Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival – a festival of its own kind
Summer time is festival time. One thinks of open air concerts, Boho looks, plaid shirts, great music and hopes for sunshine as it is not so fun to dance in the rain, even when the song suggests the opposite. 😉
The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival that started yesterday, doesn’t care about rain or sunshine for most of its events. Many performances take place in the comfortable seats of the UAF Davis Concert Hall, Great Hall, and Salisbury Theater, at the One Riverview Plaza, or at the Gold Room of the Westmark Hotel in downtown Fairbanks. Jazz concerts take place at the Pump House which is a historic place in College, at the Blue Loon, a multi-event saloon out in Ester, or in a tent out in Fox at the Silver Gulch, which is one of Alaska’a breweries.
Two weeks of events
The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival brings together artists from various places outside of Alaska, like Gary Gibson, Bohuslava (Slavka) Jelinkova, Caitlin Warbelow, or Dongsheng Wei. At the beginning of the festival, the festival guest artists give performances in the evenings. Towards the end of the festival, the students will exhibit or perform what they learned during the classes taught by the guest artists. students pay fees for the classes. Private lesson can be arranged among request, too at a festival rate.
Classes encompass various arts
There are classes, among other things, in jazz, fiddling, Celtic, Irish, flute, pipe, tin whistle, steel pan, orchestra, pop, chamber, and symphony music. Students can join various vocal classes like, for instance, gospel choir, vocal jazz, A Capella, and opera.
There are also classes for those who like comedy, theater or cabaret. Dance classes cover classical ballet at all levels, ballroom dancing, Milonga style tango, swing, Irish, Latin, Afro and Cuban dance.
When you are into yoga, you may try out to add a third dimension taking a class in aerial yoga. Sounds fun. 🙂 If you are into the recent Pilates trend, there are classes for you too. Of course, Thai Chi is on the schedule as well as healing arts.
Some of the classes that take advantage of the great outdoors that Alaska has to offer, are water color landscape or flower painting, and some photography classes.
The fashionista in me loves that there are sewing classes. Unfortunately, they are beginning and low advanced level classes, i.e. they cover the things I already learned in middle school. Those of my readers who are also bloggers, may find it exciting that the festival also offers creative writing classes.
Are you into culinary arts? What about learning to prepare delicious Indian, Italian, or Spanish dishes at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival?
How to attend
This festival is annually always in the last two full weeks of July. While there are also events on the weekends, there aren’t classes. Thus, you could use the weekends to explore places farther away from Fairbanks, like Denali Park (two day trip when you want a bus tour in the park), travel on the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle (one day trip), or do a round trip from Fairbanks using the Parks Highway, then the Denali Highway to Parson, and the Alacan to Delta Junction and then drive back to Fairbanks (two day trip). Be aware that the Denali and Dalton Highways are unpaved roads. In other words, you should rent a four-wheel drive at a car-rental that permits driving unpaved roads. And, yes, you better buy the broken windshield insurance. 😉
One of the festival weeks overlaps with the Golden Days which is a week long event celebrating the striking of gold by Philip Pedro. These festivities end with the Golden Day Parade.
Have you ever been to Alaska? Did you know that there is a festival where you can take classes? What kind of arts are you into? Let me know by email, I am curious.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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