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2013 Taste of the Arts
Free downtown festival features 30 restaurants, 60 performing groups, arts, markets, and more
By Eddie Torres
Fort Wayne Reader
Now in its 5th year, Taste of the Arts has quickly become one of Fort Wayne’s most popular festivals with its unique blend of music, dance, theatre, film and artists, demonstrating a vast variety of styles and talent from Fort Wayne, along with dozens of local restaurants serving a wide assortment of food choices.
This year, Taste of the Arts — which happens on Saturday, August 24 — will expand with new evening activities on the Arts United Campus in downtown Fort Wayne.
As always, the festival is free, but proceeds from food and beverages raise funds for Arts United’s mission to develop, coordinate and support arts and cultural efforts in Northeast Indiana.
Highlights of the 2013 Taste of the Arts:
• Seven stages with about 60 performing groups are the core of the festival, bringing together the largest array of musicians, dancers and performing artists to be found in one place anywhere in Northeast Indiana. Buskers are also encouraged to participate, adding an element of surprise to the exciting scheduled line-up of acts.
• Two Market areas for artists – for the first time, the Fine Art Fair part of the Taste of the Arts is a juried event elevating the quality of the art offered for sale to a new level. Juried artists include: Jorge Arribasplata; Elizabeth Balzer; Linnea Bartling; Cindra Bastress & Doug Hall, Kendra Bayer-Foreman, Melissa Eager, Patricia Eykholt & Andrea Rapp, Dawn Haney, Melissa Ketzenberger, Karen Layman; Allan Longroy, Jason McCall, Michael Mettler, Joseph Pelka, Terry Ratliff, Susan Stamm; Sarah L Thompson, Julie Wall Toles, Leigha VandeZande, Lisa Vetter & Paul Siefert; Rhonda Andrews Woodruff; Vicki Junk Wright.
• YLNI Barr Street Market extends their hours until at least 4 p.m. and will add more market artists and food vendors onto Barr Street. A performance stage will continue in the YLNI Barr Street Market through the afternoon.
• Michael Rhoades’ Blue Horizontal Exhibit/Installation “The Sights and Sounds of Numbers” will be presented at ArtLink in the Russ Oettel classroom. The computer generated music and images represent a study in portraying several different views of the same subject. They are based upon two sets of perfect complimentary colors; Phthalo Blue/Cad Orange and Viridian Green/Lemon Yellow Hue. This project is meant to provide the viewer/listener with island gardens in which to enter and dwell… secret places.
• Fort Wayne Youtheatre will offer children costumes to try on in the Arts United Center.
• A new Festival Fan Fare Warehouse will offer merchandise for sale from festival performers and Arts United memorabilia inside the Arts United Center.
• Arts organizations from across the 10-county region will set up information booths to share their season schedules and offer hands-on activities for all ages.
• Attractions on the Arts Campus offer free admission including Artlink, the History Center, Fort Wayne Museum of Art and Cinema Center.
• B Antonio’s Pizza has invited Michael Shepherd to do pizza tossing demonstrations at their food booth. Shepherd is a 4 Time World Pizza Champion, 3 Time US Champions, and 8 Time World Medalist Pizza Acrobat, holding more international medals than any other American. As a founding member of the World Pizza Champions, he has traveled to Italy competing at the World Pizza Championships annually since 2002. In 2006/2007 his team won back-to-back Gold Medals in the Team Acrobatic Event. He has been featured on the Food Network, ABC's Master of Champions, Discovery Channel, and more. He is a featured speaker for Pizza Today magazine, organizes and manages the World Pizza Games for the International Pizza Expo, and is a certified Italian Pizza Maker. He owns three pizzerias in Northwest Ohio.
Many restaurants are participating in the festival including: B Antonio's Pizza, Baker Street Steakhouse, Banh Mi Barista, Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Carlos O'Kelley's, Club Soda, Crave, Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, & Spirits, Deu Pauvres Ladies, Dicky's Wild Hare, The Friendly Fox, Don Hall's Gas House, JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House, Mad Anthony Brewing Company, Purple Mountain Cheesecake, Q'doba, Shigs in Pit, Subway, The Venice, Vanilla Bean. More may be added and will be updated on the Taste of the Arts website.
• Fort Wayne Trails will offer Bike Valet service for secure bicycle storage.
Dessert- the party after The Taste expands
• Since the first Taste of the Arts, a single stage has continued as Dessert — a party after the Taste from 6 – 10 p.m. Last year, radio host Julia Meek from 89.1 WBOI recorded her weekly show “Meet the Music” live at the festival during Dessert. A great success, the evening concert will again be recorded live with popular acts from the Fort Wayne region. The show will be broadcast on the radio in the fall.
• New this year, Dessert is growing to three stages featuring the Children’s Choir and Hope Arthur Orchestra on the Arts United Plaza and several bands inside the Auer Center. Some food vendors will stay late for the fun.
• For the first time, Arts United will offer a unique wine tasting event as part of the festivities. From 7 – 9 p.m. inside the Arts United Center, guests can choose to take a salsa lesson and dance with Salsa Loca or make their own painting with Artlink’s Bring your Own Brush class, or do both for an hour each. WineTime will give tastings and share information about summer favorite wines from their southwest shop. This is the only part of the Taste of the Arts with an admission price, which includes all the materials and instruction for participants. Proceeds benefit Arts United. Tickets are $50 each or $90 for a pair and can be purchased in advance at the ArtsTix box office (260) 422-4226.
• At 10 p.m., the festival winds down with a new event – a free movie on the Arts United Center plaza. Cinema Center could not be happier to be part of Taste of the Arts this year with the outdoor screening of King Kong. The classic film takes the audience to Skull Island with Fay Wray and back with the indomitable Kong, with Fort Wayne's own cityscape providing the perfect backdrop for the classic finale on the Empire State Building. Not only is King Kong one of the most exciting films of all time, it employed special effects that were state-of-the-art in 1933, and laid the groundwork for techniques that are still being used today.
For the complete line-up of acts, to sign-up as a volunteer or artist, or for more information about Taste of the Arts go online tasteoftheartsfortwayne.org