Archive for the ‘Arts Festival’ Category

The 7th Annual Clemson Festival of Arts Takes Place in Clemson, SC – May 20, 2017

May 10, 2017

Many of the area’s best artists will present their work – including clay, painting, jewelry, fiber, glass, sculpture and more – at the 7th Annual Clemson Festival of Arts on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 10am to 5pm.  A ‘Parade of Characters’ for all ages featuring princesses, superheroes and other popular costumes kicks off the event at 9:30am and is followed by art demonstrations, hands-on art projects, music and food throughout the day.

The Clemson Festival of Arts is unique in our area. Children, family and friends will enjoy an ‘art full’ Saturday that offers something for everyone.

In addition to the fine, handcrafted art for sale, everyone will enjoy the artist demonstrations and a visit to the outdoor ‘pop up’ gallery. This year’s Festival features the largest community artwork piece yet and everyone is invited to help create it – it’s an amazing, one-of-a kind work!

No child will be bored at the Kids Art Park! Creative, fun, hands-on projects available throughout the day include:
-a cardboard box maze to explore and decorate with graffiti
-teepees to decorate and enclose by yarnbombing
-a variety of devices to make and decorate bubbles
-a dress up stage and mini plays
-a woodworking area to hammer together individual creations
-hat making by transforming brown bags and scrap paper into crazy head gear
-a paint station offering three different painting techniques including pendulums, foam stamping and squirt bottles
-and, of course, the ever popular face painting

For adults who want to experience art in a ‘close up and personal’ way, the Art in Action tents offer projects throughout the day that are the perfect way to give it a try! Create a ‘make & take’ clay Angel or Pinwheel Christmas ornament, a mixed media piece under the guidance of Ellen Kochansky, a unique jewelry piece, or any of several painting projects.

Music abounds throughout the Festival with the sounds of Betsy Bish, Sam Winzenread & Accompanist, SEWA Drummers and Rob Seel.

Most everyone will work up an appetite, so the covered Food Court offers food and beverage selections from Friends of the Farm, The Arts Center’s Hot Dog Stand, Super Taco, Little Orbits and King of Pops.

Be sure not to miss this fun-filled Festival, which gets bigger and better with each passing year. The Festival is FREE and takes place in downtown Clemson at Catherine Smith Plaza, Jaycee Park and Edgewood Avenue.

Visit (www.explorearts.org) for Festival activity details and project and demonstration times.

The Red Rose Festival, Lancaster, SC’s Signature Event, Returns May 19 & 20, 2017

April 28, 2017

Everything will be coming up roses when the eighth annual Red Rose Festival sets the stage for a weekend of free family fun in the Cultural Arts District of the Red Rose City, Lancaster, SC. There is no admission fee for the popular two-day music festival, which also features children’s rides and activities, arts and crafts, food vendors, Red Rose Photography Contest, and much more. The festival opens 6pm Friday, May 19 with an official welcome from the Main Street stage. After Red Rose Photography Contest winners are announced, live music begins at 6:30pm and ends 10pm.  Kicking off Friday’s music line-up will be Lancaster’s hometown favorite, Triple Play Band, bringing the best of classic rock, beach music, and ‘70’s dance tunes to the stage.  Fiftywatt Freight Train, a hard rock quartet out of Charlotte, N.C., takes the stage at 8:30pm, delivering an adrenaline-fueled, nonstop combination of original and cover songs. Food vendors that will be on hand selling all the festival favorites include Allison Concessions, Chappell’s Snack Shack, Gripp’s Grills, Jones Lee Concessions, Southern Fried Factory, Tastes Like Chicken, World’s Greatest Funnel Cakes, Izzy’s Ice, Pelicans Snowballs, Snowie, and Soul Ice.

Those who enjoy running for a cause can take part in Lancaster Rotary Club’s 5K Race for Charity beginning at 7:45am on Saturday, May 20 at Lancaster High School and finish in time to arrive in the Cultural Arts District for day two of the Red Rose Festival. The festival is pet-friendly and dog owners are encouraged to register man’s best friend between 9:15-10am to compete for prizes in the annual dog show.

