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Festivals unite to bring enhanced showcase of performers


FLORENCE – Art’s Alive and the Pee Dee International Festival have been recognized as premier events that showcase talent. This year, these two notable events will merge and form one comprehensive event. 

The new festival, Arts International, features the best from Art’s Alive and the Pee Dee International Festival. Arts International will take place for the first time on April 24, 2010, at Francis Marion University. Since both occasions are hosted by FMU and serve a parallel purpose in the community organizers say the two are an ideal fit. 

 “We are excited about the fusion of the two festivals as it reflects our shared passion and commitment to promote increased access to the arts and contribute to the development of cultural appreciation near and far,” said Libby Cooper, FMU’s Art’s Alive committee chair. “I think both organizational committees see this as an opportunity to do more than either of us could do alone.” 

Joan Billheimer, Pee Dee International Festival committee chair, said the festival will remain a destination event, attracting visitors and participants from throughout the Pee Dee region. In fact, Billheimer said the merger offers an opportunity to enhance the quality of the festival. 

“This really is a win-win situation,” said Billheimer. “With the greater scale and resources of the combined festivals, we will be in a much stronger position to deliver on our promise of bringing the best in cultural, performing and visual arts. And, as always, we want to showcase the diversity of our area’s growing international community.” 

The Art’s Alive Festival was generally held in April while the International Festival was held in October.

Art's Alive was an all-day festival of performing and visual arts that has been held on the campus of FMU for 32 years. The festival featured a wide variety of dance, music, theatrical performances, and song. Performances were scheduled on five stages (indoors and outdoors) with events changing hourly. In the visual arts, the emphasis was on demonstration of the creative process. The Art's Alive Show was a one-day exhibition and sales event designed to promote the quality of diverse artisans residing in the region. Artists specializing in jewelry, clay, photography, and more were on hand. 

The Pee Dee International Festival was a celebration of culture to foster a better understanding of those represented in the Pee Dee and increase appreciation for the global community. The event featured music, dance, food booths, cultural displays and games for children.


Last Published: January 7, 2010 12:11 PM
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