As Norwich-based events go, we all have our personal favorites. Automobile fanciers have a driving passion for the Rolling Antiquers’ Memorial Day show. Jocks and wannabes get all sweaty thinking about Gus Macker. Agrarians really dig the Chenango County Fair. The Blues Fest is music to the ears for aficionados of that genre. Many are out of their gourds for the Pumpkin Festival.
Me, I’m particular to Colorscape. I’m not sure if it’s because of my role as the longest-serving member of the Arts Council board, or the fact that somewhere beneath my cool demeanor lies the soul of a tortured (and truly ungifted) artist – but Colorscape’s always been my favorite local event since its inception.
Has it really been 14 years since Julie Borden brought her idea of a downtown fine arts festival to the powers that be? Back then, at that first public meeting, it sure seemed like a great idea. And it sure seemed like it wouldn’t happen in a million years. Then the late, great Denny Dent brought his Two-Fisted Art Attack to the courthouse stage, and we were all hooked.
The festival has grown by leaps and bounds and become a perennial favorite, led by a legion of volunteers who put on a two-day show that’s a feast for the eyes, ears and palette. Amazingly enough, it’s largely free (unless you want to take some of that gallery-quality art home, of course; I usually settle for the T-shirt).
Colorscape is unique in that it offers the chance to not only observe creativity, but to be creative yourself. It’s always a kick to watch the kiddies up to their eyeballs in fingerpaints and glitter in Golden Artist Colors’ Art Zones.
But I think the thing I like most about Colorscape is the opportunity it presents for us at The Evening Sun. As one of the corporate sponsors, we’re given tent space in West Side Park gratis. We don’t really use it to hawk subscriptions, but more as a chance to get our faces out there and interact with thousands of people we might not normally see. I suppose our marketing whizzes would call it image branding; I prefer “meet & greet.”
That’s what we’ll be doing all weekend – I’ll be joined by various members of our trusty staff (Melissa deCordova, Jessica Lewis, Tyler Murphy and our latest contestant, Melissa Stagnaro) in manning the tent and making nice with the general public. Stop by and pick up a complimentary copy of today’s paper (now that I’ve already got your 50 cents, of course) or any number of our special sections. Those of you who don’t already subscribe to The Evening Sun (heathens that you are) can sign up for a chance to win a free subscription, and our intrepid reporters will be blogging live on www.evesun.com.
(I’ve been very parentheses-happy this week, haven’t I?)
Most importantly, stop by to say hi. We’re there to hear your comments about the job we’re doing – both the compliments and the constructive (!) criticism. We all enjoy being there, listening to the music, chit-chatting with Joe Public and marveling over the amazing artistry on display. Ultimately, what we love about Colorscape is what we love about putting out this newspaper every day – being part of the community.