At 10am on Saturday, May 20, the festival opens with background music from the Main Street stage, as the Red Rose Dog Show takes place on the grounds of Lancaster County History Museum. Prizes will be awarded for Most Adorable Puppy, Best Smile, Biggest, Smallest, Couch Potato, Terrific Pet Trick, Golden Oldie, Wiggliest Tail, and Red Rose Best in Show. Kenaki Karate takes the stage at 11am, with demonstrations and children will enjoy a great variety of free rides, games, and activities throughout the Cultural Arts District.  Kids will be amazed by Captain Jim’s Magic and will not want to miss the historic Main Street Post Office, where Lancaster County School District will be hosting a book give-away for children of all ages.  Stop by Sue’s Face Painting to add a bit of festive design.

Browse the arts and crafts area for handcrafted and unique items while enjoying your favorite festival foods or stop by one of the downtown restaurants and cafes to enjoy a leisurely lunch. Locally owned bottle shop, The Craft Stand, will offer an outdoor beer garden at their 134 South Main Street location, with a great selection of craft brews.  In the market square, expect to find a variety of gifts, services, and non-profit information. Look for Cottage Chics, Dill Pickle Woodworks, K1 Marblebillia, Mojo’s Hodgepodge, Once Upon a Tub, Southern Soap Shop, Sues Face Painting, Allen Tate Company/ Mz Libby Team, Barbara Downer, Carolina Cardinal Creations, Carolina Chiropractic and Wellness, Carolina Home Remodeling, Carolina Novelties, Cee’s Jewelry and Accessories, Courtney Sports, Cultivate Health Chiropractic, Dana Roderick, Home Care and Hospice of Lancaster, Impressions Fashion Boutique, InStitches, Leafguard of Charlotte, Lula Roe Angela Cockrell, Mobley Drugs, Mookie’s Kettle Korn, Nina Paparazzi, Peace’s Pieces, Posh by Cristy, Providence Chiropractic, Scentsy, Senior Benefits Center LLC, Cornerstone Bible Church, Giant-Giving In A Needy Time, Green Pastures, JAARS, Lancaster Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness, Lancaster County Bee Keepers Association, Lancaster County Youth Football.

Shared Hope International, Thorton for Congress, Women’s Enrichment Center Lotus Boutique, Lynn’s Concessions, The Crafty Peddler, Arrow Pointe Federal Credit Union, and Magnabilities.

Cool off in the welcoming galleries of the Native American Studies Center to view gallery exhibits focused on Native American art, history, and culture. Visitors will also enjoy archeological viewing, historic archives, and the world’s largest collection of Catawba pottery & artifacts.  Native Artisans will be on site selling art, providing art and music demonstrations, and storytelling from 10am until 1pm on Saturday. Browse the downtown businesses in the Cultural Arts District while getting from place to place is as easy as walking across the street! Help raise funds for the Community Playhouse of Lancaster, United Way, and American Cancer Society by testing your skills at the Dunking Booth from 10am-7pm.

On the Main Street Stage at noon, Mikey will perform a blend of original folk and rock songs that he has written. Following Mikey’s smooth delivery, RJ Adams Music takes the stage at 1pm.  A native Carolinian, RJ and songwriter/guitarist/producer James Eudy write story-telling lyrics, backed by high energy Funk, Americana, and Soul music created by the duo. At 2pm, Mike Faulkenberry and the Whiskey Prophets bring their own style of classic rock/blues/jam band covers to the stage. Sugarshine, a local band composed of five talented Lancaster musicians, will perform at 4pm, ushering in the evening with their original Reggae style music, with a twist of rock and blues. At 6pm, settle onto your blanket or lawn chair as Hamilton Loomis Band takes center stage with a music style about which Guitar Magazine says “If blues, soul, and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the center of it”. The two day music festival will close the evening entertainment with Purple Masquerade, a high performance celebration of an icon. Prince’s greatest hit songs, elaborate costumes, and awesome stage presence guarantee a show that is fun and exciting – a show that celebrates the life and music of one of the music world’s biggest legends.

The evening will end with a bang, as fireworks illuminate the Cultural Arts District to signal the culmination of another year’s fun and entertainment. Always free admission, free parking, free rides, and fun for the whole family.

Festival-goers should be sure to register at the See Lancaster tent for a 48” Sony Smart TV, to be given away just before Saturday night’s closing act, Purple Masquerade.

The Red Rose Dog Show is sponsored by Nutramax and ArrowPointe Federal Credit Union. 5K Race for Charity is sponsored by Lancaster Rotary Club. Sponsors of the Red Rose Festival include Rapid Signs, The Lancaster News, Interstate 107FM, 104.1 the bridge, and City of Lancaster.

Red Rose Festival applications are being accepted until May 1 for artists, craftsmen, food vendors, non-profit agencies, and commercial vendors. Apply online at (www.lancastercitysc.com), e-mail Events and Festivals Manager, Joe Timmons at (events@lancastercitysc.com) or call 803/289-1498.

Vendors Sought for 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest in North Charleston, SC – Deadline Apr. 14, 2017

March 30, 2017

The 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest is taking place May 3-7, 2017 in North Charleston, SC. Vendor opportunities are available for artists, crafters, guilds, antique merchants, and arts-related businesses and organizations at the Arty Block Party on May 4, as well as the Arts Fest Expo on May 6 & 7. Complete details and application instructions for these vendor opportunities are available for download at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply. The deadline to submit applications is Apr. 14, 2017.

The North Charleston Arts Fest Arty Block Party is a new event combining what was previously the Arts Fest Art Walk and Arts Fest Street Dance. The event will be held from 5:00-9:00pm on Thursday, May 4, in the Olde Village area of North Charleston near Park Circle. East Montague Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic between Jenkins Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Vendors will line the street between Chateau Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Aside from vendors, the event also features live music by the Shem Creek Boogie Band and Contemporary Violinist Daniel D., live painting demos, hands-on art activities, a kid’s zone, and more. It’s a night of art and culture for the entire family to enjoy!

Vendor spaces are open to artists, fine craft artisans, crafters, guilds, and arts-related businesses and non-profit organizations. Fees range from $10 to $30.

The Arts Fest Expo, considered the festival’s flagship event, takes place May 6 & 7 from 11am-5pm at the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The Expo offers free admission and parking to more than 40 performances on four stages; judged art and photography shows; the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit; a gem & mineral show; children’s activities; a food courtyard; and art, craft, and antique vendors.

Vendor spaces are open to artists, fine craft artisans, and crafters selling original, hand-made items, as well as art guilds and antique merchants. This year, all vendors will be placed indoors in Exhibit Hall B, with vendor spaces separated by pipe and drape. Fees range from $50-$80.

The North Charleston Arts Fest has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state of South Carolina with a schedule that offers something for everyone, including concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations, and much more. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, or to download vendor applications and entry instructions for the Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions & Exhibitions, visit (NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com).

For more information about other programs offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at (northcharleston.org), or call 843/740-5854.

Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, Announces Date for Spartanburg Soaring! 2017 – Apr. 22, 2017

February 28, 2017

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The Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, has set the date for its fourth annual Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival for Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 11am-5pm. This free and family-friendly festival has quickly become a much-anticipated event for people of all ages from all over the world. Hundreds of kites fill the sky above Barnet Park in downtown Spartanburg, complemented by live music, food, and children’s activities. During the course of the day, individuals and kite club members float kites of every imaginable shape and size to the sky, from small kites to whale-size kites made from the latest technology and advanced materials. It is a colorful and creative experience.

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The Spartanburg community has embraced the kite as a symbol of its creative, progressive, and playful spirit. Last year, the event attracted more than 3,000 participants from as far away as Europe.

“Every year we grow the Festival in terms of creativity and attendance,” Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, said. “It is part of our mission to increase community vibrancy and civic engagement. It is a beautiful showcase of what it means to live in Spartanburg. It is a symbol of our progressive mindset, our creativity, our curiosity, and our playful nature.”

Chapman Cultural Center is now accepting the participation of kite clubs, food vendors, artists, and musicians.

For more information about this event, please call 864/542-ARTS or visit our Facebook Event Page at (https://www.facebook.com/ChapmanCulturalCenter).

North Charleston Arts Fest Reveals 2017 Design Competition Winner – Judy McSween

February 8, 2017

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The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department (SC) is pleased to announce Judy McSween of Charleston as the winner of the 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, McSween’s oil painting, titled “Scraping the Sky II”, will be used to promote the 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 3-7, 2017.  In addition, the artist received a $500 purchase award and the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection.

