The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival is back after a two-year absence

The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival returns for its 35th year this weekend, reviving a beloved downtown Fort Worth tradition that has been canceled for the past two years due to COVID-19. The festival starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

Thousands of visitors typically flock to the event, which includes a juried art exhibit, live music on four stages, a range of local dishes from barbecue to fajitas to nerdy dogs, and a variety of beverage offerings, including craft beer and wine tastings.

A redesigned “Makers Zone” will feature a menu of engaging activities for the whole family.

More than 200 national, regional and local artist jurors will exhibit their work across 18 downtown blocks. Artwork categories include sculpture, painting, photography, wood, glass, jewelry, metalwork, printmaking, and mixed media.

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Featured performers include back-to-back Best of Show winner Richard Wilson of Greenville, NC; blacksmith Dan McCabe of Prescott, Arizona; and printmaker Marina Terauds of North Branch, Michigan. More than 20 local emerging artists will exhibit for the first time at the festival.

The lineup of musical performers includes Grammy-nominated South African jazz guitarist Jonathan Butler; singer-songwriter Tanner Usrey; Texas singer-songwriter Josh Weathers; jazz singer Tatiana “Lady May” Mayfield; Latin rock band Del Castillo; Grady Spencer & The Work of Fort Worth; and several performances by the Squonk Opera multimedia troupe.

The “Hear Fort Worth Stage” returns with performances by aspiring Fort Worth musicians and singer-songwriters such as Van Darien, Matthew McNeal, Panther City Riots, Armond Vance and Olemano.

This year, the presenting sponsor of the festival is PNC Bank, with 14 branches in Fort Worth.

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“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity for PNC Bank to serve as presenting sponsor of the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival,” said Dale Klose, Territory Manager for PNC Southwest and Mountain. “PNC has a strong legacy of investing in the communities we serve through supporting the arts, as we understand the economic, social and civic impact that a thriving arts and cultural community brings to a city.”

New this year is the elimination of food and drink coupons. Credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted at all food, beverage and merchandise outlets. As in previous years, cash and credit cards may be used for artwork purchases.

Free entry.

As a bonus, the Alcon Foundation will be offering free eye screenings to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 8, from a festival tent.

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The return of the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival is accompanied by another novelty this year: a concurrent art fair.

The Fort Worth Art Fair will also take place April 7-10 and will operate during the same time at Sundance Square.

The inaugural event is defined as “a vibrant tribute to Fort Worth’s rich artistic heritage and a celebration of all things local: the city’s art, music, cuisine, culture, and more.”

Officials from Downtown Fort Worth Inc., which operates the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, said they had offered to pay full rent for the use of Sundance Square during the traditional event, but the offer was rejected.

Sundance officials announced plans for the separate art fair earlier this year after a dispute with the city-run Public Improvement District over landscaping guidelines in the downtown business district. . Landscaping is overseen by Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Sundance Square has made the decision to host its Fort Worth Art Fair on the same weekend as our Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival,” said Jay Downie, Director of Events for Downtown Fort Worth Inc. , in a press release. “While we wish they had chosen a different weekend to host their event and thereby given North Texans two different opportunities to visit downtown Fort Worth, this is not the case.”

Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., said the social media comments and questions about two festivals at the same time had “succeeded in confusing the general public.”

Taft described the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival as “a well-designed and meticulously curated downtown-wide event, focusing on juried local and national artists.

“We spend months before our event organizing its layout and site plan, assessing crowd sizes, anticipating peak times, aligning safety and security measures, and planning activities around the stages. , food courts and artist booths,” Taft said. in a report.

“The Sundance festival is intentionally held right in the middle (of the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival) with almost no communication about it until very recently,” Taft said.

Along with the art exhibits, the Sundance event will also feature live musical artists, including headliners Clint Black, Ledisi and Steve Miller, who grew up in Dallas and founded the Steve Miller Band.

Sundance Square officials did not respond to questions about the Sundance art fair.

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