Paseo Arts Festival gets greener

Along with added sustainability projects, the Paseo Arts Festival in Oklahoma City now includes more artists, new food vendors and an extra Oklahoma focus in its music lineup.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: May 25, 2012
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This week, festival chairman Collin Rosebrook was building the 16-foot-long and 4-foot-diameter framework for a recycling sculpture that dubbed “The Earthworm.” Festivalgoers will add plastic drinking bottles to the worm to bring it to artistic life.

“We thought it would be something fun to draw awareness to recycling,” he said. “It'll be a creative recycle bin for bottles.”

Growing festival

Along with its growing green programs, the festival is expanding its popular shuttle service this year. For the third year, attendees can save gas and headaches by parking at First Christian Church, 3700 N Walker, and taking a free shuttle to the festival.

“We have two buses this year because last year there were so many people,” Wise said.

In addition to the district's numerous studios and galleries, 88 visiting visual artists from around the country will exhibit their wares in tents along Paseo Drive, which is closed during the event. The artists will show and sell a variety of works, including paintings, photographs, ceramics, woodwork, glass, jewelry, sculptures and fiber art.

“We did have more people trying to get into the festival and we were able to move ... the South Stage 90 degrees where it's not blocking the entire street which made more space for art vendors,” Wise said. “Before the music was playing right up the street and you couldn't hear anything at the artists' booths, so I think it's going to work out much better.”

Local sounds and tastes

The festival will again offer live music and dance on two stages, with all acts donating their time and talents, said music chairwoman Amy Young. Along with mainstays such as dancers Tarpley's Tappers and guitarist Edgar Cruz, Norman singer-songwriter John Calvin, the new jazz band the Paseo Street Walkers and funky DJ Ashtavakra have been added to the lineup on the South Stage.

“I thought it would be really fun to have a dance party at the end of Saturday night,” she said. “I wanted to have more variety this year.”

She brought in Casey Friedman, organizer of the Acoustic Oklahoma music showcase, to recruit state talents for the North Stage.

“He's been archiving the talents of Oklahoma and it's really cool,” she said. “It's really upped the level of quality of music on that stage.”

Attendees can get a taste of Oklahoma with new food vendors Waffle Champion and Helmut's Strudel and two state vineyards, Wise said.

Although the festival is free, it is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Paseo Arts Association, and the nonprofit makes most of its revenue from drink sales.

“The money that we receive from this festival, we use to support all our children's programs (like) the Fairy Ball, the Magic Lantern Celebration, our after-school programs ... and to support our First Friday gallery walks,” Wise said. “And it keeps those programs free as well.”

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more...
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GOING ON

36th Annual Paseo Arts Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with music until 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with music until 7 p.m. Monday.

Where: Paseo Arts District, between NW 28 and Walker and NW 30 and Dewey.

Parking: Free parking and a shuttle service is offered at First Christian Church, 3700 N Walker. Paseo Drive is closed during the festival.

Information: www.thepaseo.com.

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