After eight months of turmoil in the community with a scandal and high-profile trial, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is “among the good stuff,” according to Rick Bryant, the annual event’s executive director.
All the usual activities and features will greet visitors to the summer festival, which will run through Sunday throughout downtown and University Park.
Jon Rounds, a Penn State graduate with the band Cartoon, said that nothing has diminished about the area, a place he said is great for musicians to collaborate and greet fans in an atmosphere of family and friends.
“It’s still this beautiful, wonderful place where things like the arts fest happen,” he said. “It’s like Disneyland for musicians in a way.”
And, like Disneyland, arts fest offers activities for all ages and interests, including the 300 artist booths to music, movies and theater performances throughout the week.
Those who want to start the day with fitness can check out Zumba, yoga and Taiji, a Chinese martial art.
New events will take place at the Bryce Jordan Center and Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art, featuring a Civil War exhibit, book-making workshop and quilting speaker.
BookFestPASchlow Centre Region Library’s third BookFestPA will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14. The event features local authors, book signings and other events.
Last year’s event drew 30 authors and almost 2,400 visitors, a big jump from 350 the first year.
“We get a lot of traffic just visiting the tents and talking to the local authors,” said Kristina Yezdimer, adult services librarian at Schlow.
“Coming to see the headlining authors is a popular thing to do.”
Headliners this year include Sara Shepard, who spent part of her childhood in State College and wrote the “Pretty Little Liars” series and “The Lying Game” series. Her most recent book is the adult novel “Everything We Ever Wanted.”
Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road ShowOne new activity this year will seek to draw visitors to the Bryce Jordan Center parking lot.
In a 53-foot trailer, the Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road Show offers interactive exhibits and information commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It shows the various ways Pennsylvanians experienced the war.
Displays include original compositions of Civil War-era music and animated tales. Visitors can share their own stories from that era at a recording booth. Those recordings will be available to the public at www.pacivilwar150.com.
The exhibit trailer will be set up in lot 44, the parking lot adjacent to the BJC, at the corner of Curtin and Porter roads.
Bryant said the exhibit will catch visitors who park near the athletic facilities and plan to catch the Arts Fest shuttle to downtown State College.
The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 13-14, and noon to 5 p.m. July 15. Admission is free.
Books and quiltsJuly 13-14 will offer activities for those interested in reading and quilting.
First up, children’s book author Martha Freeman will give a one-hour workshop about reading, writing and imagination. She’ll lead a story-telling game for all ages that identifies story elements and results in the group creating its own story. Freeman will give the workshop at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. July 13-14.
Martha Carothers, an art professor at the University of Delaware, will hold a book-making workshop for adults and older children. Each session is limited to 12 participants and will be at 1 and 6 p.m. July 13-14.
Both book events will be in the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St.
Also on July 14 are two activities for quilters. First, at 1 p.m. at the Palmer Museum of Art, author, editor and gallery owner Laura Fisher will give a lecture on historical quilts, “Provocative Parallels: The Modern Art of Antique Quilts.” After the lecture, Fisher will give 10 informal quilt appraisals. Contact Palmer education curator Dana Carlisle Kletchka at 863-9188 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
From 2 to 4 p.m., quiltmakers from local shop Stitch Your Art Out and Centre Pieces Quilt Guild will demonstrate hand piecing and stitching quilts and answer questions.
The educational opportunities are funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Parking informationPenn State campus: Visitors are encouraged to use the festival parking area at Jordan East, next to the Bryce Jordan Center. The Porter North and Porter South lots are not for arts festival parking.
Arts festival parking costs $5 per car, per day. Buses are free to the public and run continuously around campus and downtown with several stops, including one in the center of the festival, at the corner of College Avenue and South Allen Street.
Shuttle hours: End times are the final departures to the Jordan East parking lot.
• 4:45 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next morning on July 13.
• 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next morning on July 14.
• 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 15 .
Downtown State College
Limited spaces are available at municipal parking garages on Pugh and Fraser streets and Beaver Avenue.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter