Skip to main content





March 20, 2012
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:

Office: 724.738.4854

Cell: 724.991.8302

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival brings the fun

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The vitality of the arts will be on display to see and experience when Slippery Rock University offers the 11th Annual Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. The festival runs April 15-29 and includes intelligent and hip programming for all audiences, including a Children’s Day event with many free activities.
     “The lineup this year is as colorful and eclectic as a kaleidoscope,” said Colleen Reilly, SRU assistant professor of theatre and festival director. “Art will be happening everywhere.”
      Highlights include a Bob Dylan tribute presentation, hip-hop performance, theatre shows, a film festival, student art exhibition, Frederick Douglass lecture series, Taiko Japanese drummers and an outdoor sculpture exhibition open house hosted by James Myford, SRU professor emeritus of art. The SRU Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Flute Choir, Chamber Flute Choir and Concert Band will perform at various times.
     “Kaleidoscope demonstrates the leadership role that SRU is playing as an arts laboratory,” Reilly said. “Our goal is to convey varied art experiences, especially given our situation geographically in the region. We are trying to provide the kind of programming that you would get in a major urban center here in Slippery Rock and for the broader community.”
    Reilly said the big family draw is the April 21 Children’s Day, a family-oriented celebration of music, dance, arts and crafts, balloons, food and more. Many of the events, as well as parking, are free. New this year is the construction of artist Brian Harper’s walking wall.
    Children’s Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the lawn in front of SRU’s Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center (West Gym rain location), will feature a performance by Hal Walker, a singer, songwriter and veteran solo performer. Walker’s warm, passionate style and baritone voice engage audiences. His message is one of celebrating community, diversity and the creative process.
       Walker will perform with fifth-graders from Slippery Rock Area Elementary School. They will present the “Hal Walker Stick Dance.” A “We Want More Harmonicas” rally with free harmonica lessons will be at 2 p.m. Walker will also present a concert April 22 at the Ginger Hill Universalist Unitarian Church.
      SRU launched Kaleidoscope 11 years ago to bring free and reduced-cost arts programming to underserved communities.  This year’s opening ceremony, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 19, in the Quad, will feature activities, lunch and a performance by the SRU Jazz Ensemble. Students with a student ID will eat free. The cost is $6 for the public.
      The opening ceremony corresponds with SRU’s observance of Earth Day. “That day on the Quad will be amazing,” Reilly said.
      The fun begins at 2 and 5 p.m., April 15, with the “SRU Senior Synthesis Dance Concert” in Swope Music Hall. The concert showcases choreography by graduating seniors and will feature contemporary dance and other styles.
     To better reach current students and other young audiences, Reilly said SRU added a hip-hop concert in collaboration with the University Program Board. Illstyle & Peace Productions will perform at 7 p.m., April 17, in the University Union. Illstyle & Peace Productions is a multicultural dance company founded by Brandon “Peace” Albright.” The company creates work rooted in contemporary and old school hip-hop blended with dance and performance disciplines including tap, ballet and disc jockey work.
    Brave New Plays is an annual presentation of new works by theatre majors. This year’s program includes productions of winning submission from the first Kaleidoscope Playwright    Competition, “Acts of Contrition” by Patricia Montley and “Raw” by Eoin Carney. They will play in repertory at 7:30 p.m. April 21, 2 p.m. April 22 and 7:30 p.m. April 23 in SRU’s Miller Auditorium.
      An opening reception for an outdoor sculpture exhibition will be offered at 2 p.m. April 29  during which the Art Sculpture Building will be renamed James C. Myford Art Sculpture Building. The outdoor exhibition will include sculptures by nine regional artists displayed across campus.    
      Many Kaleidoscope events are free. Tickets for other shows and concerts will be available at the door or at the University Union Information Desk. The complete schedule of events is at [Link]
     For more information, call 724.738.4586.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.