This year’s Arts on the Square community art project will take a different direction.
Instead of involving paint or clay, it will share stories about Waupaca’s culture through a virtual radio experience.
Radiomundo will be co-hosted by John Laedtke and Kalvin Stern.
“One of my passions is radio. World music is pretty much what my passion is, whatever I do. The chance to bring out the world culture of Waupaca is something I could not pass up,” said Laedtke, who is a 2010 graduate of Waupaca High School and 2013 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The eighth annual Arts on the Square will kick off on Waupaca’s city square on Friday, Aug. 15, with a free street dance featuring “Copper Box.” The dance is being sponsored by Dr. Jan Bax.
The band will play from 7-10 p.m., under the main tent on Fulton Street.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, the arts festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include art, music, workshops and food.
Radiomundo will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Union Street tent.
It will incorporate 99.1 WAUP, the local up and coming public radio station.
“The skill and material to produce a show in live radio format is easily accessible through WAUP,” said Laedtke. “This event is a chance for the public to meet and greet WAUP’s members.”
One of those board members is Mark Gerlach. He and Randall Davidson, a former news producer and afternoon newscaster with Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, will be among those interviewed during the show.
Laedtke and Stern, who is an international studies major at UW-Stevens Point, will also interview Arts on the Square performers, visitors from Waupaca’s sister city in Japan, members of the Waupaca International Cultural Exchange Committee and Rotary foreign exchange students and their host families.
In addition, it will include at least one musical performance.
Laedtke and Stern are used to working together since starting Radiomundo on WWSP-90FM at UW-Stevens Point about two years ago.
He explained how it came to be that they would bring the show to Waupaca.
Arts on the Square is sponsored by the nonprofit Waupaca Community Arts Board and Community First Credit Union, with support from the city of Waupaca’s hotel/motel tax dollars.
Earlier this year, Marci Reynolds, president of the arts board, emailed Laedtke and proposed the idea of doing a live radio event at this year’s arts festival.
Laedtke, who has been involved in past arts board events, was in Spain at the time.
He headed to Spain last year after he graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a degree in drama.
He also studied abroad in Hungary for seven months during his college years and spent about a year in Turkey during high school as a Rotary exchange student.
While in Spain, Laedtke taught English to primary and secondary students at a Catholic school and also to children, teens and adults at a social center.
He has since decided to return to UW-Stevens Point to seek an English as a Second Language degree and is set to start taking classes.
The idea behind having Radiomundo be this year’s community art project is to show how international Waupaca is. The theme is “small rural town, part of the larger world.”
Of the show’s format, Laedtke said, “I didn’t have to create anything new. Everything was existing.”
He said it will be a “great, live show.”
There will be surround sound in the world radio tent, with lots of world music playing in the background during the interviews.
“During the show, Kalvin and I will go remote to record parts for the podcast,” Laedtke said.
People will not be able to listen to the show on that day on any particular radio station.
What Laedtke and Stern will be doing is creating a podcast that will be posted to the websites of the Waupaca Community Arts Board (www.waupacaarts.org) and 99.1 WAUP (www.waupfm.org).
“We will get it on as soon as we can,” Laedtke said.
They are excited to launch it.
“We’re hoping it will provide an inclusive and enlightening experience that all ages, cultures and creeds can enjoy,” he said. “I suggest everyone listen to it in the Waupaca area, because this is your community. It’s important to know who lives here, where they’re from and what you can do to be more understanding.”