A couple thousand friends of the arts
Arts DEVOté and CN&R Arts Editor Mark Lore joined the Palio party at the Chico City Plaza last weekend. As you may know this was the starting point for Artoberfest, the Friends of the Arts and city of Chico’s promotion of a month’s worth of arts-centered activities.
Friends of the Arts honcho and event organizer Debra Lucero pulled off an energetic opening (despite overnight rains that destroyed a couple Palio horses and a glitch with the city’s street-closing schedule). A cool breeze painted the sunny afternoon as funky samba drum ensemble, the Loyd Family Players and a couple of stilt-walkin’ ladies attracted a swelling (with a little twirling) crowd to the plaza for some fake-horse racing, local food and booths showing off the goods of local arts organizations.
According to Lucero, the peak crowd was around 2,000 (triple last year’s numbers), which sounds right to A.D.
Moms and dads, kids, hippies, hipsters, arts folks and dogs were all stoked by the display, and it got A.D. to thinking that if a little sunshine, drumming and running in a big circle gets folks out and excited, imagine if all of local rockers and art freaks (that reluctant community that doesn’t always get actively involved in this stuff—this columnist included) added their voices to the noise? It could be epic!
The real winners
A major part of the Artoberfest kick-off festivities was the presentation of two sets of awards. First, just before the running of the horses, former mayor Scott Gruendl sat in for Andy Holcombe to present the annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. The year’s recipients were long-time Arts Commissioner (and painter/printmaker) Paula Busch, the Shakespeare in the Park series and Hegan Lane Business Park developer Steven Seidenglantz.
To cap-off the day’s events in what’s become a bi-annual celebration organized by Lucero and Friends of the Arts, the Annie’s Arts Awards were handed out. I’d love to see some of the regular bands on the local club scene make it into the mix.
Dance: Amaera BayLaurel’s Aerial Dance Experiments (Best Choreography), Full Force Hip Hop & Jazz Co. (Best Dance Program), Hype Dance Studio (Best Dance Performance).
Music: Beethoven’s 9th, Chico State’s North State Symphony, the Chris Schadt Band, and Chico State Jazz Studies professor Rocky Winslow.
Literature: Gerri Miller (Achievement), Dan Barnett (Literature Review) and Lyon Books (Support of Local Authors)
Theater: Natalie Valencia, Drama ExtraOrdinaire, Shakespeare in the Park’s The Blackbird Sings, Chico Cabaret’s Rocky Horror Live and Chikoko Fashion Art (Innovation in Live Perforformance).
Visual Arts: Janet Lombardi-Blixt (Two-dimensional), Cynthia Schildhauer (Two-dimensional), Chris Cantello (Three-dimensional)
Film & Video: The Cubicle, written by Cory De Lair, co-written and music by Josh Dietz.
Frank T. Lucero Memorial “I See You” Award: Jet Fuel Only.