Frederick Festival of the Arts Details

May 24, 2011

Artists from around the country will be descending on downtown Frederick for the 18th Annual Frederick Festival of the Arts scheduled for June 4-5th along Carroll Creek Linear Park. This Juried Fine Arts and Craft Festival will host over 105 visual artists, two stages of live music, children’s activities, artist demonstrations, other performances, and much more. The event is free and open to the public.

The fine artists and craftsmen come from twenty states, from Maine to Arizona, including one from Hawaii. “My understanding is over the past 18 years, we have had artists from every state in the country except Hawaii. Now, we can claim that we have had representation from all fifty states here in Frederick,” said Shuan Butcher, executive director of the Frederick Arts Council, which organizes the festival. In addition, artists will be coming from Israel and Canada this year as well. The artists will be showcasing twelve different types of media including jewelry, painting, ceramics, photography, woodwork, fiber art, and others. More than a dozen of the artists are from Frederick County. Several interactive activities are also planned, including a wide variety of artist demonstrations such as a potter’s wheel, clay working, and wood turning.

The festival will host two stages of music throughout the two days of the festival including a Main Stage and an acoustic stage sponsored by La Paz and Greene Turtle restaurants. Music genres include: rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, country, and jazz. Four military bands will also be performing throughout the weekend this year. Furthermore, theater activities will take place all weekend at “Shakespeare’s Knoll,” an interactive performance space sponsored by the Maryland Shakespeare Festival.

New this year will be a kickoff party, scheduled for Friday, June 3rd. The Electric Brigade, a U.S. Naval Academy Band will perform at the Beer and Wine Garden from 6-8 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for sale during the festivities.

A Children’s Area will have several interactive art activities, led by KidzArt, for the young ones to experience art firsthand. There will also be performances by Act Too Theater Company and Equinox Dance Company throughout the weekend, as well as a chance to rent canoes and kayaks on the creek. Artist Ellen Byrne, who designed this year’s festival poster, will be at the Festival Shop each day from 1-3 p.m. signing posters for interested patrons.

In addition to the great downtown restaurant options, a variety of food choices will be served on site, including crabcakes, roasted nuts, kettle corn, lemonade, and barbeque. While listening to the music at the Main Stage, visit the Beer and Wine Garden to purchase a cool beverage, including local beer from Brewers Alley and wine.

“Everyone needs art in their life and at the Festival they can experience it,” said festival organizer Tammy O’Connor, Development Director of the Frederick Arts Council.

This is the weekend that the arts come alive in Frederick, which highlights why Downtown Frederick was named the Arts and Entertainment District of the Year by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and a Top 25 Small Arts City by American Style Magazine. The Arts Festival activities flows into the First Saturday “I Art Downtown” events. Other efforts have been made to extend the festivities for the entire weekend, such as art openings at the Cultural Arts Center, performances of Spring Awakening, dance and theater performances, and other galleries throughout the evening.

Hours of the Festival are: Saturday June 4th 10am to 6pm and Sunday June 5th 11am to 5pm. On Saturday evening, the Beer and Wine Garden will remain open to 8 p.m. with music playing at the main stage. Donations will be accepted at various entry points along the festival area. Anyone making a contribution can receive a ticket and be eligible to win various door prizes. Attendees are encouraged to park in one of the several parking garages located within close proximity to the festival grounds and parking is $1 for the entire day on Saturday and free on Sunday during festival hours.

This year, festival organizers are taking steps to make the event even more green, thanks to a partnership with Waste NOT!. In addition to recycling being available again, food vendors have been encouraged to use more environmentally-friendly products and composting will be offered as well. The festival is organized by the Frederick Arts Council, whose mission is to be the primary catalyst for the arts and arts opportunities in Frederick County. Major sponsors of the festival include Bechtel Group Foundation, Comcast, Potomac Edison, The Delaplaine Foundation, The City of Frederick, Renewal By Andersen, Text Design, Maryland State Arts Council, La Paz, Frederick Memorial Healthcare System: CorpOHS, Tourism Council of Frederick County, The Gazette, SAIC Frederick, and Hood College. For more information, call at 301-662-4190.