By Bob Kellar, Mayor Pro-tem, City of Santa Clarita
On September 29 and 30, 2007, the Santa Clarita Street Art Festival, sponsored by the City of Santa Clarita and Lockheed Federal Credit Union, will highlight a spectrum of artistic talent in Old Town Newhall. This exciting two-day festival will be located along San Fernando Road between Lyons Avenue and 5th Street. The Street Art Festival is a free outdoor event, open to the public, and features live entertainment: international dance performances, live music, fine arts and crafts, hands-on activities, and the fine art of street painting.
The highlight of the festival is the Street Painter Block, sponsored by Glen Ivy Day Spa, where visitors can watch the unique process and display of featured and guest street painters on San Fernando Road. All weekend long, watch street painters create a work of art, from a beginning outline to the final masterpiece. The five featured street painters for this year are Christopher Michael Linquata, Michaela Chapman, Randall Williams, Mark Wagner and Tonie Garza.
The Street Art Festival has something for everyone and is sure to be a hit, especially with the musical entertainment lineup on the “Music Block”. On Saturday, the Street Art Festival will begin with the award-wining recording artist and critically acclaimed Bluegrass powerhouse vocalist, Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band. Then let Doc Rock-it and the Radio Flyers take you on a musical journey to Retroville. Watch Rocky Jackson and the Ignitors play hot, energetic and soulful blues, followed by the Skinny Little Twits’ renditions of cover songs and catchy original music with a classic rock feel. The festivities keep going into the night with Bandidos de Amor, performing a unique style of music they call “California Rumba.”On Sunday, you re invited to come out to watch the members of the Grateful Dudes who have been playing bluegrass in the Los Angeles area for over two decades. Then catch The Craze, a band influenced by a range of music from 60’s rock to 80’s new wave: imagine the Beatles putting together a Duran Duran tribute band. The Jeff Jensen band will surely keep you rocking with the sounds of blues and rock with a down-home feel. To finish the festivities with a bang do not miss Lisa Haley and the Zydecats with their high energy Cajun and Zydeco music.
The Dance Block, sponsored by Facey Medical Group, will present international dance performances from cultures representing the Philippines, Asia, Mexico and the Andes. The Dance Stage will also feature community performances from College of the Canyons Choir, Golden Valley High Schools Band and Color Guard, Canyon High School Dance, Hart Show Choir, Dance 84, and Elite Dance Studio. For the first time, the Dance Block will be featuring an “Art on Canvas Gallery,” which is open to all local students and residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. And don’t miss the "Arts & Crafts Block," sponsored by "Clean A Can!”
Everyone is invited to express their creative side by becoming a street painter at Pat’s Art Zone in the middle of San Fernando Road. Pat’s Art Zone is an artistic activity area, sponsored by College of the Canyons, where families can create temporary chalk art masterpieces and fun artistic crafts to take home. Pat’s Art Zone is named after Pat Craig, an artist and advocate for art in all its many forms. Pat believed that children should be given the opportunity to express themselves through the arts without restrictions, that they should be encouraged to color outside the lines. She was a founding member of the City’s Arts Alliance, a representative for the Santa Clarita Artists' Association, and was a visual artist who could make anything into a piece of art. Her work on behave of local artists and her desire to see Santa Clarita become a place that embraced the arts will always be remembered by those who knew her.
Old Town Newhall has become the focal point for arts and culture in the Santa Clarita Valley, with two theaters, the Canyon Theatre Guild and the Repertory East Playhouse, and the newly opened Martial Arts History Museum. While enjoying all the festivities the Street Art Festival has to offer, guests can also visit Old Town Newhall’s local shops and boutiques. Families can choose from more than 15 restaurants and small diners that offer delicious food and beverages on and around San Fernando Road.
In an effort to restore the arts in the downtown area, the city began hosting the Street Art Festival event in 2005. The festival is a component of the City’s efforts in revitalizing Old Town Newhall. The annual Street Art Festival is one of many programs the City hopes to establish in Old Town Newhall.
A colorful fall season awaits you and your family at the annual Santa Clarita Street Art Festival in Old Town Newhall. On Saturday, festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free parking is available at the Community Center and the William S. Hart Museum. For more information, please contact the City’s Arts and Events Office at 661.286.4018 or visit the website at www.streetartfest.com.