ArtsFest will return for its 35th year, with the 2017 festival on Sweetheart Circle at Georgia Southern University open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday April 22.
This is the second year that Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation has hosted ArtsFest, having picked it up after the university’s art department announced early last year it would no longer serve as host. After getting a late start planning last year’s event, Parks & Recreation still has not put ArtsFest in its operating budget, instead relying on sponsors.
For ArtsFest 2017, there will be 28 mostly free Art Stops, plus 13 organizations participating in the Artists’ Market and eight food and beverage vendors. Many of the same attractions that drew more than 4,000 people, including many families with children, to last year’s festival will be back.
The stop for tie-dying T-shirts is also the department’s own. Guidance in tie-dying is free, but the ArtsFest 2017 T-shirts, designed by Georgia Southern art student Hayden Strickland, are $5 each.
Another activity popular in recent years, ARTchery, will be back, guided by staff from the university’s Shooting Sports Education Center. This year, Flight Factory Entertainment is hosting another form of ballistic art, paintball painting. The National Association for Music Education will be back with its Instrument Petting Zoo and a stop devoted to instrument making.
Bringing literary art into the festival, a Southern Authors Expo is planned, not as an Art Stop but as a distinct attraction, with Georgia Southern alumni authors to share and discuss their work. Meeting authors will give parents, grandparents, and adults unaccompanied by children something to do at the festival.