Huntsville Arts Council Hosts Expanded Arts and Entertainment District This Weekend

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Arts Council’s Artprogramming returns this weekend, August 8 thru 10, continuing 15 weeks of art activities designed to launch Huntsville’s new Quigley Arts & Entertainment District.

This week, the district will be expanded to include hours on Saturday, August 10, as The Arts Council works with the City of Huntsville, area businesses, and community groups to pilot extended hours for the popular new downtown arts and entertainment area.

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Thursday’s programming will feature the second Art2 Local/Global Block Party of the summer. Highlighting Caribbean culture in our region and produced with assistance from the Caribbean Association of North Alabama, the evening will include music, dance and theatre, as well as visual art activities.

The block party will take place on Eustis Avenue from the downtown square to Greene Street, and the street will be closed Thursday evening to accommodate a temporary stage for performers and space for demonstrating artists. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., stage performances include steel drum group the Tropical Breeze Steel Band, followed by local reggae band KUSH. Also located on Eustis Avenue, nine local visual artists will demonstrate their various techniques in pottery and painting.

Street performers will be placed throughout the block party area as well as the square, and include hooping demonstrations by Chrisha Favors, storytelling by Constance Gillon, music with Josh and Judy Allison and an appearance by the Rocket City Jugglers. The Caribbean Association of North Alabama will also be onsite with a kid’s activity, dance demonstrations and more.

Also open on Thursday, The Greene Street Market on the corner of Eustis Avenue and Greene Street gives downtown visitors the opportunity to purchase local produce, flowers, baked goods and more while enjoying live music. Thursday evenings also offer extended hours at two downtown destinations: Harrison Brothers Hardware will be open for shopping until 7:00 p.m. and the Huntsville Museum of Art, located in Big Spring Park within the Quigley district, is open until 8:00 p.m.

Admission to the museum is $5.00 after 5:00 p.m., and information about their current exhibits can be found here.

On Friday, street musicians BrothaRic Patton and Gentle Ben and His Trained Guitar can be heard on the square. American Lane, a local alternative rock band, will perform a two-hour set in Big Spring Park East beginning at 7:00 p.m. Also on Friday evening, the Historic Huntsville Foundation presents “To Kill A Mockingbird” at Movies In the Park. The movie will begin at sundown on the west side of the park, behind the Huntsville Museum of Art, and the public is encouraged to bring their own seating and picnics. The Foundation has organized this event in support of efforts to help animate downtown with fun, free, family-friendly entertainment.

As part of its 15 weeks of art activities offered in conjunction with the launch of the Quigley Arts & Entertainment District, The Arts Council has received an additional special events permit from the City of Huntsville to open the district from noon – midnight on Saturday, August 10, to offer additional street performances, concerts and family-friendly entertainment.

Performers are scheduled to appear around the downtown square and in Big Spring Park East throughout the day and include Step Heavy, The 911 Reporters, Huntsville Community Drumline, Cold Cold Sweats, Bourbon and Shamrocks, Mary Justice League, August and Dave, The Akoustic Juice Project, and others, with a full lineup to be announced on Wednesday, August 7.

Arts Council Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken explained, “Based on reports from downtown businesses, more area residents and visitors are enjoying downtown Huntsville on Thursday and Friday evenings in the Quigley Arts & Entertainment District. At the same time, area musicians and performers have found new fans. We hope to see downtown foot traffic and liveliness continue to expand as we open the Quigley Arts & Entertainment District on Saturday, August 10 from noon to midnight.”

The Arts Council’s Art2 program was developed to enhance the City of Huntsville’s rollout of the Quigley Arts & Entertainment District and has featured over 75 local performers so far this summer. Made possible through financial support from Big Spring Partners, Committee of 100, The Downtown Forty-Seven, Historic Huntsville Foundation and in-kind assistance from the City of Huntsville Department of Recreation Services and Guitar Center Studios, the programming is set to conclude on Friday, September 27, 2013.

Additional support for The Arts Council’s Saturday, August 10 Art2 programming was provided by Boyce Restaurant Concepts, Inc., Committee of 100, Downtown Huntsville, Inc., and The Downtown Forty-Seven, and  the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

For information on the Art2 program and more about The Arts Council, click here or search for “The Arts Council, Inc.” on Facebook.

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