By Frank Langley
The 11th Annual St. John Arts Festival, which kicks off this week, will host its music, food and crafts events in the V.I. National Park ball field instead of the little Frank Powell Sr. Park.
With this transition comes a whole new look of the arrangement of booths into “Expo Islands” of five booths each, surrounding a raised band stand and each with a flying pennant to create a festive atmosphere.
Unlike previous years, there is a broadening of types of exhibits this year to include high-quality glass, pottery and hand-woven fabrics from Maho Bay artists. Their participation was not possible with the cramped spacing of booths in the little park. Also, special exhibits from senior citizen crafts people and schools will have their own “islands.”
It is amazing how what seemed to be a blah, desert-like venue at first sight with no shade, has been transformed into a promising Mini St. John Expo, thanks to the help and cooperation of Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade and St. John Deputy Director of Sports, Parks and Recreation Hubert Muscoso.
The novel “exhibition island” concept of exhibition booths together with a large shade tent for visitors is going to be fantastic.
Caribbean Food and Crafts Exhibition will take place all this week in the V.I. National Park ball field from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Caribbean Music Concerts are scheduled throughout the week as well from 12:30 to 4: 30 p.m. Inner Visions play on Monday, Echo People on Tuesday, Koko and the Sunshine Band on Wednesday, Sambacombo on Thursday and Musical Vibrations on Friday.
St. John School of the Arts is hosting a special student performance on Monday night, February 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. St. John Film Society is screen “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai” on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at SJSA.
Stop by Cinnamon Bay archeology museum on Thursday, February 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a look at “Taino Heritage” featuring a time-line of artifacts and a film depicting the migration of Tainos from South America to the Caribbean islands.
Art galleries across the island will host daily shows of fine paintings, sculptures, jewelry and ceramics. Many restaurants throughout St. John will feature live music for the week as well. Schedule on page 11.
Printed St. John Arts Festival programs are available at Connections in both Cruz Bay and Coral Bay.
This is a whole “new look” show and the only Arts Festival in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Do not miss this unique festival celebrating the islands and learn about the true culture of the people — it’s very special.