The third edition of the Elgin FallBack Arts Festival this weekend at Hemmens Cultural Center and three other locations is more ambitious than ever, according to organizers.
In addition to its customary free workshops, the festival will feature a town hall discussion, "Why Art Matters: The State of Creativity" Saturday and a classical music performance Sunday. The fest opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
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9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: John Tovar and David Gonzalez will lead "The Integrated Performer," a workshop on the Alexander Technique at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way.
9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Michigan gallery owner Rita Cochran leads "When a Dragon Moves In!" a workshop for students 6 to 12 at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court.
10 a. m. too 1:30 p.m.: Artist Susan Henshaw leads a workshop on Landscape Pastel Techniques in the lower level of the Hemmens.
10 a.m.to 12 p.m.: Photographer Susan McConnell leads an interactive photography class called "Seeing Through a Different Lense" that will include photo editing. Lower level of the Hemmens.
1 to 3 p.m.: Former NBC News correspondent and writer Eric Burns leads a workshop, "Creative Non-Fiction Writing." Students should bring an excerpt of current writing projects. Elgin Art Showcase, Eighth floor, 164 Division St.
2 to 5 p.m.: John Tovar and Rachel Stubbs lead "Unarmed Stage Combat" on theater techniques including pushes, falls, hair pulls, and more at the Hemmens.
2 p.m.: Town hall meeting on "Why Art Matters: The State of Creativity," with Randy Cohen of Americans for the Arts based in Washington D.C., and Elgin Cultural Arts Commission Chairman Sean Hargadon at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave.
3 p.m.: Soiree Lyrique will feature award-winning soprano Solange Sior in recital with 14-year-old violist and National Award winner Sofiya Kyrylyuk, and pianist Dr. Chiayi Lee at Elgin Art Showcase. Suggested donation of $10 to $30.
This will be the festival's first town hall, whose guest speaker will be Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., said Sean Hargadon, chairman of Elgin's Cultural Arts Commission.
"Basically the whole discussion -- and we're looking for feedback as well -- is about how art isn't only art for art's sake. It's also art for economic development," Hargadon said.
Organizers hope for a variety of participants who will share their thoughts and ideas about Elgin's art scene.
"We want to hear about what we're doing, what's right, what people want," Hargadon said.
Workshops include topics such in photography, painting, theater, writing and more.
"The workshops are very popular, from the feedback we've gotten. People enjoy getting the chance to work with people who are leaders in the (arts) field," Hargadon said.
"And because they are free, there is no risk," he said. "The whole goal was to create inclusiveness and opportunity without making it difficult for people to participate."