The Freeman Stage at Bayside in Fenwick Island has already played host to a multitude of shows and performances this season, and this weekend is sure impress, yet again. On Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25, from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., the Freeman Foundation will present the Second Annual Arts and Jazz Festival, highlighting some of the area’s most talented visual and musical artists. The free event, open to the public, will feature artwork from local painters, ceramic artists and photographers, and soothing jazz music from four bands.
“It’s really important to ensure visibility for these fantastic artists of both visual and musical talent,” said Patti Grimes, vice president of Outreach and Programming for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. “The shows are a little, well-known secret, and we want to expand that so guests and residents know what’s out there. We want to familiarize them with galleries and studios in this region.”
More than 20 artists, including Laura Hickman and Aubre Duncan of the Gallery on Central Avenue and Cheryle Wisbrock of Gallery One will be showcasing their works, as will whimsical artist John Donato.
Live entertainment will be provided both nights, as well, with the Paul Scimonelli Jazz Band and the Pittsburgh-based Boiler Maker Jazz Band delivering tunes on Friday, and music from the Joe Baione Sextet and Delmarva All Stars featured on Saturday.
“We’re really trying to keep the music and art in the local venue,” said Grimes. “There’s a big importance for art in the community. It can really bring people together and help them enjoy it all. We’re sharing our commitment and bringing the arts to the mid-Atlantic region. The festival really shows the vastness of art.”
For the event, the Freeman Foundation has paired up with Americans for the Arts, a program designed to raise awareness about art in the community and as an educational tool.
“We really want to show people what art can bring to the younger generation,” added Grimes. “It can lead to creative minds, higher SAT scores and better retention skills in the classroom. [Art] is not just something nice to have in schools, but it’s a must-have in education.”
While the musical entertainment, storytelling and theatrical performances have brought many families and individuals to the Freeman Stage in recent years, the foundation has strived to cater to the widest range of the area’s population and their interests with its free-admittance shows and arts programming. This weekend’s art and jazz festival will aim to do just that.
“The Freeman Foundation continues to cause more involvement for families and children,” said Grimes, “But we have a big population of retirees that come out, and a lot of people who participate may have wanted to take an art class or paint, and really get the chance to move forward with it after seeing something here. Children may find out they have a hidden artistic talent, and we are here to support that.
“By coupling the visual arts with great jazz performances, we’re bringing a great marriage of talent to the community. It’s a catalyst for bringing people together.”
The Freeman Foundation will continue their offerings next week, with the American Conservation Film Festival on Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, July 29, at the Freeman Stage at 8:30 p.m. The Fabulous Dialtones will return to the stage on Friday, July 31, for a free show at 7 p.m.
For more information, including upcoming performances and shows, and ways to get involved with the Freeman Foundation, visit the Web site at www.freemanstage.com or call (302) 436-3015.