Conway has joined a growing list of Arkansas communities proud of their arts reputation. Out of this cultural explosion has come the annual ArtsFest, which starts today and runs through Oct. 10.
This artistic happening is a family friendly event for all ages. On Friday, Oct. 9 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. there will be kid’s scavenger hunt entitled “The Art and Music Amazing Race.” Ten locations along Front Street will have clues, with the first one handed out at the Eiffel Tower in Simon Park. Bailey Library on the Hendrix campus is prize headquarters for the finishers. The Eiffel Tower is a 21-foot sculpture replica of the Paris landmark constructed of re-bar by Finton Shaw, a local artist. It will remain in the park through the month of October.
Another “large” special guest is the 31-foot inflatable Pittsburgh’s Painted Pachyderm, another Front Street attraction. The whimsical sculpture is on loan from the City of Pittsburgh and serves as the festival mascot. It will be unveiled at UCA at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 and remain there until being moved to Simon Park on Saturday.
Non-art themed activities on the docket include a bicycle tour of historic homes (bring your own bike), the Show and Shine classic car display and a chili cook-off. Visitors can choose from two event-ending activities at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening. The Conway Symphony and 150 chorus members from UCA and Hendrix gather in Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus for ArtsFest Rocks Reynolds! The Hendrix Dance Ensemble offers a finale of “Fragments from Sappho,” a collage of poetry, movement and music. Reves Recital Hall is where it takes place.
A complete list of activities is available on www.artsinconway.com or can be obtained by contacting the Conway Downtown Partnership at 501-548-9950.