A Day of Creative Family Fun

By Anne E O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council

Saturday is a fall day filled with family fun. What better way to celebrate the creative side of Halloween than by making your own creepy creature or perfect princess costume. Festival of Fantasy, Children’s Halloween Parade & Costume, now in its 10th year, will be held at the Nordlof Center, 118 North Main. Tim Hughes works tirelessly to provide a creative outlet for our youth. Registration for the contest starts at 11 a.m. Jeanie B, Windy City Kindie Rocker will perform at noon. Jeanie B is a music teacher and is currently an artist in residence for Ravinia’s Reach Teach and Play program. The wickedly talented Whitney Martin, Channel 23 news anchor, will emcee the contest at 1:30 p.m. There will be treats, trophies and a tremendous top prize of a bicycle. Kudos to Barb Berman and the Auburn Key Club for their help once again.

The Rockford Art Guild (RAG) is celebrating its 60th anniversary with exhibits and activities around Rockford. On Saturday from 1-8 p.m. the Rockford Art Guild, in partnership with CNVR (Conveyer Studio), and Ascension Art Studio, is presenting “Art in the Making.” Members of RAG are working artists using different mediums from photography, oils, acrylics, clay, glass, wood and mosaic. There will also be a children’s art corner, for parents who bring their children.

“This event gives Rockford Art Guild members an opportunity to share their talents and techniques with people who have an interest in art,” states Ann Totenhagen Johnson, event chair.

She continues, “Guests will be able to talk with the artists as they are working, to learn some of their history, challenges and future endeavors.”

As artists demonstrate their talents, guests will have the opportunity to view and purchase additional artwork in the adjoining Ascension Art Studio, owned by RAG Member, Ron Clevenger. If you missed the opportunity to purchase a piece of original art from the mosaic displayed around Rockford, there will be one on display that includes individual 8”x8” canvases with reeds, wood, jewels, glass, clay, 3-D art and paintings. Each 8×8 original piece of art will be available to purchase for $30 with all proceeds benefiting Rockford Art Guild.

At 3 p.m. Dorothy Paige-Turner will be leading the Council Choraleers for their “Voices and Virtues Concert” at the Just Good Listening Room, 201 7th Street. Paige-Turner’s Council Choraleers consists of youth ages 9-12 from several area schools who began rehearsing each Tuesday since September. The program is free for all who participate thanks to the generosity of Paige-Turner. The group has had performances throughout the community, including most recently, the International Day of Peace celebration at the Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza. Her group is the recipient of the Partners in Peace Award, 2014 from the Violence Prevention Collaborative.

Each of these events shows off the breadth of talent and the dedication of volunteers in our community, committed to bringing amazing opportunities for creative expression.

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