Berea will be hopping with artsy activities Thursday through Sunday. There will be plenty to do for art- and theater-lovers — the only dilemma is squeezing it all into your schedule.
Berea Craft Festival
The 31st edition of the Berea Craft Festival will feature 126 artists from 20 states. Many of the artists will be exhibiting for the first time, “so there is much new work to see,” said Lila Bellando, festival coordinator.
There will be many education craft demonstrations, including pottery throwing, vegetable yarn dying, blacksmithing, broom-making, bowl carving, silver-smithing, lampwork bead-making, weaving and more, Bellando said.
Throughout the three-day festival, live music will fill the Indian Fort Theater, as several bands are scheduled to play. The Berea Festival Dancers also are scheduled to perform.
Many signs will be in place, starting at Exits 76 and 77 on Interstate 75, to lead visitors to the festival on KY 21 (Big Hill Road), three miles east of downtown Berea.
Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and children under 12 are free. For details visit www.bereacraftfestival.com.
Whippoorwill Festival: Skills for Earth-Friendly Living
The Whippoorwill Festival will be kicking off its second year with over 65 earth-friendly workshops offered during the four-day event.
The festival celebrates “our Appalachian heritage and traditions,” said organizer Dave Cooper, while teaching “earth-friendly and sustainable living skills in a joyful and healthy atmosphere.
Cooper emphasized that children of all ages are welcome to attend and Whippoorwill is a family-friendly event. Children 16 and under are free.
A four-day adult pass includes three home-cooked meals per day, workshops, tent camping, guest speakers, as well as nighttime campfires, old-time mountain music, dancing and story-telling.
The event will feature booths and displays from local artists and craft workers, said Cooper, to support the local economy.
The festival will be located at HomeGrown HideAways at 500 Floyd Branch Road.
Pets are not allowed, however, because “the chickens who live at HomeGrown HideAways cannot tolerate the stress,” Cooper said.
Admission is $20 per day and tickets may be purchased online at www.whippoorwillfest.com.
Berea Festival of Learnshops
For Berea’s second annual Festival of Learnshops, local artists and professionals will open their studios and share the skills of their craft. Visitors usually leave town with their own hand-crafted original.
A unique medley of courses are available, such as working with tropical Bonsai, Appalachian storytelling and blowing your own glass ornament.
Berea.com website visitors may browse the full list of learnshops or select them by categories “youth friendly,” “adults only,” or “professional development credits” — indicated by yellow, green and purple handprint icons respectively.
“Learnshops are a perfect example of our branding: ‘Where art’s alive,’” said Belle Jackson, director of tourism.
Jackson said people aren’t satisfied with just driving through to buy souvenirs anymore.
“They want to touch it, do it, work it, sing it and taste it — it gives them a whole new appreciation of the art,” she said.
Visit www.berea.com for details.
‘Nine Characters in Search of an Audience’
The play, written by members of the Kentucky Women Playwrights’ Seminar, is a series of monologues depicting various junctures in the lives of women. It features female characters, age 15 to 80-something, who offer a generous mix of the comedic and the serious as they reflect on pivotal moments in their lives, moments that have shaped and strengthened them, said director and producer Trish Ayers of Berea.
“Sometimes funny, sometimes frenzied, and always feisty, the play delivers a one-two punch for the power and resilience of the female spirit,” she said.
“Nine Characters in Search of an Audience” is a staged reading with actresses performing from scripts.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Berea Arena Theater. Tickets are $5 and a donation for the local food bank. For details call 986-9039.
Shakespeare's ‘Love’s Labors Lost’
July 13-15 and 20-22
The Rose Barn Theatre will present one of William Shakespeare’s early romantic comedies, “Love’s Labors Lost” on the next two Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m.
Shows will be outside the Russel Acton Folk Center on Jefferson Street.
Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets.
Admission is $5. For details, visit www.rosebarntheater.org.
“Quilts With a Kick” Exhibit at the Berea Arts Council
July 6 – Aug 24
The exhibit features 31 works by Kentucky Art Quilters and is part of the citywide Quilt Extravaganza.
The free show features artwork titled “Why? How High is Your Horse” and “Eating Out of My Hand.” Both are challenge quilts, in which the artist had to incorporate this year’s theme of a hand into their designs.
For details visit www.bereaartscouncil.org.