Community Corner: Arts Initiative celebrates festival, welcomes Cavern Beat

By on May 2, 2014

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative

Three thousand guests attended the 15th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patrons and participants alike enjoyed their time celebrating the arts by viewing over 500 Kaneland student art pieces, participating in theatre workshops, watching “James and the Giant Peach” along with other wonderful performances in the Kaneland auditorium, and learning about visual art mediums from over 15 professional artists.

In Festival exit surveys, patrons were complimentary of the “interactive artists willing to let kids participate,” the science club and art club participation, and the variety of artists.

Mixed-media visual artist Valerie Lorimer gave the festival a review after attending it for the first time as a participant.

“Oh wow. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with this event,” Lorimer wrote. “Great atmosphere and terrific interactive experiences for the kids. Awesome performing arts, as well. I am very impressed by the community’s support of the arts. I hope to be asked back again.”

The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) was also pleased to partner with Changing Children’s World Foundation, which held an art contest in conjunction with the festival. Ken Evans, owner of Franklin’s Frames from Sycamore, awarded the Golden Palette Award to selected Kaneland students. KAI unveiled six pieces of art created by 2012-13 KAI Artist in Residence Eric Nye, which were presented to the Kaneland School District at its April 28 School Board meeting.

KAI was excited to announce at the festival that the 2014 KAI Fine Arts Scholarship would be awarded to Matthew Alfrey in May.

After the success of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, KAI is thrilled to invite the Cavern Beat back to the Kaneland stage on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m.

The Cavern Beat borrows its name from the now world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. The Beatles played more shows there than anywhere else in their whole career. Starting with founding Cavern Beat member and drummer Alan Wagner in 2005, the initial idea was a simple one: perform the music of The Beatles as it was, by them. The band uses only guitars, drums and true voices. No computers or digital processors, no tapes or loops, no modern sounding amps—just pure, original Beatles. The band’s site is

Joining The Cavern Beat on the stage this Friday will be the MidKnight Special. The MidKnight Special, directed by Mrs. Rachel Shershen, is the top choir at Kaneland Harter Middle School. This is the second year that the MidKnight Special has sung with the Cavern Beat. Tickets are on sale at the Kaneland Webstore, found at Adult tickets are $10, student and senior citizen tickets are $8, and the ever popular family ticket is $25. The family ticket allows all members currently living in one household to be admitted for the single price of $25. More information about the event and upcoming events can be found on the KAI website,

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