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Festival to feature local art, performances
BARSTOW • For years, Mid Summer Arts Fest coordinator Jane Laraman-Brockhurst has wanted to have an art festival in Barstow.
“The arts are something that lift the heart,” said Laraman-Brockhurst, co-director of the Desert Discovery Center. “It really does enrich the individual, but it enriches the community as well.”
With the help of dozens of local artists, the Desert Discovery Center is hosting the Mid Summer Arts Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the center, 831 Barstow Road.
The day will feature musical and theatrical performances peppered throughout along with workshops for children. There will be a static art show displaying works from local artists, some of which will be for sale.
“It’s great that there’s one single event that focuses on all the arts, not just a dance recital or a band performance or a play, but really appreciating all the different forms of art the community has to offer,” said Rheba Neal, owner of A Joyful Sound Music Store and one of the workshop leaders.
Neal said she will be leading music and dancing workshops for children at the festival and her piano students will perform throughout the day. They join three musical groups to perform during the day.
Virgil Stanford, with the Mojave River String Band, said his trio will be playing acoustic music, including the styles of bluegrass, old time and folk music with a couple of contemporary songs, he said.
“I think it’s a great idea to bring out some of the culture of the people in this surrounding area, through dance or art or music or any of those,” Stanford said.
Laraman-Brockhurst said she’s playing off William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” mostly because the event falls on the mid-summer weekend — the day before the exact middle of the year.
She hopes the arts festival will be an annual event to showcase local artists and show what they can offer the community.
“That’s why we’re doing it — to share with the public the arts opportunities that are available to them here in the community because there is a wealth of arts in Barstow.”
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