PULLMAN — A neighborhood art walk that once took place in front of Pullman homes is expanding into a full-blown arts and culture festival this weekend.
The PullmanArts and Culture Fest is noon-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at at Arcade Park, 11132 S. St. Lawrence Ave. The free event will have more than 40 vendors, more than 20 musicians set to perform throughout the day and food trucks, including from Mexican restaurant Tacos Sublime.
“We’re really excited that people know that they can just show up in one place, and everything’s going to be right there, that they can enjoy music while also enjoying a wide range of art, visual art, performing arts and so on,” said Soren Spicknall, a PullmanArts board member and volunteer. “We think … it’s going to be a really good time.”
This year is the second time volunteers have organized the event, Spicknall said. He and other organizers wanted to expand its reach and market the Arts and Culture Fest as a large-scale festival.
“People would be selling art from front porches, and it was several blocks long, but we wanted to concentrate everybody in one place in the park this year, to get equal amounts of eyes and visitors to everybody’s art and also to have everybody able to enjoy the music in one place,” Spicknall said.
The fest is sponsored by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Musical guests include spoken word and house music performers, as well as R&B, jazz, reggaeton and other genres, organizers said.
Here’s the music lineup:
- Noon: M’Reld Greene
- 1 p.m.: Jessica Ivey
- 2 p.m.: Cepilloa Band
- 3 p.m.: Jovan Landry
- 4 p.m.: The Aggregation
- 5 p.m.: Mama Yaya
- 6 p.m.: Aniba & Sol Starz
- 7 p.m.: J Grant Experience
- Noon: Duane Powell
- 1 p.m.: The Qombo
- 2 p.m.: The Chicago Soul Jazz Collective
- 3 p.m.: Anna Marlow
- 4 p.m.: Joe Rendon
- 5 p.m.: Erthe St. James
- 6 p.m.: Lowdown Brass Band
- 7 p.m.: New Black Renaissance
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Ellen Kaulig, a Pullman Arts volunteer board member, said diversifying the music was a big focus for organizers this year. Residents who enjoyed last year’s event asked organizers if the music could better reflect the many groups that call Pullman home, Kaulig said.
“We are trying to reflect more of the diversity in the community,” Kaulig said. “Everyone deserves to feel seen and heard at community events.”
Meagan McNeal, a vocalist and PullmanArts volunteer board member, went on a listening campaign to get feedback from community members on the music they did and didn’t like as she finalized this year’s lineup.
“While most of the feedback that we got was very positive, one area of improvement … was that folks would like to see more Latin bands and also salsa,” McNeal said.
Artists will sell their work in a vendor fair, with paintings, crafts and other handmade items available, Spicknall said. There will be homecooked items, locally produced honey and vintage clothes for sale, he said.
PullmanArts board members hope the Arts and Culture Fest can continue to be a big annual showcase amid smaller gallery showings and other neighborhood events, Spicknall said. Organizers said South Siders shouldn’t have to travel far to enjoy arts and culture events in the city.
“All of this is a labor of love to just celebrate the South Side,” Kaulig said. “It’s just really a celebratory, joyful time, so come hungry, and come ready to hear an amazing set of music and the artists are going to be right next to the music. So you can stroll and shop and support while you listen. We’re really excited about this.”
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