The St. John Arts Festival 2008, with a theme of “St. John Through the Ages,” will run from February 9 through 14 and will include a full roster of adult and children’s art and local food and crafts.
The festival will focus on tracing local culture back to the original formation of the island some 100 million years ago under the sea until the present day using the media of arts, crafts, music and drama to portray the natural and anthropological history of the island.
School children will be heavily involved in this year’s festival with exhibits in Franklin Powell Sr. Park, and the Artists’ Association of St. John, plus short plays/tableaux at the St. John School of the Arts to illustrate life as it used to be in the various phases of the evolution of the island.
Exhibits will show the undersea life in all its forms and the flora and fauna of land-based life, distinguishing between native versus foreign specimens introduced over the years as well as medicinal plants and herbs used even today by St. Johnians.
As in past years, there will be the “Concerts in the Park” every afternoon together with exhibits of “Foods and Crafts Through the Ages” providing a continuous festive atmosphere.
Music and dance are enduring records of human history and hence the live music will show the musical development from basic percussion instruments to simple scratch band and ultimately today’s mixture of instruments and electronics.
The Artists’ Association of St. John and individual art galleries and studios will be exhibiting many works by St. John artists, including those of children, with special “Meet the Artists” nights complemented with live music and refreshments.
The “Restaurant Live Music Series” posts the many different bands and performers at the island’s restaurants throughout the week in this program.
Although staffed entirely by volunteers, partial support for major artistic events is gratefully acknowledged from the Virgin Islands Council of the Arts, as is similar support from the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism for promotion of this major St. John celebration in past years.
Organizers hope the community will enjoy knowing more about this unique island in the sun! For more information check out the Web site www.stjohnartsfestival.org.