Starved Rock Country Festival Of The Arts

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, and a full schedule of events, visit:

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello is the news editor for The Times in Ottawa and NewsTribune in La Salle, part of Shaw Local News Network, covering La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties. He covers local and breaking news in the areas of government, education, business and crime and courts, among others.