Arts will be on display in Ottawa for inaugural festival

Music, films and artwork featured at weekend event

The arts will be on center stage in Ottawa this weekend.

The city’s downtown will be hosting the inaugural Starved Rock Country Festival of the Arts, featuring live music, films and artwork, with a mission of showcasing the region’s dedication to the arts from Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 26.

“We pulled together a very grassroots, artist-led, three-day, art, music and film festival in downtown Ottawa,” said Shanna Dugan, arts fund administrator with Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.

There will be a juried art show with 77 pieces in six categories of art at Jeremiah Joe Coffee, 807 La Salle St. Viewing of the works will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Additionally, 31 original films will be shown during a juried film festival at Roxy Cinemas, 827 La Salle St.

Eighteen musical acts will fill three days of music from a stage at the Jordan block, 101-123 W. Main St.

Other highlights of the festival include two days of art exploration and classes for youth led by art educators at Washington Square, an artisan market Saturday and Sunday at Washington Square, a closing reception of “Chromophyll: Works by Melissa Oresky and Gina Hunt” at 5 p.m. Saturday at Open Spaces Art Gallery, 223 W. Madison St. and a Sunday morning community music and fellowship at the Jordan block.

The artisan market 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday will feature vendors, some participating in the juried show, selling handmade, one-of-a-kind works.

The music and youth art activities are free to the public and will be available as first-come, first-served. Those activities are scheduled 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The festival is offering many free activities through federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency as well as in-kind and monetary donations from area businesses and individuals.

There will be a charge for movies shown at Roxy Cinemas as part of the film festival, with filmmakers participating throughout the country.

“It’s going to be amazing for the community,” Dugan said. “We want our community to come out and enjoy and support the Festival of the Arts.”

For more information on the festival, go to

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Live music (at the Jordan block)

Friday, Sept. 24

5 p.m.: Steve Cerqua

6 p.m.: Open mic

7 p.m.: Reverend Hillbilly

8 p.m.: Manny and the OK Boys

9 p.m.: NBG DR3KO

9:30 p.m.: Cody J (DJ Famou5)

Saturday, Sept. 25

2 p.m.: Jeff Manfredini

3 p.m.: Amber Kay

4 p.m.: Nicodemus

5 p.m.: Josh Robson (Shamandala)

6 p.m.: Student band 1 (the Timekeepers)

6:30 p.m.: Student band 2 (Matriarchy)

7 p.m.: Urban Posers

8 p.m.: Half Shell Heroes

9 p.m.: Dead Rest

Sunday, Sept. 26

11:30 a.m.: Non-denominational community worship

11:45 a.m.: Bagpipe music by Mark Dudek

Noon: Templeton Family Gospel Music

1 p.m.: Zomnyet Webster

2 p.m.: Joseph Templeton

3 p.m.: Henry Torpedo Boys

4 p.m.: Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers

5 p.m.: Dezeriah

6 p.m.: MMCM

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Narrative Film Festival (at Roxy Cinemas)

Friday, Sept. 24

Noon: Two Bad

1:40 p.m.: The Fall

3:25 p.m.: The Benevolent Buckley Show

5 p.m.: Synonymous With

5:12 p.m.: Waking Up

5:20 p.m.: The Ledge

5:27 p.m.: Hate is Not Welcome Here

5:32 p.m.: Soul Bones

5:43 p.m.: A Most Forgettable Man

6 p.m.: Sister Tempest

6:15 p.m.: Black Pool

7:45 and 8:10 p.m.: The Get Lost Losers

9:30 p.m.: Bandwidth

9:35 p.m.: Wire Orgy

9:40 p.m.: Gasoline

9:50 p.m.: BOTCHED

10 p.m.: Written on Sugar High

10:02 p.m.: Ugly Love

10:14 p.m.: The Piss Window

10:27 p.m.: Apartment 28

10:41 p.m.: Sip Boyz

Saturday, Sept. 25

11 a.m.: Who Is It?

12:40 p.m.: Scavenger Hunt

12:50 p.m.: The Gardener: A Cautionary Comedy

1:03 p.m.: Ms. Rossi

1:08 p.m.: May I Have This Dance?

1:10 p.m.: The Ribbon

1:15 p.m.: No Rest For The Wicked

1:18 p.m.: Go Go, Boy!

1:24 p.m.: Flight of the Heron

1:40 p.m.: The Benevolent Buckley Show

3:10 p.m.: Synonymous With

3:22 p.m.: Waking Up

3:27 p.m.: Unseen

3:30 p.m.: The Ledge

3:37 p.m.: Hate is Not Welcome Here

3:42 p.m.: Soul Bones

3:53 p.m.: A Most Forgettable Man

4:30 p.m.: Written on a Sugar High

5:30 p.m.: Black Pool

6:30 p.m.: 13 Slays Till X-Mas

7 p.m.: Bandwidth

7:05 p.m.: Wire Orgy

7:10 p.m.: Gasoline

7:20 p.m.: BOTCHED

7:46 p.m.: Ugly Love

7:59 p.m.: The Piss Window

8:11 p.m.: Apartment 28

8:25 p.m.: Sister Tempest

8:25 p.m.: Sip Boyz

9:10 p.m.: 13 Slays Till X-Mas

Sunday, Sept. 26

11 a.m.: Two Bad

12:40 p.m.: Who Is It?

2:15 p.m.: Flight of the Heron

2:28 p.m.: Go Go, Boy!

2:35 p.m.: Ms. Rossi

2:40 p.m.: The Ribbon

2:44 p.m.: The Scavenger Hunt

2:54 p.m.: The Gardener: A Cautionary Comedy

3:07 p.m.: No Rest for the Wicked

3:10 p.m.: May I Have This Dance?

3:20 p.m.: The Fall

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Presenting Artists

Alisha Nayee

Brad Perkins

Chris Piszczek

David Hartwig

Helen Krieger

Irina Allison

Jacqueline Hughes

James Witkowski

Jay Reed

Jessica Peterson

Jill Jensen

Jocelyn Campbell

John Minarcik

Joseph Urso

Justin Bollini

Kate Batkiewicz

Lorena Malm

Natalie Zelman

Patricia Seibert

Rebecca Reed

Steve Kost

Téa Lamboley

Thomas Roach

Tori Eisenberg

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.