Central Park will be home to art, music, food and wine this weekend, as artists from all over the Valley gather for the 15th annual Art in the Park festival.
This year's event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 6 and feature dozens of booths with painters in all media, clay, fine jewelry, art photography, textiles and sculpture, including over 20 new participants. Several artists will conduct demonstrations.
"It's a weekend celebration of the arts. We've got multicultural performances, live music, there's going to be a major chalk art plaza, and we're bringing in professional artists," said PR Coordinator Shelley Barry.
The festival, sponsored by the city of San Ramon in conjunction with the Alamo Danville Artists' Society and the San Ramon Art Foundation, will raise funds for cultural art programs in San Ramon schools.
"Ten percent of the sales benefit art programs in the schools of the San Ramon Valley School District and cultural programs in the city of San Ramon," Barry said.
The festival will bring together over 80 Bay Area artists who specialize in painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelery and photography among other disciplines. There will also be live music and multicultural performances such as taika drumming and Mexican dance. Kids' activities will also be available, making the festival perfect for families.
"We are going to have a major kids' art component and so it's really going to be a multi-sensory as well as a multicultural event, but it's about celebrating all the arts," Barry added.
In the opinion of Barry and the many art educators involved with the event, keeping art present in schools is very important for students.
"It's the first thing to get cut with district-wide budget cuts; they're seen as an indulgence or not essential, but the importance of art education in the development of a child's personality and developmental skills is proven -- they've done studies," said Barry. "A lot of kids are visual and kinesthetic learners. They learn differently, and, if they don't have visual arts to help them along, it really sets them up, I believe, for failure."
During its 15-year run, the event has raised over $125,000 for arts education. To make this event the most profitable yet, organizers are still looking for business sponsors throughout the community and more artists to participate.
"It's a great opportunity, we feel, for companies who want to get the word out about their business to the community and give back to a really important cause," said Barry.
It's not too late get involved. Those interested in participating as a business sponsor should contact Stephen Rodriguez at email@example.com or 462-1919. Artists interested in booth space and selling artwork can contact Norma Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-9170.