‘Let the Dough Fly’ celebrates Norway Arts Festival kickoff


NORWAY — Plans are under way for the 2010 Norway Arts Festival and Sidewalk Art Show to be held from July 8 through 10. A fundraising kickoff event called “Let the Dough Fly!” will be held on Friday, April 9, from 6 to 8 at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street in Norway. It features a homemade meal of pasta, sauce (with or without meat), salad, focaccia, and desserts. Tickets are $10. Accompanied children under 10 are free. Tickets are available at Books N Things, Norway Memorial Library, or at the door.

“This event is the public beginning of the 2010 Festival,” explains committee coordinator Lisa Moore, “but the committee has been hard at work since January.” This year, the committee has chosen The Honorable J.A. Roberts as its focus and green as the color of its promotional materials.

“The focus figure wasn’t an easy decision this year,” Moore comments. “There were many good suggestions on the table. We wanted to focus on a Norway citizen who worked hard for the community. Roberts was a 19th-century renaissance man: a college graduate, a farmer, a local Grange president, and a state commissioner of agriculture. He’s a great role model for community activism and engagement. And he was a successful businessman, too.” One festival project will be to offer a biography of Roberts and a Thursday evening lecture about his contributions.

The festival is co-sponsored by two nonprofit organizations: Western Maine Art Group and Norway Downtown. The mission of the festival is to support the co-sponsoring organizations; bring people, their energy and their resources to downtown Norway; promote the arts; illuminate Norway’s history; and continue the long tradition of the Sidewalk Art Show.

At this kickoff dinner, patrons will enjoy the music of the Skylark Jazz Ensemble. An eclectic mix of Ellington swing, bossa nova cool, and soft rock, the group includes Janet Gills on vocals, Carol Rhoads on keyboard, Bob Wallace on bass, and Carl Harbourt on percussion.

This year, the Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association  is offering the show “Enchanted April,” a show with heart, humor and adult themes, on the night of the dinner. Both organizations encourage a “dinner theater” night which includes the meal at 6 and the show at 8. The show at the Grange is an easy walk from the UU Church.

A committee meets regularly at the Norway Library to plan and coordinate festival events. Also, volunteers are needed on the day of the festival. Anyone interested in helping may contact Lisa Moore at 743-9808.

The festival committee just redesigned its web site thanks to the expertise of Mariel Geiger of Net Matrix Designs. It will be updated as plans progress: www.norwaryartsfestival.org. Printable versions of vendor and artist applications are available there along with festival history, photos, and an evolving schedule of events.