ArtBlast launches fun in Rosemount

First-year event attracts legions of activity-seekers

Haley Platts, 6, (left) and Louise Brandt, 7, work intently and patiently to weave baskets during Art Sampling & Demos at the Steeple Center in Rosemount last Friday afternoon during the Rosemount Area Arts Council’s ArtBlast. The weeklong celebration June 23-29 included a variety of arts events, such as those related to theater, music, visual art and much more. (At right) Isabelle Young, 9, of Lakeville, was at the Robert Trail Library in Rosemount last Thursday afternoon with her aunt Davina Nelson, of Rosemount, when Isabelle and her cousins were making folders covered in duct tape as part of the Create with Duct Tape event. More photos are inside this edition and online at SunThisweek.com. (Photos by Jennifer Chick)

Haley Platts, 6, (left) and Louise Brandt, 7, work intently and patiently to weave baskets during Art Sampling & Demos at the Steeple Center in Rosemount last Friday afternoon during the Rosemount Area Arts Council’s ArtBlast. The weeklong celebration June 23-29 included a variety of arts events, such as those related to theater, music, visual art and much more. (At right) Isabelle Young, 9, of Lakeville, was at the Robert Trail Library in Rosemount last Thursday afternoon with her aunt Davina Nelson, of Rosemount, when Isabelle and her cousins were making folders covered in duct tape as part of the Create with Duct Tape event. More photos are inside this edition and online at SunThisweek.com. (Photos by Jennifer Chick)

One could say the Rosemount Area Arts Council outdid itself last week.

In less than six months, the nonprofit, all-volunteer group turned a little idea into an ArtBlast of 36 events from June 23-29.

Except for a few hiccups due to rains that fell Saturday that moved the Bluegrass Americana Festival indoors, scores of area residents gathered in several venues throughout the city to experience and participate in writing, visual art, music and theater events.

“Our initial reaction to ArtBlast was, ‘Whew, what a whirlwind of activity.’ And it was,” said Jeanne Schwartz, council president. “Overall we feel really good about the entire ArtBlast experience.”

She said council members could feel the festival’s momentum building as the week progressed, especially with regard to growing numbers of people who wanted to be part of the One Tile, One Rosemount project.

The mural painting project had four different “signing” events during the week when local residents had a chance to personalize one of the 9,200 1-by-1 inch tiles that will become part of the 8-by-8 foot mosaic to be installed in the Robert Trail Library lobby.

“There was definitely a buzz building,” Schwartz said.

She said council members were most impressed with the children’s events, such as the Groth Music Meet the Instruments program, Kids Corner and Duct Tape Crafts along with the Art Demos when many people were asking how to sign up for RAAC classes.

Schwartz said the melodrama “A Penny Saved,” staged by RAAC’s Front Porch Players, was a really fun event.

Among the improvements for next year is having a rain-day venue set aside for the Bluegrass Americana Festival and possibly other larger outdoor events and more advance notice for events that required registration, such as the Rosemount Sings vocal music contest.

The contest was won by Madison Holtze, a senior All-State singer from Rosemount High School.

“Overall, for a first year event, we are very pleased, and we will work hard over the coming year to make it bigger and better in 2015,” Schwartz said.

Email Tad Johnson at tad.johnson@ecm-inc.com.

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