This August, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the arts.
Mayor Brian Smith has proclaimed August as Arts Appreciation Month in the city.
Arts-related activities kick off this weekend with the second opening of the Waupaca Phantom Art Gallery Friday evening in downtown Waupaca and Waupaca’s Own Summer Benefit Concert Saturday night at the high school.
The month ends with the fifth annual Arts on the Square festival, Aug. 19-20, on the city square.
“I think what’s happening is an understanding of an arts economy, community involvement and the arts are growing,” said Marci Reynolds, who is the president of the Waupaca Community Arts Board.
The arts board organizes Arts on the Square. The arts festival is partially funded by city hotel and motel tax dollars, with Community First Credit Union being its major sponsor. Additional funding comes from community donations.
Growing an arts economy was the topic when the arts board sponsored the second annual arts summit this past February.
City officials, retailers, artists and musicians were among those in attendance.
Like last year, there are numerous events taking place in conjunction with Arts on the Square.
Watch the sidewalks outside of businesses in Waupaca and King transform into art when area merchants compete in the second annual chalking competition.
Chalking will begin the weekend of Aug. 12, and on Wednesday, Aug. 17, businesses will stay open later – from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – for Chalk of the Town, with many hosting artists. Businesses in downtown Waupaca and King, and also in the strip mall off of Western Avenue will participate.
Arts on the Square will kick off Friday, Aug. 19, with a street dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. featuring aTOMix. The dance will be held on Union Street.
The arts festival continues the next day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, with such things as Princess Rhia, the Painting Horse, the Suitcase Shakespeare Company, children’s favorite Tom Pease, and Bill Kehl and his drumming circle.
There will be more than 30 juried artists.
Reynolds said there will also be a Suzuki stage, belly dancers, a flute player and music by 3 Clowns/No Circus and the Broad Street Band.
Planned workshops include batik, Sim City in clay, drumming and the art of cupcakes. There will be food and refreshments.
The Christie House Garden and Home tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who attend will learn the history of the Lake Street home while also touring the landscaped gardens.
The historic Hutchinson House in Waupaca’s South Park will have a special exhibit that day – antique, artistic aprons.
The third annual Art at the Depot will also be held Saturday, Aug. 20. Visit Waupaca’s original train depot where more artists will have their work on display.
Reynolds said people will be able to take the Pedal Cloud to the Christie House. The Pedal Cloud is an 11-person bike car that will be at Arts on the Square. “We hope to also do runs to the depot and Hutchinson House. It will be going all day Saturday,” she said.
Bourbon Street to Broadway is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Waupaca Middle School and will feature the Mark Little Band, Bourbon Street Dixieland Combo and vocalists Heather Eikenbary and Amy Kurylo.
The planning for Arts on the Square involves many people. Reynolds said those interested in volunteering should contact the arts board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Future plans are to expand the festival even further, while keeping it unique and high quality,” she said.