Progress Report on the First Annual Listen and Be Heard Summer Arts Festival

On May 23rd my letter from the editor was about the beginning concept of our first annual summer arts festival on Saturday, August 18, 2007. The main idea is to attract people to Marin Street in Downtown Vallejo and introduce them to the Vallejo arts community. Although the people who work here every day are well aware of all the activity going on inside, the passers-by and the passers-through who we would all like to reach out to, aren’t always aware that there is much of anything going on. Unless they come through at the right time. Like last Saturday night, people venturing downtown found a lively art reception going on at the Vallejo Artists’ Guild at Marin and Florida. Some folks attending that event could hear the drumbeat emanating from Listen & Be Heard Poetry Café and finished up their evening dancing to the rhythms of the Talons.

The First Annual Listen & Be Heard Summer Arts Festival is meant to promote cooperation between all the artists and arts groups living and working on Marin Street, with the intention of introducing ourselves to the Vallejo community, getting the community involved, and getting involved in the community. With that in mind we are offering arts and crafts vendors the opportunity to sell their wares in front of our café from 11am-5pm. Those interested should contact me at 707-554-4840. Vallejo Music Theatre, located across the street from Listen & Be Heard Poetry Café between Capitol and Carolina Streets, has joined in our plans. They will host an open house that day, and have offered to allow arts vendors to set up inside their building as well.

To our left, between Capitol and Virginia Streets, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum will host a free family day on August 18, and will also set up some tables in front of the museum to catch the attention of drivers and pedestrians. Continuing up Marin street to Florida, Robert Gepford and Bill Bloom will open their studios and set up tables in front, Adolfo’s and the Vallejo Artists’ Guild, and Material Visions, a boutique across the street from the guild, will also be participating on that day. More information about what each of these groups will be presenting will be posted on this site as we pull it all together.

For our part at the café, we will be showing off the talent we have been cultivating on our stage in the last couple years. We are no strangers to the community and now is our time to showcase what has been developing here from week to week. We will not be charging any admission all day or night.

We have four jam session hosts who normally come separately on different Saturdays. On August 18 from 11am-2pm Plum Island, Dave Tilton, Dennis Ocampo, Ed Rivers and Tom Hamilton will all be present for a super acoustic jam which anyone with an instrument is welcome to participate in. From 3-4:30pm we will have storytelling hosted by yours truly and featuring Wordslanger. For the poetry hour, starting around 6pm, we will be spotlighting Q.R. Hand Jr, Eileen Hidalgo, Irman Arcibal, Jessica Ryan and Bill Vartnaw. The poets will be followed by Miss Gabi Wilson, returning this time with a band made up of other kids her own age (which is 9.)

Gabi will be followed by the comedians who host on Tuesday nights, Dairius James, Tony Mims, James Fluty and Ellery Urquhart. The comedy will be followed by live music into the night provided by our The Talons, to make it a free party for all the people who contributed their energy and talent during the day.

We are committed to making posters and doing the PR of course. Digital Copy has donated a banner. Now is the time to get in touch if you would like to be involved in creating opportunities for and by ourselves and want your name or business included on the poster, website etc. I can be reached at 707-554-4840 or at editorATlistenandbeheardDOTnet.

Wishing you Peace and Poetry
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