everyone came up with this weekend.” Unfortunately, the recent hurricane is a reminder that any outdoor event, no matter how big, is at the mercy of the weather. Yet, Andrews maintains the importance of planning the ArtBlast, pointing out how crucial attendance at these events are to the creative community. “The beauty of art, in all of its forms, must be supported for its continued existence. Support can be in many forms, like going to a play, buying a painting or listening to a band. But when the masses of people come out to support large festivals like ArtsBlast, WE Fest, or Cucalorus Film Festival, it shows our local and state representatives the importance of assisting culture to exist, through a much-needed financial commitment. The public has to show that they care, and that’s a huge step toward getting commitment that trickles from a large festival down to the starving artist. Support the North Carolina Arts Council, and they will support us!” Visit www.artblastwilmington.com for a complete schedule of events, venue locations and information on participating artists.
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