HARRODSBURG — A sleeker, more finely-tuned Festival of Books and Arts will be held here June 25.
In its second year, the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts is a collaborative effort of Harrodsburg First Main Street Program, Studio G, The Arts Council of Mercer County and The Community of Mercer County Writer. Its goal is to showcase excellence in literature and the arts, and to promote historic downtown Harrodsburg.
Harrodsburg First Executive Director Elaine Hammonds said although there will be fewer authors in a smaller space this year, publishing houses have been added to the offerings at the festival. Writers groups also will be on hand, and the authors will be reading from and signing their works.
“We want this to be intimate,” Hammonds said. “So we’re setting up a smaller reading area, which makes it a little more intimate. People can ask questions (of the authors).”
Hammonds is enthusiastic about all the authors who will be in attendance at the festival. She noted Ron Whitehead, who has been nominated for a Nobel Prize and is the author of “Western Kentucky: Lost and Forgotten, Found and Remembered,” “Ground Zero,” “Love and Death,” and “Modernism and Expressionism,” will be on hand to read from his works as well as sign them.
In addition, Mark Wayne Adams, an award-winning illustrator of children’s books, will be at the festival.“I also received two more e-mails this weekend from other authors who want to come — very exciting,” Hammonds added.
Two workshops also will be held during the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts. One, facilitated by Doris Settles, will be held at 1 p.m. Settles will talk about the pros and cons of traditional publishing houses versus self-publishing. The second, headed up by Katerina Iankova Stoykova-Klemer of Accents publishing company, is titled “Taking Your Writing to the Next Level.” Both workshops are free.
A children’s area will be located across from Studio G. Joy Mosko, founder of The Arts Council of Mercer County, said it will be set up for kids of all ages. One activity that will be offered, she said, is “Faux Pasteles,” where participants can create their own colorful masterpieces and use the sidewalks as their canvases — and chalk as their mediums.
Another activity will be “Painting Picasso,” where budding painters can decide if they’re the next Van Gogh, Michelangelo or Picasso, with blank canvas, paint and brushes.
Hammonds said the Main Stage will feature a wide variety of entertainment, ranging from play scenes and instrumentalists to musical performance excerpts. Food will be for sale, and the merchants and restaurants on Main Street will be open.
About 2,000 attended the 2010 festival, even though it happened on one of the “hottest days on the planet,” Hammonds said. “I really hope this June will be more like it was two years ago, when it was kind of cool.”
Hammonds noted events such as the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts showcase what’s going on in the town.
“Harrodsburg ahs a number of different good, quality things to do,” she explained. “This (festival) is a family event.”She added they want to “tap into the mom and dad who want their kids to have a broader experience” — a hands-on experience within the family dynamic.
Here’s a look at what’s happening at the Main Stage, arranged by Goldie Goldsmith-Vigneri, during the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts
Noon: Laura Foley, piano, ukulele and Irish tin whistle. Her concerts include a variety of musical styles, including classic rock, country and Celtic.
1 p.m.: Studio G, a Performance Arts Place, http://www.studiog-gvp.com/home/home.htm; excerpts from the "High Heels and Sneakers" production, featuring country/rock, pop and R&B tunes as well as a tribute to Michael Jackson. Dances performed by the MJ PROJECT dancers.
2 p.m.: Ragged Edge Community Theatre, http://www.raggededgetheatre.org/, performing excerpts from its summer stage production of “Peter Pan and Wendy.”
4 p.m.: The Ridgewood Boys, http://www.ridgewoodboys.com/index.php — father and son play banjo, guitar and stand-up bass; music includes folk, old country and original tunes.
5 p.m.: Bob Ford and the Ragamuffins, http://www.bobfordmusic.com/ — featuring songs from the 1500s to present day.
6 p.m.: Royal Blue Bluegrass Band, http://royalbluebluegrassband.com/ — performing bluegrass classics to original music and songs.