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Local Artists Urged To Apply Now

Application deadline for arts festival nears.

Time is running out for local artists to be part of the Second Annual Alexandria Festival for the Arts. The application deadline is July 30 for both the Regional Artists Juried Exhibition and Performing Arts.

"This year's Arts Festival as a whole will be bigger and better than last year's show. By adding the local element to this year's show it will add a rich Alexandria element both in the area of creative and performing arts. It will bring an added dimension and vitality to an already successful format," said Leon E. Scioscia, chair of the 2004 Festival.

"And, we are going to have a large national mix of artists to complement the works of the Alexandria artists," he added. That national mix will total approximately 200 artists, according to Jo Anne Mitchell, president and CEO of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association (ACVA).

ALTHOUGH THE FESTIVAL is not scheduled to be held until Sept. 11-12, the deadline for local artists and those who wish to perform in the new entertainment venue is only eight days away.

Application information for the juried show can be obtained through the Regional Artist Exhibition Voicemail at 703-838-4565 Ext 6. For application information for the performing arts show, contact Susan Landess at 703-413-3811 or slandess@stratsight.com.

"This year we have created a local committee which will increase and enhance ideas for the entire festival," Mitchell said. Joining Scioscia, who also heads up the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. On the committee are Janet Barnett, deputy director, Alexandria Department Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; Pat Miller, chair, Art on The Avenue; and Mitchell.

"We are looking forward to not only adding this second component of local artists and performers but also to bringing live entertainment to the marina area behind the Torpedo Factory. We want to draw people to the river," Barnett said.

Performances will take place on an outdoor, portable, raised stage located in the area of the marina dock behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Performances will be done in 20 and 45 minute segments between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Entries will be judged by Cecil Thompson, theater coordinator, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

"There will also be music that will go to 8 p.m. this year. That will encourage people to stay in the area and visit retailers and restaurants," Mitchell explained.

LOCAL ARTISTS WILL have a special area to display their works for both judging and sale, according to ACVA. "The block from Union Street to the waterfront will be set aside for local, emerging artists," Mitchell confirmed. "They will be allowed to display and sell one piece of their work."

That exhibition will be located in tents on King Street parallel to the Torpedo Factory Arts Center. They will be judged by Peter Dubeau, associate dean, Division of Continuing Studies, Maryland Institute College of Arts.

Those selected for either the juried show and the performing arts venue will be notified during the week of August 11, according to the applications. "All this is possible because the City has allocated $25,000 to the show," Mitchell explained.

Another change this year is that the primary festival, again under the production of Howard Alan Events, Ltd., in cooperation with Alexandria Commission for the Arts, the City, and ACVA, has been extended to Washington Street. The entire lower end of King Street, from the river to Washington Street, will be devoted to the festival both days.

AS THE KICK OFF event to Alexandria's Fall for the Arts season, King Street will be transformed into an art promenade from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12. Saturday hours have been increased this year, ACVA reported

Among the 200 artisans in the Alan show, offering sculptures, paintings, photography, glass, jewelry and other mediums, will be more than 20 regional artists, seven of whom are from Alexandria, according to Laura Overstreet, vice president of ACVA Communications.

"T-shirts and posters featuring an original graphic design of the city's beloved sculpture 'Brio' will be sold the weekend of the festival. Funds raised will go to the Alexandria Commission on the Arts to continue to raise the profile of local artists," Overstreet said.