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Sunday, Jun. 10, 2012

Second Downtown Arts Festival opens in Olathe Saturday

The Olathe News

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The details Location: Park and Cherry Streets, historic downtown Olathe Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday Admission: Free More information: www.downtownolatheartsfestival.org/Index

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Olathe opens its second annual Downtown Arts Festival today with a new nonprofit status.

Johnson County Commissioner Calvin Hayden and Alex Hamil, a local artist and adjunct professor at the Arts Institute International-Kansas City, selected more than 90 visual and performing artists for the festival. But making money wasn’t the key criteria.

“We’re not looking to make money,” said Chrissey Breault, board member of the festival. “Everything we do here goes right back into the community.”

Another change to this year’s festival will be the new Plein Air Arts Competition, a chance for painters to capture an Olathe landmark, win $300 and have their work featured as a signature piece next year.

One of the local artists present will be Sandy Kay Hunter. Hunter has been painting since 1982 and enjoys utilizing a multitude of media, including watercolors and spattering paint.

Hunter, who participated in the show last year, has won several awards, including Best in Show in Arkansas City, Kan.

“I grew up in Olathe and graduated from Olathe High School, so I was eager to be in (the festival),” Hunter said.

Vendors and activities will fill the streets, and children will be able to create their own art. The performing artists, mostly musicians, will be on a large, shaded stage.

Bud Brown Volkswagen has donated a new VW Beetle to be known as the Doodlebug. Attendees will have the opportunity to create their own doodle on the car.

Board members hope to see a large, diverse turnout from the community.

“Our hopes are very, very high,” Breault said. “…We want to see some steady traffic and keep building awareness for future years to come.”

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