The Harrisburg Art Walk, next up in the town’s list of “must-attend” fall events, is set for this Saturday, October 12, at Town Center.
Nearly 50 vendors – a healthy mix of painters, photographers, pottery makers, wood carvers, metal sculptors and other artistically inclined individuals – will set up shop near Harrisburg Town Hall for the annual festival. Certain roads, including the stretch of Main Street directly in front of Town Hall, will be closed to vehicular traffic that day.
The art festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with musician Reinaldo Brahn performing from noon until 1:15 p.m., and 1:45 until 3 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from vendors and nearby restaurants.
Founded in 2013 by local painter Teresa Burgin Stern and now run by the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Harrisburg Art Walk typically attracts several hundred people, according to Toni Wheeler Jenschke, a member of the town’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee.
“It’s a fun place for people to bring their families as there is a lot of different art to see and enjoy,” says Ms. Jenschke, a photographer who has sold some of her work at prior festivals. “We have a lot of artists in our community, and the Art Walk offers them a chance to display their stuff … all in a nice community atmosphere.”
A Scholarship Fund
Ms. Burgin Stern, an artist who used to live in the town, founded the festival and, for years, managed it with a team of dedicated volunteers. Ms. Jenschke stressed that Ms. Burgin Stern created the Art Walk as a way to raise scholarship money for a deserving high school student, while also offering local artists a venue to display and sell their work.
As has been the case every year since the event’s founding, proceeds collected from exhibiting vendors – who pay $50 to rent a 10-foot by 10-foot space for the day if they reserve before the first week of September, and $60 after that date – will fund a $1,000 scholarship that will be presented next year to a high school student from Cabarrus County.
Students applying for the Art Walk Scholarship must be interested in studying the arts in college, and that category was recently expanded to also include performing arts like dance, music and theater, Ms. Jenschke notes. Eligible students can attend public, private or virtual high schools.
“Our plan is to keep the Art Walk around forever, and I want to keep it as a scholarship event as well because that was [Ms. Burgin Stern’] vision,” she says. “It is something that we need for our kids because, well, school’s expensive these days.”
The scholarship application period runs from February 1 to May 1 each year, and forms can be downloaded from the town website at that time, according to Shawn Marble, the recreation programs manager for Harrisburg’s Parks and Recreation Department.
An Art Show And A Concert
This year’s Harrisburg Art Walk will be immediately followed by the final 2019 show in the town’s Rockin’ the Burg Concert series.
Jeremy Mohr will kick things off at 4 p.m. and the concert’s headliner, Radio Revolver, will perform from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. The stage will be set up on Main Street, near Percent Tap House, and face Town Hall. As always, there is no charge and though concert attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, they should leave their blankets at home this time as they will be sitting on pavement instead of grass.
The final installment of this year’s free concert series had to be moved from Harrisburg Park due to that facility’s ongoing $10 million renovation that started last month. The park is expected to reopen next summer, just in time for the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration.
“This year’s Art Walk will be different because we’re also having the Rockin’ the Burg concert afterward,” says Ms. Jenschke, who is making her first run for Town Council next month. “Those attending Saturday’s festival will have a whole bunch of things to do and enjoy.”