33rd Celebration: A Festival of the Arts kicks off Friday

Students, faculty and community members will get the chance to celebrate the return of spring with children’s activities, craft booths, music and food, among other activities, this weekend.

“Celebration is a way to draw attention to the arts for the campus, community and region,” said Michael Watts, functions coordinator for Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Celebration includes a showcase of Eastern’s music department’s ensembles, emerging and professional musicians and ensembles brought in, arts activities for children, displays of visual arts and fine crafts by area artists and arts demonstrations to help show how such artworks are created, instruments played and so on.

Dan Crews, event coordinator, said Celebration first started as an attempt to establish a Chautauqua in southern Illinois.

A Chautauqua is a traveling, educational experience that includes events such as a symphony orchestra, speakers, etc.

The event became more of an art festival over the years.

Crews said Celebration is a chance for the campus to invite people from outside community and Charleston residents to campus.

“Some people avoid coming to campus because we are so busy during the year,” Crews said.

Celebration also brings diversity to campus through international events, such as an Asian fashion show, a Japanese dance group and South Pacific dance demonstrations.

“All these artistic differences make up our culture (and society) and we want to highlight some of those,” Crews said.

Crews said the event celebrates getting done with another academic year.

“It’s good to keep the art in front of people’s minds,” he said.

Jeff Boshart, a professor in the arts department, said people who apply to have craft booths at the fair must send in three photos, three of their work and one of their booth and the artists were picked from there.

Boshart will pick the top three booths and the winners would be awarded money prizes.

This year, two art education majors helped put together the event along with members of the Eastern’s chapter of the Illinois Art Education Association/National Art Education Association, plus other education majors who are volunteering to staff the program for Celebration this year.


The winners of Battle of the Bands and people who have performed at Open Mic for University Board Mainstage will perform at Pantherstock. The performers include The Staff Blues Band, Mugwump Specific, Andy Van Slyke, Mitch Davis and Little Boy Jr. on the main stage, and Ian “I2K” Winston, Zach Wcislo and Charles Scott on the acoustic stage.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].