The Columbus Arts Festival Kicks Off the Summer Season

By Jennifer Sadler and Anne Shackleford

Summer—‘tis the season for outdoor fun and festivals! Make this a summer to remember and take advantage of the many great festivals happening all summer long in Columbus. Most local favorite festivals are free, compliments of generous corporate sponsors, dedicated civic organizers and volunteers.

The 49th annual Columbus Arts Festival presented by Time Warner Cable, consistently ranked as one of best juried festivals in the U.S., will kick off the summer event season this weekend, June 4, 5 & 6.

Located in downtown's Discovery District, this year’s Festival will feature fine art and fine craft from more than 220 nationally acclaimed artists, along with continuous live entertainment, gourmet food and hands-on art activities for all ages. Artists representing 34 states and two countries, Canada and Israel, will exhibit artwork in 15 different categories. Hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and diverse backgrounds are expected to attend and discover the art at Columbus' "kick-off to summer" event.

Visual art is just one aspect of the Columbus Arts Festival. The Main Stage provides ongoing musical entertainment representing a wide range of genres—from jazz to rock, bluegrass to pop and more. The Ohio Magazine Word is Art Stage will highlight talented poets, both student and adult, and will host the 6th Annual Poetry Slam on Saturday. Adults and children can try their hands at creating a masterpiece in the Giant Eagle Hands-On Arts Activities Area. Jewelry-making, paper casting and throwing clay on a potter’s wheel are just a few of the activities led by local artists and arts organizations this weekend.

Some of the highlights for this year’s event are the many Columbus and Central Ohio area artists participating, the performances at the Ohio Magazine Word is Art Poetry Stage, and the fun and interactive social media and online contests—the Columbus Arts Festival Flickr Photo Contest and the Tweet and Go Seek scavenger hunt.

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BEHIND THE SCENES:  The Making of a Great Festival

By Anne Shackleford and Jennifer Sadler

GCAC recently interviewed some of the key players behind the Columbus Arts Festival. The many talented visual artists, loyal and hardworking volunteers and generous corporate sponsors help make the Festival not only a community favorite, but a nationally acclaimed event.

BRIAN BECHER: Glass Artist Participating at the 2010 Columbus Arts Festival

“I try to put my own twist on everything I do,” says Brian Becher, perched at the lip of his toasty Hilltop glass studio. Appearances are deceptive in this place—from the outside, the studio warehouse is a relic of artists past with leftover material scattered across the yard. But step inside and dodge blasts of heat from the furnace, and you’ll find a treasure trove of vases, goblets, platters and bowls, all in Becher’s dramatic color weave and twisting lattice patterns. Becher, a graduate of OSU’s glass program and a five-year veteran of the Columbus Arts Festival, sat down to talk with us about the Festival and his work.

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RENEA HUSHOUR:  Co-chair for the Festival's Operations Team

Saving baby ducklings and engineering quick solutions in a crunch—all in a day’s work for Renea Hushour, Operations Committee co-chair for the Columbus Arts Festival. Currently a school nurse at South High School, Hushour served as a medic during the Vietnam War before transferring to the military band and then to the Reserves. Maybe it was that military pluck and discipline that led Hushour to be referred to as the Columbus Arts Festival’s very own “McGuyver.” Hushour gives us an inside look at over 15 years volunteering for the Columbus Arts Festival.

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Presenting Sponsor for the Columbus Arts Festival

High-speed internet and high quality digital cable isn’t all you should think of when you think about Time Warner Cable. The organization is also passionate about supporting community involvement, education, and the arts. It’s a commitment that shows as Time Warner Cable enters its third year as the presenting sponsor of the Columbus Arts Festival.  Mark Dunford, the Regional Vice President of Operations for Time Warner Cable Mid-Ohio Division, discusses the organization’s philanthropic efforts and educational initiatives, as well as what the Columbus Arts Festival means to them.

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39th Annual Comfest

Social consciousness, environmentalism, voter registration, eclectic art—and, lest we forget, distinctive souvenir beer mugs—all define Comfest, Columbus’s “Party with a Purpose.”

Comfest began in 1972 as a collaboration between local, progressive community organizations.

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CAPA presents Festival Latino 2010

Celebrate family and community with a day of children’s activities, music, food and dance from the heart of Latin America! Festival Latino, in its second year presented by CAPA, is Ohio’s largest Hispanic/Latino event. The festival has been a Columbus favorite since its 1996 inception as a five-hour event put on by the City of Columbus’ Music in the Air program.

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Columbus Recreation and Parks presents 2010 Jazz & Ribs Fest

From sweet scats to spicy barbeque, the Jazz & Ribs Fest promises to be a sensory sensation. Columbus Recreation and Parks invites you to enjoy hot ribs and cool jazz at the event that has gotten taste buds watering and toes tapping for over 30 years.

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