FLORENCE – The possibility of rain has spurred a change in plans for the organizers of Saturday's Art’s Alive Festival at Francis Marion University. Despite potential setbacks from the weather, the show will go on, being held indoors instead.
"We made the decision out of concern for the people coming to the festival and for the artists that would be performing," said Libby Cooper, vice president for public and community affairs. "We thought it would be best if it were inside."
Main outdoor stage performances by Jim Quick and Coastline band, the Parris Island Marine Band and The Woody’s will be moved to the Smith University Center gymnasium. Outdoor dance stage acts will be moved to the commons area in the Smith University Center.
The Art Show will be moved to the north end of the gymnasium in Smith University Center. The food court will be moved to Patriot Drive. Jack London’s musical “Call of the Wild” performed by the National Players will be moved to The Grille.
All other events will take place where originally scheduled.
Despite the change of locations, organizers are remaining optimistic. Cooper said that with such a diverse group of artistic performances, the festival should have something for everyone.
"We try to make it a stronger artistic show every year," said Cooper. “Our vision is to promote increased access to the arts and to contribute to the development of an appreciation of the aesthetic aspects of community life in the Florence region.”
A number of dance groups will perform, including the South Carolina Dance Theatre, celebrating its 30th year as the region’s oldest ballet company consisting of about 40 dancers from age nine to teenagers.
They along with four other groups will perform in McNair Science Building’s Chapman Auditorium. Other groups include the Performing Arts Academy, the Wanda Project, Coker Repertory Dance Company and Phat Pheet of Williams Middle School.
Performing in the Smith University Center commons area are Dancin’ on Main, Kelley’s Fine Arts, Showbiz Studio & Dance Company, School of Dance Arts and Dance for Joy Dance Studio.
The festival’s lineup of talented musicians and singers performing throughout the day, include the choral ensemble Vocal Edition, FMU’s Cut Time choir, Fleur de Lis Strings, Florence Men’s Choral Society, The Plaids and Peggy Baroody and Friends. They will perform in Hyman Fine Arts Center’s Adele Kassab Recital Hall.
The Greenwood Elementary School chorus will begin the musical lineup with a performance at 10:30 a.m. in the Smith University Center gymnasium.
Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night or What You Will,” performed by the National Players will be held in McNair Science Building’s Chapman Auditorium on Friday evening.
Children’s events to be held under The Big Top will include ventriloquist, comedian Ron Johnson who will engage attendees with his humor, magic and songs.
In addition to Johnson’s ventriloquism, several other performers will present entertaining programs for youngsters and adults at the Art’s Alive Festival. Comedy juggler Jason Huneke and the Florence Little Theatre Schoolhouse Players are among those performers.
A movie matinee of cartoon and comedy classics will be held in Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium.
The festival offers a day of free activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Event-goers will find a wide array of live dance and musical entertainment, art exhibits and activities in a family-friendly environment.
"We encourage people to come early and to visit with the artists who are on hand and eager to discuss their work," said Cooper. "We have expanded the number of events this year since there is so much enthusiasm for the festival. So there will be much more to enjoy."
For more information, contact the FMU Office of Public and Community Affairs at 843-661-1225.