Anatomy of a festival

Ranked in the top 200 art festivals in the country, Bowling Green’s annual Black Swamp Arts Festival gives students an opportunity to give back to the community.

According to senior Danielle Myers, working as a volunteer at last year’s festival was a very rewarding experience.

“Being interested in people and loving to help, this was the perfect opportunity for me to meet new faces, help out with a local event and also have fun,” she said.

This year’s activities mark the 14th annual Black Swamp Arts Festival downtown featuring numerous visual and performing artists.

One of the features is the youth art for kids consisting of face painting, making bead bracelets, easel painting and more. Myers was assigned to work at an arts and crafts table helping kids make hats out of different decorations.

“Volunteering at this festival allowed me to recognize that I’m willing to open up to new experiences and discover facets of my personality that I didn’t know existed-like my patience with children and my love for making people happy with getting nothing in return,” Myers said.

Along with several activities for children, there will be plenty for people of all ages to enjoy between the new masters gallery, the food and the music.

Local vendors are preparing for the weekend by selecting which items to offer. Jed’s Barbeque and Brew will offer their famous fire balls for their debut as a vendor at the festival. General Manager John Pierce said he feels fortunate to be a part of the festival.

“It brings something nice to the city and we are positive it will be a good experience for us,” he said.

Pisanello’s Pizza has been a popular vendor since the first year the arts festival started. General Manager Miranda Liss said it is one of the busiest weekends of the year for the restaurant.

“Friday afternoon we bring the pizza and heaters to the tent where the volunteers then do the sales,” she said. “We handle the delivering and preparing, but the volunteers work inside to sell the pizza.”

Adding more vendors and more musical performances is part of the reason the festival is growing over the years according to the Web site. Since it started in 1993, it has increased the number of musicians, artists, participants and members each year.

The site states the mission of the festival is to connect art and the community by presenting an annual arts festival and by promoting the arts in the community.

For volunteers, the festival connects more than art with community members.

“My favorite memory from last year was having the parents of the children tell me thanks and that they appreciated my help,” Myers said.