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“Scraping the Sky II” by Judy McSween

McSween’s design was selected from a total of 60 entries by artists from across the state. The selection was made by a review panel appointed by the Cultural Arts Department who judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture.

According to McSween, “Scraping the Sky II” evokes the exuberance of a new day and the anticipation of discovery. The piece was created after a summer trip the artist took with her husband, daughter, and nieces, where they explored galleries, parks, and restaurants. “I painted the fresh, inviting view recalling the vibrant city skyline when we embarked,” she explains. “It parallels how I approach a blank canvas – with a simple plan and with excitement to see what I’ll uncover along the way.”

McSween was born in Warren, OH, and earned a BFA with a specialization in painting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. She began her career as an art teacher in Warren, OH, and taught art at a number of private and public schools when she relocated to Myrtle Beach, SC, in the late eighties. Her attention turned from painting and teaching to raising a family of four children after a move to Lexington, SC, in the late nineties. She returned to painting full time when her family relocated to Charleston, SC, in 2008.

McSween has participated in numerous regional art shows. She was the featured artist at The Saul Alexander Gallery located in the Charleston County Library in January 2016 and was invited to be an exhibiting member in Charleston’s “Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Artists Exhibit” that spring in Marion Square. Her work was selected for the 2010 “Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibit” and has been awarded Honorable Mentions in the North Charleston Arts Fest’s Judged Fine Art Competition. Her paintings have also been featured on the cover of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Program Guide and the 2015 baseball novel, “Dreaming .400”.

McSween’s paintings are primarily abstract with an emphasis on color and texture. A painting may come to viewers as representative – such as a landscape – and at other times, her paintings are defined by a thought or idea. She currently paints in her home studio and teaches part-time at The Montessori Community School of Charleston. For more information about the artist, or to see her work, visit (www.judymcsween.com).

A new series of McSween’s abstract land and sea inspired scenes will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2017. The exhibit will also feature the winning piece, “Scraping the Sky II”. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during the Arts Fest Expo from 11am-5pm on May 6 & 7, 2017. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843/740-5854, e-mail to (culturalarts@northcharleston.org), or visit (www.NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com).

My Not So Annual Trip to the Celebration of Seagrove Potters in Seagrove, NC

November 28, 2016

We have just posted a blog entry at Carolina Arts Unleashed at (http://carolinaarts.com/wordpress/) about our latest trip to Seagrove, NC, to the 9th Celebration of Seagrove Potters.

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A tile from Acacia Art Tile at Whynot Pottery

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Works from JLK Jewelry

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Works from Bulldog Pottery

African American Fiber Artists Sought for Special Exhibition in North Charleston, SC

November 11, 2016

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The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is seeking entries from African American textile artists from across the nation for a special exhibition presented as a component of the 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 3-7 in North Charleston, SC. African American artists, ages 18 and up, living in the United States and working in the medium of fiber are invited to participate in the “11th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition”, titled “Move On Up and Reach the Higher Ground”. The exhibition will be on display at North Charleston City Hall from May 1-June 23, 2017. A $30 entry fee applies and allows artists to submit up to four entries. The application is available online at (www.NorthCharlestonCulturalArtsDepartment.SlideRoom.com).

Deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Curated by award winning and nationally exhibiting textile artist, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this unique exhibition offers African American fiber artists a showcase to display their original and innovative designs. This year’s exhibition calls for fiber art inspired by the aspirational music of the 1970’s that sought to unify and lift the spirit of our nation, specifically songs such as Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield. As we find ourselves, once again, in a time of great division and unrest, the challenge for this special exhibit is for artists to create a fiber work, such as an art quilt, doll, wearable art piece, etc., that explores the ideas of creating a better world, journeying toward self-awareness, and ascending to a position of loving acceptance of all citizens.

Following the close of the show, up to twenty works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2017/2018 Traveling Exhibitions Program. Sites across South Carolina may request the exhibit to tour in their facilities, thus providing additional exposure for the selected artists.

The “11th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: Move On Up and Reach the Higher Ground” will be on display 8am-8pm daily from May 1-June 23, 2017, on the 1st and 2nd floors of North Charleston City Hall, located at 2500 City Hall Lane in North Charleston. Admission is free. A free public reception in honor of the artists will be held at City Hall on Friday, May 5, 2017, from 6-8pm.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, the exhibition, or other exhibition opportunities, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843/740-5854, e-mail to (culturalarts@northcharleston.org), or visit (www.NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com).

