The Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro (AAGW) marks its 10th anniversary season with Celebrate Destination ARTS! Weekend on Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10 in downtown Waynesboro.
The three days of entertainment, art, and community have been curated to celebrate how Waynesboro has developed into an arts destination. In 2012, there were close to 20 empty storefronts along Main Street. The formation of AAGW helped revive downtown and welcome new businesses.
Many of the events taking place during the official celebration weekend hearken back to the original Destination ARTS! initiative launched on July 19, 2013.
“The community revitalization project was supposed to last just 15 weeks, with vacant buildings becoming art galleries and musicians performing on the sidewalks,” said Andrew Sussman, founder of the arts alliance. “But when the 15 weeks were up, the music kept going and Gallery 50—owned and operated by AAGW—kept going, with more galleries and studios to follow and flourish.”
Celebrate Destination ARTS! Weekend kicks off on Fri., July 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. with an opening reception in Gallery 50, plus additional receptions at Ceramic Arts Center, 42 West ARTS Co-op, Gallery 35 East, Sanders Creations & Laser Graphics, Walnut Street Studios, and Cindy’s Custom Framing. Live music features G@g (Gillian & Garrett Austin) at Music Makers, Across the Pond at Main Street Park, and Earthsong Ensemble (Patric Schlee & friends) at 42 West ARTS Co-op.
On Sat., July 9, nonstop music at Music Makers from 12 to 6 p.m. spotlights Tim Gotwald & Dan Dropkin, Dave Dishneau & Michael Heyser, Kerensa Gray, and Sussman, Jankura & Hepfer. All downtown galleries will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with yarn spinning and sculpting demonstrations at 42 West ARTS Co-op.
Main Street Park will be busy with live music from Tresa Day, Soleil, and The Willys Duo, art vendors/demonstrations, food trucks, and breweries from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will close with Bobby D and the Truckstop Burritos from 7 to 9 p.m., part of the Summer Concert Series in collaboration with Mainstreet Waynesboro and sponsored by FirstEnergy Foundation.
The festivities continue on Sun., July 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. Gallery 50 will be open for art browsing, Music Makers will feature musicians Wayne Driscoll and BBD Blue Trio, and Main Street Park will have face painting for kids and live performances by Waynesboro Children’s Theater Troupe and Two Mountains Over.
For hands-on fun, a “play me” piano will be on the sidewalk outside Music Makers for the community to play and share their talent as they walk around downtown enjoying the weekend’s events.
In addition, a Destination ARTS! Scavenger Hunt contest begins Fri., July 8. Cards can be picked up at Gallery 50, 42 West ARTS Co-op, Ceramic Arts Center, Gallery 35 East, Walnut Street Studios, and Sanders Creations & Laser Graphics. Entries need to be dropped off at Gallery 50 by Sat., Sep. 3, with multiple prizes to be awards during AAGW’s annual fundraising festival—Jammin’ in the Park, which takes place at Main Street Park on Sun., Sep. 4.
The weekend is family-friendly and free (except for the Summer Concert Series performance), although donations are encouraged and appreciated.
AAGW is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a focus to integrate the arts into community life and help arts education thrive collaborating with schools, community nonprofits, arts organizations, artists of all artistic disciplines, and the area represented by the Waynesboro Area School District.
For more information, follow AAGW on Facebook or visit ArtsAllianceGW.org