Arts Come Alive in Falmouth Festival
By: Elise Hugus, June 21, 2012
Khadjia - Transforming feminine energy and Middle Eastern stereotypes, one step at a time. Middle Eastern dance teacher Khadjia and Troupe Isis perform at the Arts Alive Festival on Sunday from 1 to 2 PM.
Who says there’s no such thing as free art?
The annual ArtsAlive Festival, held this year from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24, is a free, all-ages event packed full of live music, fine arts, theater and circus arts, poetry and dance.
Held rain or shine on the Falmouth Public Library lawn and the adjacent Shore Street Extension, ArtsAlive has become a landmark on the Upper Cape’s cultural landscape.
Whether you bring the family for the entire weekend or just pass by to peruse the arts, there are plenty of ways to be inspired at ArtsAlive.
Volunteers are always needed at the ArtsAlive Festival. If you are interested in volunteering, write to email@example.com.
“Art is diverse. It’s for everybody, this gives everybody a chance to hear what they like,” said festival co-organizer Judy Day.
With her husband, Roger Day, and a bevy of volunteers and sponsors, Day organizes ArtsAlive and JazzFest Falmouth under the umbrella of ArtsFalmouth, a non-profit that promotes the arts as central to the town’s culture and economy.
While it’s a free festival (performers are not paid), Day said ArtsAlive contributes to the “cultural economy,” attracting visitors and locals alike to Main Street.
“Falmouth has more than beaches. There’s a lot going on here, and even local residents tend not to know what this town has to offer. We’re also trying to bring in visitors so they know if it rains in July there’s still plenty to do here,” she said.
Thousands of people are expected to turn out for what has become the opening weekend of the summer, with over 60 acts and up to 200 performers, said Christine Mascott, who joined the festival team five years ago to coordinate the performance portion.
“It’s a beautiful event,” said Mascott, “What’s really fun about Arts Alive is we present all levels of talent—from 5 year-old in a tutu taking her first dance lesson to professional musicians. That’s a goal of ArtsFalmouth in general, to brings together all types of artists.”
The weekend will kick off with a Friday night town dance, with musicians and artists performing on three different stages. The Cape’s favorite bluesman, George Gritzbach and his band, will close the night on the “Street Stage,” located on Shore Street Extension, which will be blocked to traffic for the entire weekend.
The library lawn will transform into a mini rock festival on Saturday night, with local bands The Coozies, JO & CO and Falmouth’s own classic rockers Paradise Rock and Not Band Company and others rocking out on three stages.
Simfinity, an orchestral rock group from New York City, promises to bring in a sonic influence from well beyond Cape Cod’s shores.
Something for everyone
On Saturday and Sunday, local arts vendors and organizations will set up shop along the street, selling their handiwork and demonstrating their skills. Attendees are encouraged to try their hand at chalk drawing in the street, get their faces painted or watch a balloon art demonstration while sampling one of Chef Anthony’s grilled sausages or quahogs on the half shell from a local vendors.
The performances continue throughout the weekend, with staged readings, dance performances by belly dancer Elena Griffin and her students and the Egyptian dance teacher Khadija's Troupe Isis and a Tai Chi demonstration by the Cape Cod Guange Ping Tai Ji Club.
Children and teens are not only invited to the festival: some will perform on stage! On Saturday, Carly Tefft, a Forestdale native and current student at Berklee College of Music will perform songs from her recently-released EP “Loud and Clear,” while Bourne’s Murphy brothers, The Big Fish, and Boston’s Escape Plan rock out on the lawn.
A special Kid’s Tent coordinated by Shelley Farrar, executive director of the Police Athletic League, promises to inspire young artists with demonstrations by Cataumet sculptor Alfie Glover, pottery by Sarah Caruso and Japanese weaving by Falmouth Artist’s Guild Executive Director Suzy Bergmann.