10 days of events will bring Evergreen arts scene to life

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By Sara Miller

The arts are alive in Evergreen, and this year 10 consecutive days of events will prominently showcase the town’s performing and visual talents.

Arts Alive! Evergreen was the spearheaded by Steve Sumner, executive director of the Center for the Arts, and the Evergreen Arts and Cultural Alliance, a group of volunteers who wanted to showcase the arts and culture of our mountain community in a week-long celebration.

“Evergreen has an amazing depth of performing and visual arts. The committee realized that we didn’t need to create a new event, but instead base Arts Alive! on what we were already doing,” says Laurie Romberg, spokeswoman for the Evergreen Chorale and a member of the Arts Alive committee. “With all of the activities going on in July, we realized that a week-long extravaganza was the perfect way for us to create this showcase of what the arts are all about in Evergreen.”

The committee decided on two landmark Evergreen events to bookend the week — Summerfest on July 17 and 18, and the Evergreen Jazz Festival on July 25-27. Other perfoming and visual arts organizations in town incorporated Arts Alive! into their summer schedules. The result will be 10 days of singing, dancing, painting, sculpting — a true spectacle of Evergreen arts.

This week we’ll take a look at the performing arts events that will make up the week. In the following weeks, this column will take a closer look at the week’s visual arts events and focus on Summerfest and the Evergreen Jazz Festival, two events whose rich histories have drawn people to our mountain community for years.

Arts Alive! Evergreen will kick off with the Evergreen Players’ production of “Urinetown.” This Tony-Award winning musical tells a hilarious tale of corruption, greed and love as the oppressed citizens of Urinetown plan a revolution against the company that profits by charging admission for public toilets. The show will run from July 16 to Aug. 8, and an Arts Alive! Kickoff Reception will follow the show’s opening performance on Friday, July 16.

Summerfest takes place on July 17 and 18. Over the years, Summerfest has transformed from primarily a visual arts festival to a kaleidoscope of visual and performing arts. Performance highlights at the festival will include the Evergreen Chorale and Children’s Chorale, in addition to the Heritage Irish Step Dancers, 5280 A Cappella, the Rocket 88s and the Mountain Kahia Dancers. Summerfest will feature a highlight performance on Saturday evening by Evergreen’s own Boo Daddy, a five-piece cover band known throughout the West.

During the week, visitors can enjoy children’s theater and chamber music throughout town. The Evergreen Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert at the Center for the Arts on July 21 at noon. The Dandy Lion Children’s Theater, an arm of the Evergreen Chorale, will host daily performances at Heritage Grove on July 20-22 at 11 a.m.

“Dandy Lion is taking a bunch of children’s tales and molding them into a medley. It will be called ‘Fairy Tales Come to Life,’ ” Romberg says.

The Hiwan Homestead Musuem will host an old-fashioned brass band concert and Victorian lawn party on Wednesday, July 21, at 7 p.m. in Heritage Grove. The High Line Silver Cornet Band will be performing tunes from the 1800s that would have been familiar to Americans in the Victorian era.

Arts Alive! will come to a close with the Evergreen Jazz Festival on July 23-25. The 2010 lineup features a mix of old favorites and newcomers who are sure to have audiences tapping their toes and dancing in the aisles. The festival offers a mix of ragtime, swing, boogie-woogie, Dixieland and big-band jazz. Take a free swing dance lesson on Friday or Saturday and really bring the “arts alive.”

For more information and a complete listing of Arts Alive! Evergreen events, visit www.artsaliveevergreen.org. Tune in next week for a look at the visual arts events that will color the landscape of Arts Alive! 2010.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.