The 31st annual ArtsFest kicks off Saturday

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William Price

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is at it again for the 31st annual ArtsFest, which will take place on campus this Saturday.

ArtsFest ‘13 includes live cultural and musical performances, interactive art workshops, an artist market and food venues. The event will take place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Sweetheart Circle.

“Our main objective is to unite our local community under the arts and display all the talent we have here. ArtsFest gives artists a platform to show off their skills in a community where that’s not often possible,” Cinnamon Dowd, ArtsFest coordinator, said.

The festival attracts more than 6,000 attendees each year and is operated by more than 200 volunteers. Students and volunteers are able to get more involved than in previous years.

“This year we’re encouraging more student involvement than ever. For the first time we’re permitting students to share their work in the Artists Market,” Dowd said. “We want students to be able share their talents and hard work with the community just as local artists can.”

Live performances at this year’s Arts Fest will bring local and regional talent to the stage.

Two of the headliners at ArtsFest are a traditional Japanese drumming ensemble in Tampa Taiko and the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu.

Another highlight of this year’s ArtsFest is the 30 Art Stops open for attendees to explore. Art Stops are an opportunity for festivalgoers to engage in different forms of art, from cartooning to rocket races.

“We want to show people that physics is fun, not just a bunch of calculations and equations,” DJ Cistola, physics Art Stop coordinator and junior physics major, said.

There will be two separate rocket races. One involving smaller, straw rockets and the other larger rockets you use your foot’s force to gain speed, Cistola said.

“The event has grown quite a bit in recent years. More and more students are getting involved through volunteering and attending,” Dowd said.

Food available at the event will range from baked goods, BBQ, authentic tamales, Italian Ice, pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs.

Dowd said, “It’s a perfect opportunity to see what our students and community are capable of artistically. We hope that at ArtsFest everyone can release their inner artist.”