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Published: Thursday, 8/6/2009

Creativity galore at Arts Gone Wild in Botanical Garden


Creative juices will flow fiercely at the free Arts Gone Wild in Toledo Botanical Garden tomorrow and Saturday.

Entertainment - Afro-Caribbean dance, ballet, jazz, theater, and song - will be nonstop during the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event. Adding to the delight will be tons of hands-on activities, nature hikes, garden tours, and demonstrations (glass making, blacksmithing, spinning, and carding).

Kicking it off is tonight's reduced admission ($5) at the 6:30 p.m. Jazz in the Garden concert featuring the Toledo Jazz Orchestra.

Created by 13 organizations, it's the second year for the event that aims to be a cultural sampler inspiring a trip to a concert, a park, or a museum. Visitors will receive "Wild Card" coupons: two tickets to a Toledo Symphony Classics Series Concert, a ticket for A Christmas Carol at the Stranahan Theater, and a free child's admission to the Toledo Zoo.

There are buy-one-get-one-free coupons for Jazz in the Garden, Sauder Village in Archbold, the canal boat at Providence Metropark, and a Toledo School for the Arts performance. The Toledo Ballet offers a free class, and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library offers a free book.

Much of the entertainment is by and for young people, but adult-friendly performances will include a team of vocalists from Masterworks Chorale at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow and Vivaldi's Four Seasons by an ensemble including musicians from both the Toledo Symphony and the Toledo Youth Orchestra at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

Highlights from Willy Wonka, Jr., a musical by the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, will be staged. The Imagination Station, slated for opening in October in the former COSI building downtown, will lead exploration into sound and amplification.

Staff at the Metroparks' booth will create a tessellation, and naturalists will lead hikes on the hour. The ballet will perform, as will arts school students. The library will present story teller-puppeteer Joyce Davis.

The Toledo Museum of Art will offer hands-on activities and demonstrations. Young Artists at Work (YAAW) will create an art path and lead a scavenger hunt. Sauder Village will have a Native American wigwam and will let people sample spinning and carding wool.

WGTE Public Media will have Martha from Martha Speaks! on site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. The television station's staff will "film" kids reading a script from a TelePrompTer.

The Artists' Village will be open, and refreshments will be available for purchase.

The idea for an arts fair grew out of meetings by directors of 13 organizations. In 2008, it received a $20,000 Ohio Arts Council grant to launch the four-day fest at the zoo. Funds covered costs for the groups and their performers.

This year the coalition applied unsuccessfully for the grant but proceeded anyway, said Melissa Shaner, TBG spokesman, noting that some performances are scaled back. Arts Gone Wild 2010 is planned for the museum.

The free Arts Gone Wild will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at Toledo Botanical Garden. Parking is strongly encouraged at the Bancroft Street entrance west of Reynolds Road; an information booth will be there, and visitors can walk past the perennial garden to the site of the action or can ride a tram. Parking at the Elmer Drive entrance will be extremely limited. Information: 419-536-5588 and artsgonewild.org.

Contact Tahree Lane at:


or 419-724-6075.

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