Jon K. Rust

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications.


Summer Arts Festival is can't-miss event

If you have kids or grandkids or are simply young at heart, you don't want to miss the 2018 Summer Arts Festival at the River Campus on Saturday, June 16. Activities are free! If you've been before -- this is the fifth annual event, and it gets bigger every year -- you already know how much fun the day is.

Activities start at 10 a.m. and go until 5 p.m. I suggest you arrive in the morning and plan to stay as long as you're able. One event to organize your visit around would be taking in a performance of "Legally Blonde Jr." in the Bedell Performance Hall. These free shows, starring talented, local kids and adapted especially for kids from the original Broadway musical, will take place at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

There are way too many events at the festival to cover in a column. Some of my favorites include: mask making (and not your typical mask making either) and do-it-yourself chalk art (all who participate receive a free box of 24 pastel chalks and free entry, if they choose, into a competition with prizes. Smart contestants make sure to bring hat, water and sunscreen just in case it's scorching. Local celebrity, professional artist Craig Thomas will judge and create his own chalk artwork during the day. Just seeing what he and others create is worth stopping by.) The "Musical Instrument Petting Zoo" is something totally unique, providing a chance for kids and adults to handle and experiment with -- and have questions answered about -- many of the instruments from an orchestra. The "stage combat exhibition" is always a favorite with my kids, too.

Camille Wersel, 8, creates an underwater water scene on the sidewalk using pastels on Saturday, June 17, 2017, during the River Campus Summer Arts Festival in Cape Girardeau.
(Laura Simon ~ Southeast Missourian)

Throughout the day, there will be a roaming magician; a kids' animal petting zoo; rub-on tattoo making, coloring and other arts activities; a World War I exhibit; kids yoga and aerial dancing; bouncy house and obstacle course; bookmark making; visual arts shows in the museum and other locations; history presentations and local artist demonstrations; plus something new to me: a forensic science station. Note: This is just a partial list of activities taking place throughout the day.

Some of the "timed" events (with locations in parentheses) include:

10 a.m.: Kids' violin performances (Outdoor Entertainment Stage). "White Lies" performance by River City Players (Atrium and Community Theatre).

10:30 a.m.: Magician Rob Huff (Entertainment Stage). Aerial Arts performance (Cultural Arts Center 157). Acting Laboratory Camp performance (Dobbins Center Acting Studio).

10:45 a.m.: Story time (Arts Resource Center).

11 a.m.: Steel Drum Band, until 1 p.m. (Seminary Quad). Button Zen tangles for tweens (Art Gallery). Vocal Arts Boot Camp performance "Sing Out" (Shuck Recital Hall). Swing dance (Dance Studio 119).

11:30 a.m.: Chestnut Mountain Gang folk music (Entertainment Stage). Kids Aerial dance, ages 5-8 (Cultural Arts Center 157).

11:45 a.m.: Buti Yoga (Dance Studio 119).

Noon: Magician Rob Huff (Entertainment Stage). Story time (Arts Resource Center).

12:30 p.m.: Lydia Gentry the Violin Dragoness (Entertainment Stage). Dance performances from Dance Consortium and Dance Intensive Camp (Bedell Hall). Zumba (Dance Studio 119).

1 pm: Chestnut Mountain Gang folk (Entertainment Stage). Acting Laboratory Camp performance (Dobbins Center Acting Studio).

1:30 p.m.: Steve Schaffner & Jumper Cables Americana music (Entertainment Stage). The "Lion King" by Between the Scenes (Atrium and Community Theatre). Country Western (Dance Studio 157). Vocal Arts Boot Camp performance "Sing Out" (Shuck Recital Hall). "Using and Writing about Popular Culture in Fiction and Poetry" workshop (Arts Resource Center).

2 p.m.: Violin Dragoness (Entertainment Stage). Button Zen tangles (Art Gallery).

2:15 p.m.: Ballet for Young Children (Cultural Arts Center 157).

2:30 p.m.: Jerry Ford Jazz Combo (Entertainment Stage). The Conservatory Dance Intensive Studio performance (Dance Studio 119).

3 p.m.: Steve Schaffner & Jumper Cables Americana music (Entertainment Stage). Stage Combat exhibition (Acting Studio).

3:10 p.m.: Contemporary Dance (Dance Studio 119).

3:30 p.m.: Jerry Ford Jazz Combo (Entertainment Stage). Aerial Arts performance (Cultural Arts Center 157). Scott City Honor Choir (Shuck Recital Hall).

3:50 p.m.: Jazz Dance (Dance Studio 119)

4:00 p.m.: Stage Combat exhibition (Acting Studio).

4:30 p.m.: Aerial Arts Mini-classes for ages 9-12 and 13-and older (Cultural Arts Center 157). Hip Hop (Dance Studio 119).

In addition to the above, 10-minute movies from the Fault Line Film Festival will play on the hour, every hour (except for noon and 2 pm) in the Crisp Museum.

You can bring your own food and make a picnic! Or, enjoy eating at one of the many food trucks that will be on site (including the new Sugar Chic Creamery truck). The Dobbins Center dining hall will also be open. (Food and drinks are NOT free.)

The day's activity ends with a paid performance of the Alfred Hitchcock-inspired comedy whodunit, "The 39 Steps" at 7:30 pm. In addition to Saturday's activities, the festival features paid performances of "Legally Blonde Jr" on Friday and Sunday. Performances of "The 39 Steps" will also take place over the next two weeks (starting Thursday), along with performances of the dark (and funny) musical comedy "Little Shop of Horrors."

If you've never been to the Summer Arts Festival at the River Campus, you don't want to miss it. Parking is free (but there's also a shuttle bus to take you there from around downtown: check online for more info). Enjoy!

A special note, which is much too short for what's deserved. But to a man with a lot of class, Sikeston native and America's Got Talent winner Neal Boyd: Rest in peace. We will miss your voice, patriotism and love for community. May your family be blessed by knowing that you inspired many.

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian.