Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

What better way to spend a summer Saturday than to head down to Easy Street and enjoy some great art, craft demonstrations, music and food?
In only its fourth year, the Rowan Arts Council’s Art on Easy Street festival is a much-anticipated celebration of the local arts scene.
Waterworks Visual Arts Center will be part of the celebration for the second year running, with 12 hands-on art centers providing activities throughout the day in the F&M Trolley Barn.
Thanks to a Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation grant, Latino artists, music and food will add a new dimension to this year’s Art on Easy Street.
Festival-goers will find more than 50 artists, from North Carolina and beyond, offering a wide variety of creations, from oil portraits painted on the spot to baskets to jewelry, all within easy walking distance of each other.
“We strive to provide a variety of music, dance and other artistic displays so that no one art form overwhelms another,” said Joan Zimmerman, president of Rowan Arts Council.
There will be dance performances by Steppin’ Out and Dimension Dance studios. Music will include bluegrass guitarist Larry Davis and polka music by Polka Dots. Also performing will be the Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band and The Breeze Band, featuring guitarist Sammy Manriquez. Mother Blues will also be on hand to entertain, as will beach-music band Fusion.
Music will be performed outside on Easy Street and inside the Trolley Barn.
“Our main goal is to raise awareness of the arts and give a safe and fun place for families to make memories together,” said Lori McMahon, Executive Director of Waterworks Visual Arts Center. “It’s all about helping to grow the community.”
Last year, more than 2,500 people enjoyed Rowan Arts Council’s outdoor activities ń music, dance, and booths of vendors and craftsmen ó and more than 400 children and adults participated in the art and craft projects at Family Fun Day.
In the F&M Trolley Barn, adults may enjoy a late afternoon wine tasting, provided by Pinocchio’s Restaurant.
Inside Waterworks, patrons will have a chance to browse the two summer exhibitions, New Paintings by Liisa Salasaari Jasinski and Plastiquarium by David Edgar, which will be on display in the gallery from June 16 through Aug. 25.
Capping the festivities will be the newly formed Salisbury Swing Band under the direction of Dr. Stephen Etters of Catawba College. The 18-piece band will play from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a separate fundraiser sponsored by Rowan Arts Council for Rowan Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts.
The band will play music by some of the best jazz and popular composers of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s: Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Bill Conti, Neal Hefti, and Henri Mancini.
Sponsors for Family Fun Day for Waterworks Visual Arts Center are Summit Developers and Cheerwine. Sponsors for Art on Easy Street for Rowan Arts Council are the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation, F&M Bank, Rowan Investments, Ben Mynatt Nissan, and A Step in Time.
Easy Street is located in downtown Salisbury between North Main and Lee Streets and at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center and the F&M Trolley Barn on adjoining Liberty Street.
For more information, contact Sally Keeney at Rowan Arts Council at 704-210-8356 or Maggie Blackwell at Waterworks Visual Art Center at 704-636-1882.
Performance schedule10:30 a.m. ó Dimension Dance Studio, dance
11:15 a.m. ó Larry Davis, bluegrass Music
12:15 p.m. ó Stepping Out, dance
1 p.m. ó Polka Dots, accordion music
1:45 p.m. ó Tropical Flavor Steel Drum Band
3:15 p.m. ó The Breeze Band, Top 40/Soul
4:15 p.m. ó Mother Blues (Pat Cohen), blues and jazz
5:15-6 p.m. ó Fusion Band, beach music