PIQUA – Having recently approved over $14.7 million in grants to Ohio artists and organizations statewide, the Ohio Arts Council has awarded the Piqua Arts Council two grants for programming. With many programs to choose from, the Piqua Arts Council will be a recipient of a ArtStart and ArtsNext grant.
Ohio Arts Council’s ArtStart program provides flexible, accessible funding to help organizations complete short-term projects addressing a wide variety of goals and objectives. Most awards support the programming of new or emerging organizations, including first-time OAC applicants, as well as new or established organizations in areas not served by other arts providers.
Their ArtsNext program provides competitive funding for innovative and experimental projects. Awards support big ideas that push boundaries, engage participants in unexpected ways, pilot new solutions to challenging problems, improve program design with calculated risk-taking, or result in the creation of new work. These forward-looking projects help define Ohio as an exciting, cutting edge place to make, consume, and experience the arts.
The Piqua Arts Council will use the money from the Ohio Arts Council for their upcoming Piqua Arts and Ale Festival in September and their Professional Workshops for Artist program.
The Arts and Ale Festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 21 in downtown Piqua, is a celebration of the arts with arts and craft vendors, a plein air painting competition, live music, activities for kids, food trucks bringing a culinary flare, and, of course, Ohio craft breweries.
“I really view this event as a celebration of the arts,” said Jordan Knepper, executive director of the Piqua Arts Council. “With the way the committee has combined so many different art forms into one really nice event is great to see. The culinary arts through the food trucks, craft beer breweries, kids arts and craft activities, along with performers, it’s just all so great to see.”
Knepper said they are partnering with the Ohio Plein Air Society to put on a painting competition as part of the Arts and Ale Festival, as well. They will have painters from all over Ohio and even some from Indiana participating in the competition. Artists arrive early in the day and check in, and then they paint all day around the county and come back to the Arts and Ale Festival for judging around 4 p.m.
In addition to the Arts and Ale Festival, the Piqua Arts Council is receiving a grant to continue their Professional Workshops for Artist program. The program brings internationally celebrated artists to Piqua to teach four-day workshops. The Piqua Arts Council offers two workshops a year: oil painting in the fall and watercolor in the spring. These workshops have been very popular with artists and have attracted new people to Piqua.
“Our fall workshop this year will feature award-winning artist Steven Walker from Georgia. Steven has taught for us before and he’s simply amazing. I know that anyone that took his workshop years ago will want to take this one as well. You simply can’t learn everything he has to teach in one four-day workshop,” said Knepper.
Details are still being worked out for the workshop. Artists will be mailed postcards when details are set. Artists wishing to be placed on the mailing list should contact the Piqua Arts Council.
The Piqua Arts and Ale Festival is also sponsored by the Miami County Visitor and Convention Bureau along with Premier Health and the Upper Valley Medical Center with assistance from the city of Piqua.
For more information, the Piqua Arts Council can be reached at (937) 773-9630.