As Chatham Park continues to develop its community, they remain dedicated to supporting local art in Chatham County. As part of that commitment, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
In the springtime, all the critters come out to play! Splashes of blushing pinks, royal purples, and robin’s egg blue will brighten the green of the outdoors, as children joyfully color their wooden critters. And we’re guessing there will be plenty of glitter on hand, too.
Come celebrate, dance, and create with the Chatham Arts Council at ClydeFEST! Families from Chatham County and beyond enjoy ClydeFEST, an annual festival of folk art fun for kids and kids-at-heart. And this year, after more than a decade at the historic Bynum Ball Field, the event has now found a new home for 2023 at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center.
The new location marks a major milestone in the growth of the annual springtime arts festival. Speaking on the move, Artistic Director Cheryl Chamblee, says “Chatham Arts Council is working hard on arts accessibility and inclusivity. Free admission was a big step for the first time last year, and now this year, we’re trying out this new location. We’re so grateful to the Bynum community for loving and holding space for this festival for so many years. So many beautiful memories were made there–in my own family and in so many others–and Bynum really planted the seeds for the festival to grow and grow.”
“This year, at the Ag Center, we’ll be able to build on that foundation in a spot that’s centrally located for Chatham residents, that’s got some important accessibility features, and that’s got service to the full breadth of Chatham County as part of its mission.” This year’s ClydeFEST can welcome folks with mobility challenges, folks using wheelchairs, and children or adults who may need a calming room. For families with tiny kiddos in strollers or tired-out bigger kiddos, Cheryl says “Let it be known: There is plenty of parking available!”
Among those working hard to make this ClydeFEST possible, while treasuring fond memories of past ClydeFEST events is Stephan Meyers. “I was part of the team that refocused, reimagined, and relocated the festival to the Bynum Ball Field, just a stone’s throw from Clyde Jones’ house on Bynum Hill.” As he helps ClydeFEST take this new leap, Stephan’s own contributions to the festival always take inspiration from the artist himself, focusing on his unique and whimsical aesthetic and expanding on Chatham County Clyde Jones’s mantra: It’s all about the kids. “My hope for the future of ClydeFEST,” says Stephan, “is that it continues to celebrate and make known the kind and giving artfulness of NC folk arts.”
Folk art is an important part of the cultural heritage of many communities around the world, and it’s celebrated here in Chatham County through festivals like ClydeFEST. Returning to the festival for 2023 is Pilar Rocha-Goldberg of Takiri Folclor Latino. “Since the first year we danced at ClydeFEST back in 2012, we fell in love! The event is a very family oriented festival, with so many things for everybody to enjoy”, says Pilar. “The enthusiasm of the people attending the festival are so welcoming and appreciative of our dances.” Keep an eye out for the dancers of Takiri Folclor Latino in their vibrant, multi-layered skirts, as they lead everyone to move with the rhythm!
Performing for the first time at ClydeFEST is musician Deepti Pappusetty. “I teach an Indian classical instrument called sitar, which is a plucked stringed instrument. I am basically a software engineer by profession but love performing and teaching this beautiful ancient Indian traditional instrument in my free time. We will be performing some Hindustani Raga compositions on sitar accompanied by an Indian percussion instrument called Tabla. I hope the audience will enjoy a flavor of Indian music and culture.”
ClydeFEST 2023 will feature a whole host of new and familiar performances and activities. Community booths featuring games and hands-on arts activities will provide kids and adults alike with the opportunity to express their creativity and imagination. A drum circle, hula-hoops, and giant bubbles will be on hand, and Paperhand Puppet Intervention will close out the celebrations with a parade. ClydeFEST is a must-visit event for anyone looking to celebrate springtime in North Carolina by making art outside away from the lure of the screens!
All the ClydeFEST 2023 magic is made possible with the help or our generous sponsor The Jester Group at Baird.
For more ClydeFEST fun, check out the slideshow below!
- When: NEW DATE/TIME Sunday, April 23 from 12pm-5pm
- Where: Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, 1192 US 64 West Business, Pittsboro, NC 27312
- Cost: Free
- Parking: Plentiful on site
- Accessibility:Accessible parking and grounds, calming room, accessible bathrooms
- Dogs: Service animals are welcome. Otherwise, please don’t bring your pups. We love dogs, too, but they can create some challenges in an intimate festival atmosphere.
- For more info: https://www.chathamartscouncil.org/clydefest-2023-this-weekend/
- One more thing: Check out the Clyde Jones feature in the spring edition of Raw Vision out of the UK.
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