ArtsCape combines music, arts and crafts for family fun

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Artist Craig Thomas worked on a Street Painting mural during ArtsCape 2008 in Capaha Park. (Kit Doyle)

Arts and craft enthusiasts will be checking the weather map in the hopes that clear skies will cover Saturday's ArtsCape in Capaha Park.

While the event isn't technically rain or shine, once vendors and booths set up, they stay.

"If it rains you just bear it and hope it stops," said Craig Thomas, an Arts Council of Southeast Missouri board member and coordinator of the Street Painting contest.

Days after ArtsCape closes, the street painting remains.

A $10 entry fee buys a box of 24 pastels, a T-shirt and a chunk of the sidewalk surrounding Capaha Lake. The contest -- a part of ArtsCape since it began nine years ago -- has doubled in size each year, according to Thomas. Fifty-nine people decorated the sidewalk for the 2008 ArtsCape.

As for space, "there's plenty," he said.

The ephemeral drawings remain in Capaha Park until the next rain washes them away. The drawing starts when ArtsCape opens at 10 a.m. and judging will be at 3 p.m. ArtsCape vendors will be open until 6 p.m., and the music runs until 8.

The arts council contracted out the music portion of the annual community arts festival to Underberg Management Group. Larry and Jean Underberg also schedule the Tunes at Twilight artists and other concerts in town.

Country-folk artist Kimberley Dahme will start the music at 3 p.m., at 4:15 Corinne Chapman Band will play, at 5:30 Dahme returns to the stage joined by the Bruce Zimmerman Band and at 6:45 Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys will finish the show.

Larry Underberg said he wanted the music to go later to attract a slightly older crowd of people. The festival has always had some type of a music lineup, from children's choirs to local acts.

According to arts council chairwoman Utahna Hancock, the music in the past few years just "didn't seem to be drawing a big enough crowd."

"The whole idea of ArtsCape is family, but we wanted to appeal to a whole different crowd," she said.

Hancock said the sidewalk drawing was her favorite part of ArtsCape.

"I just like walking around watching the work grow," she said. "Especially when I see a little kid just in there doing it with chalk all over themselves and the sidewalk."


Want to go?

* What: ArtsCape 2009

* When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; music continues to 8 p.m. Saturday

* Where: Capaha Park

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