Bring on the creativity - and let it flow in Happy Valley.
The 43rd annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will take place Wednesday through July 12 on the streets of downtown State College and the adjacent Penn State Campus.
"We're going to have a lot of exciting stuff here," said Executive Director Rick Bryant. "We've got old-fashioned rock and roll, folk music ... and the artists we have are some of the nation's best. And they'll all be right here in central Pennsylvania."
Mirror file photo
Corinne Grissinger of Pine Grove Mills, a student in Penn State University’s Fine Arts program, works on chalk art for the Italian Street Art exhibition at the 2008 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College.
Founded by the State College Chamber of Commerce and Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture, the festival attracts about 125,000 each year, Bryant said. It features the nationally recognized Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, a juried gallery exhibition, Children and Youth Day, the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival, educational opportunities, and music, dance and theatrical performances in a variety of traditional and non-traditional venues.
"This year, we are being lent three sculptures by the Sculpture Foundation in Santa Monica," Bryant said. "You'll be able to get a picture with one of the sculptures, e-mail it to a certain address (to be announced) ... the winner gets a book about the sculpture and their picture will be posted on a Web site we're working on with Penn State."
This year's festival begins with Children and Youth Day on South Allen Street - programs designed for the young and young at heart, Bryant said. An estimated 150 young central Pennsylvania artists are expected to showcase their works from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale on South Allen Street.
If you go
What: Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
Where: Streets of State College
When: Wednesday through July 12
Admission: Free for most events, festival button for admittance to all events is $8
More information: www.arts-festival.com
Other children's activities include free arts and crafts workshops on the Old Main Lawn and in State College's Central Parklet, music and dance performances and the Centre Daily Times Children and Youth Day Grand Procession at 4 p.m.
The Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 9 through July 11, and noon to 5 p.m. July 12, Bryant said. The event features a juried fine arts and crafts show, in which five jurors will award more than $17,000 in prize money to winning exhibitors during a ceremony at 9 a.m. July 11 at the Allen Street Bridge.
Bus service from the Bryce Jordan Center and Beaver Stadium will make more stops this year, so patrons can get off at the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival, or in the heart of the Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition.
Selected Sidewalk Sale artists will demonstrate how they create art at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. at the Willard Building Plaza.
Susan Levi-Goerlich, a fiber artist from Columbia, Md., will be making her 14th appearance at the Sidewalk Sale.
"Oh, I love going to that show," she said. "It's been a lot of years for me ... but it's one of my favorite shows to do. There's always such an enthusiastic response from the public, and (the show) is so well-organized ... and I love my spot in the shade."
Levi-Goerlich, 50, said she relishes the chance to give audiences a visualization of how she creates as an artist.
"I just want people to walk away with a better appreciation for what goes into one of my stitch paintings," she said. "Even for people who sew, it's helpful for them to see the steps I go through in manipulating fabric to create my artwork."
Musically, the festival runs a strong gamut - from Hollywood, Fla.-based southern rockers The Tommy Dalton Band, taking the Festival Shell Stage at 7:30 p.m. July 11 (followed by local favorite Velveeta at 10 p.m.), to the Brooklyn N.Y.-based acoustic group Girlyman, performing at 9:30 p.m. July 11 in Central Parklet.
Comedic folk singer Deirdre Flint from Philadelphia will perform at 6 p.m. July 11 on the Allen Street Stage.
"This will be my fourth or fifth time performing at the festival," she said. " ... I absolutely love it. I always say it's my favorite place to play. ... The people are just so fun - they get all my jokes. You know, I once read that State College is America's smartest little town ..."
Flint, 42, enjoys writing songs that satirize life.
"I take life's little tragedies and exaggerate them to the point where, hopefully, they're funny," she said. "I do serious songs, too, but I don't intend to do them at the festival. At any outdoor event, you have to keep the the crowd entertained."
While most performances are free, some require a festival button, which can be purchased at the respective venue, at downtown State College stores and online at www.arts-festival.com. Buttons are $8 and are good for the entire festival and grant admission to all indoor events.
Mirror Staff Writer Jimmy Mincin is at 946-7460.