Art culture was expressed, empowerment for mental disabilities was conveyed at Muse Fest


Jordan Boyer

Jake Edwards, performs live music for the crowd at Muse Fest, Saturday evening in the Charleston Square. Edwards told the crowd he was filling in for his sister, who could not make it to the performance.

Jordan Boyer, Editor-in-Chief

The art culture was expressed, live music was played and food and drink were served, all while spreading awareness for mental disabilities at the fourth annual Muse Fest in the Charleston Square Saturday.

Muse Fest Arts & Craft Festival was coordinated by CTF Illinois, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering people with intellectual and mental disabilities. Many other organizations were present and shared information on their own organizations like, Sexual Assault Council and Information Service (SACIS), Camp New Hope and the Coles County Animal Shelter.

Amanda Feder, the preventionist and director of education for SACIS said, SACIS is a part of Illinois Imagines, a organization that provides advocacy services for people with disabilities.

They were handing out pamphlets about SACIS and Illinois Imagines in addition to having rock painting for guests.

Feder said, they had a bigger turn out for the rock painting then they were expecting. She thinks that it could be due to the nice weather at the time.

Nikky Davidson, a graduate student in the school of psychology, and her daughter Roxy, took part in the rock painting at the SACIS tent. Nikky said it was her second time attending Muse Fest, and the rock painting was her favorite part of the event.

Nikky Davidson, a graduate student in the school of psychology, and her daughter Roxy, paint rocks Saturday morning at Muse Fest in the Charleston Square.
Jordan Boyer
Nikky Davidson, a graduate student in the school of psychology, and her daughter Roxy, paint rocks Saturday morning at Muse Fest in the Charleston Square.

The Coles County Animal Shelter Rescue and Education Center (C.A.R.E Center) were supposed to have animals at the location up for adoption, but after realizing there was live music, they decided not to bring them because it could of been too loud for the animals. So they offered applications to  guests instead.

Marissa Burton a part time officer and a public relations representative at the C.A.R.E Center said, “We’re offering applications for pre-approval, they’re good for up to one year. Giving you a whole year to come in and visit our animals and really find one that fits you.”

The live music turned out to be not that loud, and the overall event was not as loud as previously thought, so Burton wishes she brought some animals.

Burton said, “I kinda wish I had pets today, because it ended up being a lot calmer than I expected,”

Many different tents had art on display from a wide selection of genres, and Incompetent Adventurers had comic book and anime/manga themed art for sale.

“The “Fairy Tail” one (painting) was actually hanging in our house and then we were like ‘no were going to put something new up’,” Kassie Benton, a CTF Illinois community living director said about a painting she was selling.

“Fairy Tail” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima, that started in 2006 and ended in 2017. An anime adaptation of the original work began in 2009 and is still on-going.

Fenton said, “We’re huge collectors (of comic books and manga), you don’t see a lot of people that focus in on the nerdy culture around town.”

Fenton also said Incompetent Adventurers is on Facebook, there work is on there for purchase, and they take requests for specific works.

The Charleston Public Library gave away free buttons to people and had a giveaway of multiple prizes for people to enter in.

“Were just doing a giveaway here for Muse Fest, that its just some digital movies, a couple books, “book sale bucks”, we do a book sale about four times a year,” Director Chris Houchens said.

“Book sale bucks” are a type of currency that can be used at the Charleston Public Library during book sales.

This was the Charleston Public Library’s first time at Muse Fest, and Houchens thought it was a great time.

Houchens said, “It’s been great, it’s a beautiful day, we got some great music going on. It’s fun to be out here in the community.”

Jordan Boyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]