Outdoor festivals and black tie galas raise awareness and fundsWritten by Christine Senack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The 17th annual Black Swamp Arts Festival was hosted in downtown Bowling Green recently. The outdoor event converts the city’s Main Street into a juried art fair with tented booths and fine artists and craftsmen selling their wares. The festival also takes over city parking lots and converts them to concert venues with sound stages and rows of seating. Also featured is an “artist at work” village where artist demonstrate their craft and invite festival attendees to try their hands at it.
The Black Swamp Arts Festival has the mission of connecting art and the community. The planning committee for the festival is a mix of people representing Bowling Green businesses and individuals with an interest in furthering the arts. Members of the planning committee pay dues of $10 and are asked to attend regular meetings.
Over 60,000 people attend the art show which features more than 100 visual artists and 30 performing artists. Additionally 40 local artists participate in the Wood County Invitational Art show also hosted at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. The companies supporting the three-day community event included Ben Franklin Crafts, Time Warner Television, Grounds for Thought, Life Star and the Electric Quilt Company.
One of Toledo’s favorite festivals, the Greek Fest, was sponsored by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community on their cathedral campus. The three-day event marked the 39th year for the festival which highlights Greek culture within the Toledo area.
While the cathedral tours, cooking demonstrations and informational tables on Greek culture are an important part of the festival, the center of attraction is always the food, libations and traditional Greek dancing. This year gourmet platters were available along with all of the traditional items like spanakopita, moussaka and baklava. At the taverna area of the festival, beer was sold along with a flight of 8 Greek wines.
With more than 13 scheduled hour-long performance sessions, traditional Greek dances are the focus of the event. Dancers of all ages rehearse for months prior to the event, and spend years progressing in their talents and skills. Live ethnic music is performed well into the evening encouraging attendees to join everyone in open dancing.
In addition to being sponsored by Holy Trinity, the Greek Fest is sponsored by businesses and individuals in the local Greek community. Proceeds are used to support the educational and outreach programs of the church.
While thousands of people spent their time and money at outdoor festivals, more than 400 people attended “A Night to Remember,” which is the annual gala for the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Foundation. This year’s event included a performance from jazz singer and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway. The event is expected to net over $150,000 which will benefit programs such as hospitality van services, senior outreach, parish nursing, Healthy Connections and Positive Choices programs. There were over 50 event underwriters and sponsors which included StatCom, Toledo Surgical Specialists, Associated anesthesiologists of Toledo, Lucas County Emergency Room Physicians and Robison, Curphey & O’Connell.
Christine Senack is a Toledo-based promotions consultant connecting people, places and things for the greater good of our community. On occasion she also presents the TMZ Report on FOX Toledo News First at 4. For more event photos and video highlights, connect with her at Facebook.com/christinesenack.
Oct. 1 Vines and Vices. Join the restaurants at Levis Commons, indulge in your vices and help the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio. The evening event includes wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a raffle. Tickets are $50. For more information visit northwestohio.wish.org.
Oct. 2 From Broadway to Hollywood. The annual gala to benefit the Valentine Theatre features an intimate performance with Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Pulitzer prize winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. The event also includes dinner and dancing. Tickets are $175 and $225. For more information visit valentinetheatre.com.