Spring arts starts this week at the MAC

May 4, 2021

MARION — After finding out how to schedule an arts festival to act as a surrogate for ArtWeek, Marion Arts Center Executive Director Jodi Stevens is hoping the weather stays nice.

“Hopefully we won’t have to use our rain dates,” she laughed.

The art center is putting on eight events for South Coast Spring Arts, a local festival with events across the region to act in lieu of the statewide ArtWeek festival.

Spring Arts events at the MAC will run from May 7 to 16, with a mix of in-person, remote and hybrid events. Most outdoor events will have backup dates in case of rain.

“I am just glad we’re able to offer programming,” Stevens said.

Since Stevens became executive director at the art center, she hasn’t participated in any events at the Island Wharf Bandstand. But, during Spring Arts, she’ll be able to attend a reading of Tabor Academy teacher John Heavey’s play “LZ Bravo: A Vietnam Tour of Duty” and a performance by the local jazz band the MonteiroBots.

“We’re definitely excited about both our events on the bandstand,” Stevens said.

But, the director noted she’s excited for all the events being featured in the festival.

Specifically, she mentioned an art class with wine tasting hosted by Barbara Healy, a felt art workshop by Anna Kristina Goransson and “Postcards From Buzzards Bay,” a virtual concert by the Tri-County Symphonic band, featuring photos and art of the Buzzards Bay region.

“It’s looking really great,” Stevens said of the concert, after seeing a preview. “So we’re really excited about that.”
Still, Stevens said it was difficult to organize the festival, noting that “weather is always a challenge” when planning outdoor events

Because all the events at the festival will be either outdoors or virtual, Stevens said some programming which was planned for ArtWeek last year couldn’t be carried over to Spring Arts.

A line dancing class with beer tasting and a desert sculpture class will be missed.

But, Stevens said, those programs may come back in the future.

“I’m actually really excited to try and do that at a later date,” she said of the line dancing and beer tasting event.

However, both the “LZ Bravo” reading — the only ticketed event not yet sold out — and felt art workshop were events which were planned for last year’s ArtWeek that were able to be carried over to Spring Arts.

Stevens said that, despite fewer events than ArtWeek, the goal was never quantity.

“I think our goal was to make sure we could pull them off,” she said.

To do that, Stevens shares credit with Jennifer Wolfe Webb, Jack Boesen, Philip Sanborn, Maura Stewart and Ellen Bruzelius, all of whom helped organize Spring Arts.

“It’s been great to have a team to work with,” Stevens said.