SC State Museum in Columbia, SC, Hosts Annual Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party – Sept. 24, 2016

September 8, 2016

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The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC, is kicking off the fall season with its annual Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party from 10am-5pm, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The festival presents a mixture of opportunities for guests to enjoy South Carolina barbeque and food, craft beer, live bluegrass music, artist demonstrations, kid friendly activities and more outside and inside the museum.

The festival will feature a variety of barbeque made by award-winning South Carolina pit masters cooked on-site at the event including mustard-based sauce by Jim Hayes of West Columbia, light tomato sauce by Buddy Rogers of Marion, and vinegar and pepper sauce by David Elliott of Hemingway. In addition, chicken bog, delicious sides and local craft beer will be available for guests.

Throughout the day, there will be live music from a variety of bluegrass bands performing, including Steam Drill, Willie Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass and Blue Iguanas. The SC Bluegrass and Traditional Music Association will also be on hand at the festival.

A number of accomplished artists and craftspeople from across the state will be demonstrating and discussing their techniques, including folk artist Herman Thompson, blacksmith Heyward Haltiwanger, woodcarver Joda Snipes, lotion and soap maker Polly Fitzgibbon, painter Rick Wells, Sweetgrass basket maker Jennifaye Singleton, black folk artist Geraldine Smith, decoy artist Tom Boozer and luthier/guitar maker Jack Bouknight and more.

“Fall Festival is great opportunity to experience some of the reasons why South Carolina is incredibly unique, from foodways to music to art,” said Celeste Wszola, programs manager at the State Museum. “It’s an event for people of all ages to not only learn about the trades of the artists, but also purchase some one-of-a-kind handmade objects.”

The museum will also conduct a “Bed Turning,” presenting quilts as they were meant to be seen. Textile historian and restorer Maree Dowdey and State Museum registrar Robyn Adams will showcase quilts from the State Museum’s collection, revealing their history, pattern, significance and backing.

There will be a children’s area with a variety of activities and hands-on crafts. Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party will take place in front of the museum, as well in the lobby and in areas throughout the museum. Guests are welcome to bring their own chair or blanket to enjoy some of the bands playing outside. All Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party activities are included with museum general admission or membership, except for food, beverages and art purchases.

As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum, offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista.  The State Museum is housed in one of its greatest artifacts, an 1894 old textile mill full of character and charm. In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch an interactive 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These exciting opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology that guests can experience.

For further information visit (www.scmuseum.org).

Lancaster Performing Arts in Lancaster, SC, Calls for Entries for Red Rose Film Festival – Deadline Oct. 18, 2016

July 17, 2016

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Lancaster Performing Arts “See Lancaster Live” series announces the Red Rose Film Festival, debuting November 18, 2016, at 7pm in USC Lancaster’s Bundy Auditorium in Lancaster, SC.  Filmmakers of all ages are encouraged to submit entries by October 18, 2016, for this fun competition in which all scenes must be filmed in Lancaster county. Films are also required to incorporate at least one red rose, symbolic of the Red Rose City of Lancaster, SC.

Family-friendly films in DVD format must be no more than ten minutes in length and $15 application fee should be included with submission. Ten films will be chosen to be shown at the November 18th Red Rose Film Festival where winners will be announced for first, second, third places and people’s choice.

Tickets to the film festival are $5 each and may be purchased at the door or in advance by visiting (http://www.lancastercitysc.com/performingarts.aspx). A complete list of rules and application to submit films can also be found at the ticket link or contact April Joplin, Performing Arts Manager by calling 803/285-1145 or e-mail to (p.arts@lancastercitysc.com).

Applications are available at the Springs House, 201 West Gay Street, Lancaster, SC 29720.

Levine Center for the Arts in Charlotte, NC, Offers First-ever #LongLiveArts Festival – May 21, 2016

May 18, 2016

The public is invited to a full day of activities on Saturday, May 21, 2016, from 10am-6pm, to the First-ever #LongLiveArts Festival for FREE performances, art activities, and more to at the Levine Center for the Arts in Uptown Charlotte, NC.

