Local performers to headline at ArtsFest

Laurianna Cull

ArtsFest 2013 will have six hours of non-stop performances and two stages for music ranging from the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu to Pladd Dot School of Rock.

There will be a main stage and a community stage. The main stage performers are ArtsFest veterans and were asked to perform by the Art Department of Georgia Southern University.

“I think it’s important to have both stages because the community stage showcases regional and university talent, and the main stage showcases professional talent that festival goers have never seen before,” Cinnamon Dowd, ArtsFest coordinator, said.

There will be 15-20 performances, and the festival will consist of talent from Georgia Southern University and the Bulloch County community. The performances will range from dance, song and instrumental ensembles.

Some of the performers at ArtsFest will be making their debut this year, whereas others are veterans of the fest. Some of the returning groups are The Southern Saxophones, who will be the opening group, and the Pladd Dot School of Rock.

“The ‘Pladd School of Rock’ is a crowd favorite because it is unique to see young adults and even children perform at such an advanced level. They’re a phenomenal and talented group,” Dowd said.

Two groups that have been asked to perform this year are the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu, which will play a traditional Chinese Lion Dance, and Tampa Taiko Japanese Drumming Ensemble, which plays Japanese-style drums that are handmade from recycled wine barrels.

“We’re excited to return to Statesboro for ArtsFest. We’ve heard only good things about it, and we’re ready to share our passion with locals,” Ron Collins, managing director and performer of Tampa Taiko, said.

Tampa Taiko will share its knowledge on the Japanese-style drums, how they train with them and the history behind the tradition, Collins said.

“Everything about our performance is traditional and accurate as it can be. We made the drums ourselves using Japanese methods, and how we play reflects that,” Collins said.

Dowd said, “I picked both of these groups because they bring a cultural flair that hasn’t been seen at the past ArtsFests. The Drum Ensemble brings high energy and the Chinese Lion Dance is supposed to bring good luck and who doesn’t need that?”