BRADENTON, Fla. - One of the most popular events of the year is coming up in Bradenton this weekend. It's called ArtSlam, and it's our Event of the Week.
It's always bugged Bradenton that Sarasota always seems to get all the credit for being the culture coast. And Bradenton's incredible art community -- both visual and performing -- doesn't get the recognition and accolades that it deserves.
So this weekend Realize Bradenton is staging ArtSlam to show it off.
"It’s a fun interactive creative day for families to come and enjoy," says creative assistant Morgan Bettes.
In the past, ArtSlam was held on Riverwalk. This year, for the first time, it's moving to Old Main Street. "It'll be on South Main from all the way to 3rd Avenue West. And it'll go hand in hand with the farmers market that's here every Saturday from 9 to 2."
175 artists, musicians and performers are a part of the fun. "We have 10 bands that will be starting at 11am, all the way up until 10pm, and different music stations all over; with performances from Fuzion dance artists."
The idea for ArtSlam came from a study showing that Bradenton is rich in all types of art, but few people know about it. So this showcase was created to show off Bradenton's art community. "And we've got projection teams, we've got musicians, we've got visual artists who are going to do a chalk poem, whether it's the street whether it's a panel," says art director Wade Hamilton.
25 artistic teams will compete for the title of fan favorite, and there will be activities for all ages.
But behind all the fun, there is a very serious purpose. "The serious purpose is to promote more arts and culture in the city of Bradenton," says Bradenton councilman Patrick Roff.
And the competitions won't just be in dance, drama, and music. "There will be a completion for food truck."
There'll also be an exhibit where you can design your own skateboard, a puppet show, you'll be invited to help create a giant mural, and you can try your hand at finding your way through the labyrinth of the unbroken path.
The 4th annual ArtSlam takes over Old Main Street in Bradenton on Saturday, from noon until 10pm. Admission is free.