Brick Street Arts Bash
If you’ve sometimes thought that downtown Marietta didn’t have enough attractions, or you find yourself on a Saturday looking for something to do without emptying your wallet, this is your lucky weekend.
The Brick Street Bash, coordinated by the Marietta College music department, is taking over areas of downtown Saturday and everyone is invited. This interactive arts and performance event will sprawl across three stages, two blocks of Putnam Street and several other downtown locations. The list of artists and performers is long and diverse; there is truly something offered for everyone to enjoy.
Each year, Marietta College has a Leader-in-Residence program in which a department head develops and implements a project that enhances the leadership knowledge and skills of the students. Marshall Kimball, chair of the Music Department, decided that it was time for music and the arts to have a turn in the spotlight. In this age of budget cuts and shrinking funds for education, music and art are usually the first programs to be eliminated.
The Leader-in-Residence for 2016-17 is Donna Collins, Director of the Ohio Arts Council. Under Donna’s leadership, the music education students learned about legislative action at the state and national level affecting the arts, and researched the positive impact of education systems that have thriving arts and music programs. Marshall is passionate about the importance of those programs and the effect they have on students. The year long program culminates with a project, and Marshall’s students decided to go big. He wrote a proposal, it was accepted, and he was awarded a $4,000 grant to finance the Brick Street Bash.
As the students took ownership of the event, they challenged themselves to grow it into something special. They wrote a grant proposal, solicited donations, and that $4,000 grew into a budget of over $80,000 According to Marshall, the students developed their organizational skills, pushing themselves outside their comfort zones as they made cold calls and advocated for the arts. The event seemed to snowball and the Brick Street Bash is shaping up to be one of the largest downtown events this year.
One large donation paid to have the Escher String Quartet perform, a major score indeed. Another highlight is a live taping of the PBS show, “Songs At The Center”, at the Peoples Bank Theatre. And throughout the day you can enjoy everything from barbershop quartets to bluegrass to jazz to dance. Inclusion was important for the event planners, so every effort was made to allow access to all. There will be wheelchairs available and chairs for people to rest, and of course attendance is free of charge.
Regardless of age and level of art appreciation, the Brick Street Bash will offer you an opportunity to engage with artists and performers of different genres. Some booths will allow kids to create art, and will complement the Earth Day celebration at the Armory on Front Street. In addition, there will be booths of local artists showcasing and selling their work on Putnam Street. As if that wasn’t enough, seven food trucks will be in attendance to take care of your hunger.
According to Marshall, the students and participants who took on the project really stepped up to deliver a quality experience. Please join them downtown on Saturday and spend time with your favorite genre of art, or introduce yourself to a new one.
For more details about the event and schedule information, you can visit the Facebook page!
Laura Pytlik is an Ohio native who moved to Marietta in 2000. Owner of Wit & Whimzy on Front Street, Laura enjoys being part of the downtown community, watching the wildlife in her backyard, and most movies starring Steve Carell.
Photos taken by Cristie Thomas