Berea Arts Fest, one of the most revered arts fests in the area, makes its return on Sunday, September 11, 2022

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This year’s Berea Arts Fest has the lofty goal of fostering the arts on many levels, from interactive activities to visual arts, amazing live music, delicious food and entertainment.

By Patricia Nugent

With the theme “Honor, Art and Community,” more than 12,000 people are expected to populate the bustling streets of historic downtown at the 32nd Berea Arts Fest on Sunday, September 11.

“Our festival has the lofty goal of fostering the arts on many levels, from interactive activities to visual arts, amazing live music, delicious food and entertainment,” says Berea Arts Fest Coordinator Rich Cihlar. “Accessibility and appreciation for the arts is more important now than ever. While many arts festivals across the country report they are shrinking, every year we grow and add more artists. I’m proud of that.”

This year, the number of artists is over 100, double what it was 10 years ago, ranging from mediums such as painting, photography, jewelry, glass blowing, stained glass, metal works, ceramics, mixed media, printmaking and wood working.

Look Out for the Human Statue
“Our live entertainers and demonstration artists make the festival so much fun,” he says. “People know to watch out for joyUnspeakable, the human statue who appears out of nowhere and plays funny tricks on unsuspecting fest-goers.”

Also back by popular demand this year is the Terrible TV Show. Rich and fellow “newscaster” Dan Karp interview local festival celebs throughout the day and run hilarious minute-to-win-it games.

In addition to many new artists and musical acts, Rich reports this year they are thrilled to welcome a new demonstration tent produced by Morgan Paper Conservatory.

“From book-binding to print-making, people will learn all about how paper is made and its fascinating history,” he says.

An Art Raffle, held throughout the day, raises funds to support the Fest, as well as its annual college scholarship. Congratulations to this year’s winner Caroline Niederhausen, a musician who plays the trumpet.

“She’s unbelievably talented,” says Rich. “This Strongsville High School senior will attend the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in the fall.”

When it comes to the culinary arts, Rich and his team have you covered.

“The amazing restaurants downtown, as well as an eclectic group of food trucks, go well beyond ‘fair food.’ People will find gourmet eats as well as Cleveland classics such as Weber’s Ice Cream and Buckeye Concessions.”

Appealing to the Littlest Guests
Families love the Kids Kreation Station, under the big tent where children can make their own art to take home. Supplies are included. Geared for budding artists ages 3-12 years old, an array of hands-on projects will include paper spinners, two-sided spheres, scribble art, newspaper mosaics, decorated treasure bags and origami corner bookmarks.

“Kids and adults can also take part in a very cool exhibition—a Living Tree—to commemorate 9/11,” he explains. “Each participant will take a strip of holographic film and write a message on it and attach to an abstract tree exoskeleton form. When all the strips are moving and rustling in the wind, it’ll be an inspirational experience to walk through.”

For more information, contact Berea Arts Fest Coordinator Rich Cihlar at BAFcoordinator@bereaartsfest.org or 440-891-1102. For a complete Berea Arts Fest schedule, and volunteer opportunities, visit BereaArtsFest.org. The Festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11. Complimentary shuttle service will be provided by Baldwin-Wallace University running from 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., picking up guests at the Bonds Building on Eastland Road and dropping off at Fest entrances. As always, admission is free. You can donate online to this 501(c)(3) organization.