|Persephone warms up the crowd at this past year's World Arts Festival. She returns on Sept. 12 to entertain the crowds with her humor and music, and also will hand out awards for the winners of the PV Art Guild's sale and show.|
Trib File Photo/Sue Tone
It is almost time to throw on some old clothes and join an attempt at creating the world's largest single piece of art - no talent necessary - at the upcoming World Arts Festival on Sept. 12 at the Prescott Valley Civic Center.
Now in its seventh year, the Festival attracts between 4,000-6,000 participants. This year, the Festival runs one day only and has a packed calendar of events that includes the 2-hour painting affair.
"This is not a 'sit-on-a-stool-and-drool' festival," said Brian Witty, PV Parks and Recreation director, who was looking for an activity in which people could be directly involved.
Witty said Arts and Culture Commissioner Nancy Smith came up with the idea for the event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the main lawn. The record attempt requires registration from all participants prior to 11 a.m., and Witty encourages people to arrive early.
The art canvas will measure 40 ft. x 60 ft. after the four panels (20 ft. x 30 ft. each) are stitched together.
"We want to create the largest piece of artwork by the most participating artists in the world," Witty said.
The "artists" will use non-toxic washable paint to ply their craft with hands, feet, bodies and props such as sponges, hoops and balls. Wearing swimsuits or old clothes will make this "Stop, Drop and Roll" activity more fun, Witty said, although those who are more "dainty" can use a brush. There will be a wash-off area, he added.
A&C Commissioner Cynthia Jones said plans for the finished canvas are still up in the air. It could be put on display at the Civic Center or even taken on tour across the state.
The Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with free activities and entertainment all day long.
Persephone returns with her colorful costumes and original music. She is the emcee on the main stage and will announce the winners of the Prescott Valley Art Guild's juried show and the kite-making contest winners at 10:30 a.m. Kite makers must submit finished kites to the Parks and Rec office in the Civic Center by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
The Guild will display the artwork inside the Civic Center on the lower level.
Music and performance entertainment also includes Michael Reed's Blues Band, Wheezy, the Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad, Sky Daddy and the Pop Rocks, Keith Johnson's Caribbean Sounds, Magician Craig Davis, and the Yellowbird Indian Dancers.
Finishing out the evening from 5-7 p.m. is Elvis and the Legends of Rock n' Roll, with special "guests" Elton John and Tina Turner.
Throughout the day are make-and-take art activities for children and adults, giant chess contest, and an inflatable Jumpy Village. Jones said there may be a table set up for making ornaments for the Arizona Capitol Christmas Tree.
For the first time this past year, crowds enthusiastically cheered on the popular Mascot Kickball game, and it returns with many favorite local characters.
Food vendors and artists and crafters will have their wares for sale. Witty said the Festival hosted 34 vendors in 2008. He has dropped the cost of a 10 ft. x 10 ft. space to $40 for vendors.
Except for the vendor sales, the beer garden, and the wine-tasting station, everything is free. The town offers free parking, expanded this year to the new library building to the west of the Civic Center.
The Prescott Valley Arts and Culture Commission, Park and Recreation Dept. and numerous volunteers make the World Arts Festival a world-class event. For more information, call 928-759-3027 or visit www.pvaz.net.