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Enhanced children’s experience and wider diversity of artists at 37th Annual Art in the Park

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A community arts tradition makes its grand return on March 12th and 13th, when the Hernando County Fine Arts Council will host the 37th Annual Art in the Park. This is an event dedicated to fine art, craftsmanship, and a community that creates these opportunities for artists, collectors, and patrons of the arts. At this event artists and artisans will showcase a wide variety of works and media at Tom Varn Park, located at 301 Darby Lane, Brooksville. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5 for parking. All donations support the arts community of Hernando County.

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Chair of Art in the Park Alissa Babor states, “This year, we are ecstatic to bring fine artists and artisans from 12 states across the United States, a reimagined Children’s Experience Area, interactive art installations, a juried student art show (students now can apply online), food vendors, and live entertainment for two days in Tom Varn Park.” This 37th annual show is expected to draw a diverse crowd of about 100 fine artists and fine crafters and 6,000 attendees from Hernando County and surrounding communities. All of these creative forces gather for a celebration of artistry. One that doubles as an elite arts competition offering increased prize money in the amount of $6,000.

The Children’s Experience (CE) will offer a mini Art in the Park for kids, taking place adjacent to the main portion of Art in the Park on March 12th and 13th. The goal of this experience is to encourage the love of creativity in children and to also educate them in art history. One of the main reasons this was created is, “There aren’t enough opportunities for children to be exposed to the arts and to discover their talents,” stated Beth Putnam, Children’s Experience Coordinator and Chair for Art in the Park.

“The Arts Council, alongside various volunteers and local nonprofits, has dedicated countless hours to planning this show over the past year. We are so excited to bring this event back to Tom Varn Park for our community and surrounding communities to enjoy. The talent in Hernando County has truly been on display lately and we look forward to providing this unique opportunity and experience for artists, collectors, and patrons of the arts.” said Babor.

Beth Putnam is thrilled to present an event that was canceled last year in the face of a global pandemic. She shared, “It was heartbreaking not to host Art in the Park last year. But we have so much new and exciting this year, including a children’s experience, art installations, an updated recordkeeping and online application process. We have more participating artists this year.”

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In fact, Putman sees Art in the Park as an event of opportunity for artists. There are no other arts festivals in Hernando, though there are wonderful galleries and art shows, this is an event where people can see all varieties of art and support their favorite artists. Putnam stated, “We appreciate artists, and this is a golden opportunity for them to sell and show their art. It ticks so many boxes. We have more states represented, and more kinds of art represented than ever before. This is going to be a wonderful day.”

To see the event/entertainment schedule for Art in the Park or to volunteer, please visit www.hernandoarts.org/aitp-2022 or email [email protected]

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