The Levine Center for the Arts is located at the 500 block of South Tryon Street, including Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Mint Museum Uptown

Salsa dancing. Puppets. A portrait paint-off. Drums. Aerial dancing. Jazz. Food trucks. An Arts Guy. An outdoor symphony concert. And FREE museum access all day.

All this and more will be part of the inaugural LongLiveArts Festival, the first event of its kind to be hosted by the four member institutions of Levine Center for the Arts – the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Knight Theater, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Mint Museum Uptown. The public is invited to the 500 block of South Tryon Street between 10am and 6pm for the festival – and both before and after those hours to enjoy a free “plazacast” of Charlotte Symphony’s Romeo & Juliet, showing from a big screen in front of the Firebird statue at 7:30pm on both Friday and Saturday evenings. The Bechtler and Mint will also offer special hours of free access on Friday May 20 in conjunction with the plazacast (the Bechtler will offer Bechtler by Night from 6-9pm, while the Mint will offer free general admission from 6-8pm).

More fun for all ages begins Saturday morning at 10am, with a main stage set up on Levine Avenue and emceed by Moira Quinn, Vice President of Charlotte Center City Partners. And about that Arts Guy? He’s part of a new marketing initiative jointly launched by Levine Center for the Arts institutions, and he will represent the Charlotteans and global visitors who want to learn more about the cultural offerings of the Queen City. Watch for him to give behind-the-scenes insights to Saturday’s audience.

Community artists are also invited to join a #LongLiveArts Festival Portrait Paint-Off, in which participants are invited to meet local oil painter Gordon James. He will first paint a live model from 10:15 to 11am, and then at 11:30 and 1:45pm, audience members will be invited to grab some art supplies and paint volunteer models. The paint-off contest will give prizes including gifts from the three museum gift shops and free passes to return to the Levine Center for the Arts museums.

Other performers and activities scheduled as part of Saturday’s activities include the Charlotte Symphony’s Musical Petting Zoo; Caroline Calouche’s aerial dancers; Drums4Life; Africano Campbell; Blue Moon Puppets; an art class with Cathay Dawkins; Dancehall Groove; and a salsa dancing demonstration, as well as interactive art-making activities led by the education staffs of the three member museums. Docents from the three museums will lead free 30-minute “ArtBreak” tours inside each museum at noon, 1pm, and 2pm.

Levine Center for the Arts is one of Charlotte’s major cultural destinations, home to Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, John S. and James L. Knight Theater, and Mint Museum Uptown. The Center was made possible through the support of the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Campaign for Cultural Facilities, and The Leon Levine Foundation, one of the country’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organizations, along with the generosity of Bank of America Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, and Duke Energy Foundation, among many others.

A generous grant from the THRIVE Fund is enabling the four institutions to work more closely together than ever before to increase visibility and access to the unified center. The $250,000 award from the THRIVE Fund over two years is making possible the center’s first-ever joint marketing campaign, as well as free monthly lunchtime tours and a free community festival to be held on May 21, 2016. The THRIVE Fund was established in 2013 to provide financial stability for Charlotte’s cultural sector under the leadership of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America chairman and CEO, and is currently administered by the Foundation For The Carolinas. The Mint Museum spearheaded the grant and is managing the project in collaboration with the other institutions. More information at (levinecenterarts.org).

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the exhibition of mid-20th-century modern art. It is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler, who assembled and inherited a collection created by seminal figures in modernism. The collection comprises more than 1,400 works. Some works are accompanied by books, photographs, and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family. For museum details visit (bechtler.org).

Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights. More information at (blumenthalarts.org).

Founded in 1974, Charlotte’s Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Center) exists to present, preserve and celebrate the art, history and culture of African-Americans and people of the African Diaspora through dance, music, visual and literary arts, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach. Named for Harvey Bernard Gantt, the prominent architect, community leader and former mayor of Charlotte, the Center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America. More information (ganttcenter.org).

The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. Established as the first art museum in North Carolina in 1936, The Mint Museum has grown to include two dynamic facilities, Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, and currently boasts one of largest collections in the Southeast. Mint Museum Uptown houses an internationally renowned Craft + Design Collection, as well as collections of American and Modern & Contemporary Art. The five-story, 175,000 square-foot facility was designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston. Historic Mint Museum Randolph is located three miles to the south. For more information visit (mintmuseum.org).

A complete schedule of events is attached and available at (facebook.com/levinecenterart).