A few decades ago, I doubt anyone could have guessed that Plano would become home to a growing, lively arts community. But with the designation of the Downtown Plano Arts District in fall 2015, the creation of the Plano Arts Coalition and all the building revitalization downtown, Plano has finally come into its own in the art world.
And rightly so, our city will get its own large art festival this September, the first annual Plano Artfest. Created and hosted by the Historic Downtown Plano Association, the festival will be family-friendly and free for all Planoites to attend. Plano Artfest will have a little something for everyone: artists, craftsmen, musicians, performance artists and opportunities for the public to get their hands dirty creating their own art.
“We believe Plano has been waiting and is ready for an event that is all about the arts,” said Alex Hargis, the executive director for the Historic Downtown Plano Association. “Our city has an entire community of artists looking for someone to give them a home and an opportunity to show their work. We want to make the Historic Downtown Arts District that place for creative incubation, and use Artfest to bring all local artists together.”
The event’s inaugural year will incorporate a full week of community art programming that will include gallery exhibitions, theatrical performances, art panel discussions, film screenings and concerts. All the events of Artfest week will lead up to the one-day festival held from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17 in the newly renovated McCall Plaza.
The festival day will include an Artist Village of craftsmen and makers, performances from local arts groups, the favorited Chalk-It-Up experience, kids’ crafts, a graffiti art exhibit, and the Apprentice Studio, a hands-on learning experience for all ages taught by local professional artists.
Food trucks will be on site and beer and wine available for purchase in McCall Plaza next to the artist village. Festival attendees can also experience any of the award-winning restaurants in the Historic Downtown Arts District.
Local artists and vendors are encouraged to participate in the festival either with a booth reservation in artist village or booking a performance timeslot for the McCall stage. All interested artists and groups can fill out the online artist vendor application located on the event’s website.Plano Artfest > See the Artfest Week Calendar of Events >