A street party celebrating art and two park musical performances mark the 40th city-sponsored Batesville Music and Arts Festival.
The fun begins downtown with a Rural Alliance for the Arts Community Art Show reception for the artists and public Wednesday, June 19. Eighteen have entered the 15th annual show, according to chairperson Regina Siefert. The original artworks “mostly consist of fine arts, but there are several applied art pieces along with a couple of photography entries. It is exciting to see different artists and interesting mediums, including quilling, metal spinning, wood carving and stained glass.” A Best of Show winner and first through third places in each of three categories will be announced and cash prizes will be awarded to the artists.
After the show, The Tides, an Indianapolis band with an island sound, will play in the parking lot across the street. The performance is sponsored by the Batesville Memorial Public Library as part of its After Hours Concert Series. “Bring your lawn chairs,” suggests library director Mike Kruse.
More art can be enjoyed outdoors. Artists belonging to Tri-State Artisans will demonstrate their skills on the sidewalks along George Street from 5-9 p.m. The street on that block will be closed so art lovers can socialize, dance and dine on sandwiches, homemade gelatos and sorbets and drinks (beer and wine plus nonalcoholic) catered by the Big Four Café.
Then the fest moves to Liberty Park. Associate conductor Robert Treviño will lead the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on a new evening, Thursday, June 20, instead of Wednesday. He reports, “This program is titled ‘From Stage to Screen: Opera Classics and Film Favorites.’ It’s a good opportunity to play music people will know and also perhaps music people ought to know.” Guest soprano Amanda Pabyan will sing four “phenomenal (opera) arias, some incredibly technically difficult” during the first half. The 29-year-old notes, “We’re getting a real treat .... Amanda is a world-renowned talent” who has sung at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera 200 times. Music lovers here “will see what a huge personality she has.” Treviño suspects listeners will recognize the melodies from films and commercials. Some may learn, “‘Wow, I actually like Verdi.’”
The concert’s second half boasts “a lot of really spectacular film scores,” with music from “Superman,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Beetlejuice” and other blockbusters. “This is one of the few orchestras in the country that can play symphonic ... and pop repertoires at the highest levels.” The conductor would put these musicians up against those in Hollywood recording scores for movies. “One of the things I love about this orchestra is they can do everything so well.”
Some seating is available; attendees may want to bring chairs or blankets. (The show will be in the Batesville High School auditorium if weather is poor.)
The Texaco Country Showdown will give area musicians an opportunity to gain wider followings. The contest presented by Batesville radio station WRBI and Jim True Ford, Brookville, wraps up the fest Friday, June 21.
The local competition is open to bands and singles. Batesville’s winner competes in the state contest. After five fall regional contests of this 32nd round of America’s largest country music talent search, about $200,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the national final, including the $100,000 grand prize to the Best New Act in Country Music.
The Kiwanis Club of Batesville will serve food Thursday and Friday nights, according to member Sue Siefert. Items include pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, brats, metts, popcorn, chips and drinks.
On Thursday night only, slices of pies will be offered by the Batesville Daughters of Isabella.
An athletic event rounds out the three-day series. The Batesville Music and Arts Festival 5K, sponsored by Southeastern Indiana YMCA, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at Liberty Park.
The run/walk will offer awards to the top three male and female walkers and the overall male and female runners, with three place awards presented in each of 12 age categories.
Participants are asked to donate canned items for the Batesville food pantry in exchange for door prize chances.
Entry fees are $15-$20 depending on T-shirt supplies. Event-day registration starts at 4:30 p.m.
Refreshments and a ceremony take place after the race. Entry forms are available at the Y or online at www.siymca.org. Persons with questions or who would like to volunteer to help may contact wellness director Angela Hurley at 812-934-6006 or email@example.com.