by Philip L. Levin, MD
This Month - The Arts Alive! festival returns to Old Town Bay St. Louis in March. Learn how you can be part of this dynamic event that will get your creative muses buzzing!
Dozens of artists will show work, demonstrate technique and share their creative process with customers at shops and galleries throughout Old Town. A juried art show offers cash prizes. With a singer-songwriter competition, a culinary contest and a literary event - ArtsAlive! brings out the creative muse in crowds all day long.
The event has been produced by The Arts, Hancock County for more than a decade, but in 2014, the organization launched a completely fresh concept, winning over participating artists, Old Town merchants and festival goers who came from as far away as North Carolina.
According to Cynthia Mahner, president of The Arts, “ArtsAlive! exposes our community to art and fosters creativity in children and adults throughout the coast community. And it gives professionals and aspiring artists, writers, chefs, and musicians a place to showcase their talents."
“It’s also more engaging than a typical art show, since you get to see artists creating and competing. It’s a very exciting day for both artists and the public."
Last year over $4,000 in prize money was awarded in the various competitions and more than 100 writers, songwriters, chefs and visual artists participated.
This year two-dozen local businesses will sponsor artists along the streets of Bay St. Louis. Many of the restaurants, such as the Bay Town Inn, Trapani’s Eatery, and the Cypress Café will have painters demonstrating in their front yards. Jewelers, potters, needlepointers, and even furniture makers will be out in front of various businesses, providing a unique opportunity to meet artists at their work and see how they create their masterpieces.
The Singer-Songwriter showcase will be sponsored again this year through the Mockingbird café. Live performances occur all afternoon, with a finalist sing-off showdown in the evening. Four hundred dollars cash prizes ensure high quality singers, with a good time for all listeners.
The Literary Showcase will partner with Bay Books to give writers a chance to shine, including a bevy of local authors signing their books through the day along Main Street. The Aspiring Writers contest promotes writing for students, with a big participation from the grade school and high school levels. Last year’s “Flash Fiction” contest with cash prizes was a big success, and will be repeated again this year. For more excitement, Bay Books will be adding a poetry contest this year.
In the Culinary Showcase, amateur chefs will bring their strongest contenders to the Sweets of the South competition during ArtsAlive! 2015, with cash prizes awarded to the top three winners. Members of the public even get to sample the candies, cakes and pies to help select a People’s Choice Award. Even acting will be represented, with members of the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre presenting a short performance on the Courthouse lawn.
Those interested in participating should sign up immediately. Please go to www.artsalivegulfcoast.com for complete information and entry forms. Entry deadline for the juried art show is February 28, 2015.