The Arts Commission has set its schedule of events for the year, bringing back favorites such as the Art Walks, SoundTrek, and the Young Artists at Work program.
The first of two Gallery Loops, in which complimentary bus rides take people to galleries and studios in the near downtown area, will be 3 to 8 p.m. April 19. That’s also 419 Day in Toledo, started a couple of years ago by folks who wanted to pay homage to the regional telephone area code. Last year, people tagged photos and thoughts about what they like about northwest Ohio on Twitter and Instagram.
Another Gallery Loop will be 3 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22, downtown after the Holiday Parade.
Art Walks, 6 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month, will begin in May and continue through September in the downtown area. Shops, galleries, and eateries will be open, artists will demonstrate their crafts, and entertainers will perform on the streets. Dates are May 22, June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, and Sept. 25.
SoundTrek, 7 p.m. to midnight July 19, is a walkable evening when dozens of musicians and bands of many stripes entertain outside, in pubs, and other venues in the UpTown/Adams Street district.
Teens from 14 to 18 have until March 21 to apply for the Young Artists at Work program, which pays them to learn about and create art for six weeks during the summer.
There will also be a handful of new art in public places that will be created and completed this year. A large mural on a city-owned building will be visible to drivers on I-280, and a gateway to downtown at the intersection of the Anthony Wayne Trail, Erie and Lafayette streets, will be spruced up with a yet-to-be-determined design.
A series of sculptures will be installed in late fall on the Collingwood Islands project as part of that street’s improvements.
A theme and a call for poem submissions will go out in the spring; 10 will be chosen and cast into sidewalks. Last year,10 poems were made hard and installed near the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in East Toledo.
And 10 more bicycle racks will join 20 already installed near downtown this spring. The racks, small whimsical punctuation marks set on sidewalks, are designed by locals who each receive $500.
The commission has a 2014 budget of $841,453 and six full- and one part-time employees, plus a full-time AmeriCorps service member.
In May, the commission will hold an open meeting to solicit ideas about how the arts can be better woven into the fabric of the city’s most central neighborhoods. Commission staff have already held meetings in eight targeted neighborhoods and are interviewing another 30 individuals about obstacles and opportunities for a report that will have specific recommendations.
Marc Folk, executive director of The Arts Commission, says he expects the Strategic Plan for Arts and Culture to become part of the city’s 2020 Plan. Differences between today’s arts community and that of 10 years ago when the previous strategic plan was written, are that the community has better synergy and stronger relationships, said Folk.
Another difference: a decade ago the arts received city funding ranging from about $600,000 to $900,000 a year, shared between many organizations. The city no longer allocates money for the arts other than the One Percent for the Arts program, he noted.
His office is also talking to other organizations about having an Art Walk/Gallery Loop every month in 2015, with free transportation.
Contact Tahree Lane at email@example.com and 419-724-6075.