Festival of the Arts kicks off today

Peter Bergin will perform a ragtime piano concert Friday at Fellowship Christian Reformed Church. (Courtesy photo)

BIG RAPIDS — The annual Festival of the Arts in Big Rapids kicks off Friday with a number of events involving children’s literature, music and visual arts.

• The fun starts at 11 a.m., when the Big Rapids Community Library, 426 S. Michigan Ave., will present activities centered around World Read Aloud Day. Library staff will lead StoryWalk tours on the hour, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each participant will get a certificate for completing the walk. There also will be reading aloud events throughout the day.

• At noon, at Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Ave., the Brown Bag Lunch Series will kick off with Muriel Zandstra’s discussion of “Merizon: A Mixed Metaphor.” The event, which encompasses original paintings, direct quotes and clips from a documentary and a book, centers around 20th-century American painter Armand Merizon. At 5 p.m., a reception for the Merizon exhibit is scheduled, with a presentation by the Muskegon Museum of Art’s Art Martin set for 5:30 p.m.

• At 7 p.m., at the Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, 407 Perry Ave., “An Evening of Ragtime Piano” with Peter Bergin is scheduled. Bergin’s mission “is to celebrate life through music and stories, especially by sharing the rhythms and history of ragtime piano,” organizers said. The concert is free to the public.

• At 7:30 p.m., the Big Rapids High School Drama Department will present the play “Us and Them” at the high school auditorium, 21175 15 Mile Road. The play, written by David Compton, tells a timely story of what happens when two groups of wanderers meet, and their suspicion of one another leads to the construction of a wall. Tickets for this performance are $5 for adults and $3 for students at the door.

Festival of the Arts will continue throughout February, with a wide variety of events scheduled each day, as well as several month-long exhibits located throughout the city.

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Posted by Tim Rath

Tim is the Pioneer's associate editor. He also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Veterans pages. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at trath@pioneergroup.com.

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