New Albany News

Harvest the Arts Festival celebrates New Albany artists


Nineteen years ago, when the New Albany Arts Council formed to support arts in the community, the arts council created a festival that celebrated the history of the area and its community of artists.

The Harvest the Arts Festival continues this year from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at its original site, Doran's Farm Market, 5642 Babbitt Road in New Albany.

"The festival's purpose has sort of changed as the community has changed," said Josh McKinney, one of the organizers. "When it first started, we had lots of crafters from all over the state display what they had made and people could purchase (their wares). We were trying to keep the history of New Albany alive as it was beginning to grow and remembering where we came from."

The arts council included art displays and performances to illustrate what the arts add to the community, he said.

"We have live entertainment, dancing and artistry, which shows how we feel the arts are important for the community's growth," McKinney said. "As the years go by, we've been able to add to that and expand on that."

This year, the arts council will showcase local artists and the processes they use to create their art. For example, Jerri Merritt of New Albany will demonstrate how she creates her Lil Ones figurines.

"We're trying to focus on local artists, not only giving them the opportunity to sell their art work, but also getting them to interact with the community and let the community know what they do," McKinney said.

Local performing artists will be showcased in the entertainment lineup.

Dancers from the Broadway Bound Dance Centre in New Albany will perform at 11 a.m.

Two jugglers will show the crowd magic tricks at noon. McKinney said they will wander the grounds the rest of the day, performing off stage.

The Northwest Territory bluegrass band will perform at 1 p.m., followed by a group of central Ohio youngsters from the cast of State Fair Jr., an arts council Junior Musical production staged in July.

The New Albany Chorus will perform at 2:30 p.m. and Northwest Territory will take the stage again and finish out the day.

McKinney said the arts council partners with the New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society and other groups, which also set up on site.

Marilyn Saveson of the historical society said the society is sponsoring scarecrow making and candle dipping, activities that provide a sense of how things were done in years past.

The historical society sold some old tools at last year's festival. This year, Saveson said, members have expanded the sale to include antiques and vintage items donated to them by the community. She said the items are either duplicates or pieces that can't be used by the historical society.

Proceeds from the Harvest the Arts Festival support the arts council and the groups it funds, including the New Albany Chorus, New Albany Community Band and the annual Junior Musical program, which is open to all central Ohio children.