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Jefferson City's inaugural PorchFest set for May

Jefferson City's inaugural PorchFest set for May

March 21st, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in News

The Cultural Arts Commission announced it will host a new interactive sculpture later this year. The sculpture is titled "Grandiloquence" by Jillian Springer.

Photo by Submitted photo

Jefferson City will host its inaugural PorchFest to promote the arts and raise awareness of historic preservation.

PorchFest will feature at least six porches along East Capitol Avenue, which will have different decorations and entertainers, along with a few food trucks.

"We want to open up opportunities to artists as well as bring more art into the community," said Leann Porrello, Jefferson City Cultural Arts commissioner and organizer. "We don't want to focus on one kind of art either. It's a really great, well-rounded festival that will include literary arts, performing arts, visual arts."

The free event will be 1-4 p.m. May 6 primarily in the 500-600 blocks of East Capitol Avenue. The Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau will have a porch in the 700 block.

Avenue HQ and the Jefferson City Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry are co-sponsoring the event.

They plan to finalize the number of porches this month, so there could be more than six porches participating in the inaugural event.

The event began in New York and has become a nationwide trend, and organizer and commissioner Holly Stitt said it will bring people into different neighborhoods that need revitalization or have succeeded with historic preservation.

A future goal is to move PorchFest to different Jefferson City neighborhoods to highlight revitalization.

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ShelbyFest and Hidden Spaces will occur the same day, which Porrello and Stitt hope will attract more people to PorchFest.

They plan to hold another event in October along East Capitol Avenue. If the first PorchFest is well received, they will expand it to include more porches and entertainers.

The Cultural Arts Commission approved setting aside up to $1,000 for the event Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the Cultural Arts Commission announced it will host a new interactive sculpture later this year. The sculpture, titled "Grandiloquence" by Jillian Springer, features two openings on either side where visitors can speak to each other through the sculpture.

The commission is leaning toward placing it at Riverside Park near the playground but said they need to work with the Parks Department's staff.

The sculpture is part of Manchester-based Creative Cities Alliance's sculpture program in which Missouri cities can rent and purchase sculptures made by local artists. Ten cities currently participate in the program.

Cities can rent sculptures for two years for $500 per year. The Parks Department will cover the two-year, $1,000 total cost.

After the two years, cities can decide whether to rotate the art out or purchase it as a permanent community sculpture.

Jefferson City originally was slated to receive a sculpture called "World's Her Canvas," which featured a young female painter with an empty bronze frame to encourage visitors to take photos looking out from the frame. However, due to "unforeseen circumstances," the city could not receive that sculpture, Porrello said.

This is the first year the Jefferson City Cultural Arts Commission has participated in the program, so it could select only one sculpture. After this year, if residents like the yearly program, the commission can pick several sculptures.

The commission hopes adding sculptures and interactive murals will brighten the community and allow residents to enjoy them without traveling to art galleries.