As the story goes, Arik Bjorn and Rockaways owner Forrest Whitlark came up with the idea of the Rosewood Arts Festival one night sitting on a pair of barstools. Over the years, the festival has grown a reputation for being a perfectly pleasant way to spend a Saturday in September, listening to a little music, checking out the art, and visiting with friends.
But when Arik Bjorn decided to run for public office this year, it became obvious that he wouldn’t be able to conduct his campaign and continue to handle the festival. Enter local poetry guru Al Black, who has stepped into Bjorn’s shoes as festival director and has big plans in store.
But he knows Bjorn is a tough act to follow. “Arik did an excellent job of running the festival since its inception six years ago,” Black says. “He has left us with an excellent legacy to build on. We will always stand on the back of his leadership and vision.”
Along with co-coordinators Jeremy Weisman and Bentz Kirby, Black is putting together a new version of the Rosewood Art Festival and the biggest change is the addition of the word music to the title of the event. According to Black, the Rosewood Art and Music Festival will take place on September 10th from 10 am – 10 pm, “then we will finish the night inside Rockaways with a salsa band and dancing.”
Among the other changes Black has planned is a juried visual art event with monetary awards and an emphasis on the literary arts, realized via spoken word poetry and a poetry workshop for children. Alexandra White will be coordinating the visual artists and Len Lawson will serve the same role for the literary artists. Black also plans to have jugglers, puppets, magicians, and other performers roaming throughout the festival space with live painters near the music stages. As for the music, a total of 12 acts will alternate on two stages.
But Black expects much of the same vibe that festival-goers have come to know and love from the Rosewood Arts Festival of years past. “It will continue to have all the same elements as before; we will just tweak and expand its base,” Black says. “It will continue to be free, and the owners of Rockaways will continue to be our gracious sponsor and host. We will still have Epworth Children’s Home selling drinks as a fundraiser. It will still be a fun place to be!”/CB
10am Blue Iguanas
12:00 Daddy Lion
2:00 Reggie Sullivan
6:00 The Dirty Gone Dolas
8:00 Art Contest
11am The Dubber
1:00 Sheem One
3:00 She Returns From War
5:00 Those Lavender Whales
9:00 Wallstreet & the Blues Brokers featuring Marv Ward