FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will play host to the 26th-annual Art’s Alive Festival on Saturday, March 29.
The festival will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, and is free and open to the public. The event is a celebration of the visual and performing arts for the whole family, with simultaneous performances at five different venues on campus.
This year’s featured attraction is Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. Williams, a native of Lancaster, had legendary hits with “Stay,” “Little Darlin’,” and “May I.” His songs have been recorded by many top artists and have been featured in films and on television.
A variety of other musical groups will be performing throughout the day, including the Florence School District One All-City Elementary Chorus; Cut Time, FMU’s show choir; the Florence Little Theatre Men’s Ensemble; Vocal Edition of Myrtle Beach; the Asheville Guitar Trio classical guitarists; The Plaids, from Lake City, performing doo-wop and four-part harmony from the ’50s and ’60s; Sneed Middle School Jazz Ensemble; “A Tribute to Elvis – The Concert Years” by Bryan Pittman of Dillon; and the Pee Dee Gospel Workshop Choir.
A number of dance groups will also perform, including the Prime Time Dancers, Carolina Belles, Phat Pheet from Williams Middle School, the Florence Line Dance Club, and the Coker Dance Repertory Company, as well as dancers from the Patsy Hathcock Dance Studio, Kelly’s Fine Arts, the School of Dance Arts, and the South Carolina Dance Theatre.
Performances for children will include comedy and magic by Boo Boo and Be-Bop the Clowns; Tricia and the Toonies, an interactive fun-filled musical adventure featuring a whimsical troupe of puppet friends; and “Little Red Riding Hood” presented by the Florence Little Theatre School House Players.
A multitude of hands-on activities for children will also be available, including clay creations, sand art, farm friends and beady babies, egg-carton caterpillars, and potato heads. Children’s games, sidewalk chalk art, face painting, balloon sculptures, Bucket the Clown, and the Patriot Poet-Tree will also be featured.
The Society for Creative Anachronism will recreate the Middle Ages with displays of period dress, armor, leatherwork, and calligraphy, along with dancing and fighting demonstrations. Former FMU history professor Joe Stukes will present “A Brief Visit with Robert E. Lee.” A mime will roam the grounds and visitors will have the opportunity to meet Miss Florence, Jeanne Culver.
Visual art of every description will be demonstrated and on display at the Hyman Fine Arts Center, including chair caning, hand-carved figurines, stained glass, hand-crafted glass beads, stained-glass earrings, portraits in oils and watercolors, sculpture, jewelry, raku pottery, origami, and hand-painted ostrich eggs.
Visitors to the festival may bring a picnic lunch, or purchase food from a variety of food vendors sure to suit all tastes.
This project is funded in part by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, contact the FMU Office of Community Relations at 843-661-1225.
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