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 Annual SRU Kaleidoscope arts festival offers colorful medley of fun 



March 25, 2008
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Annual Kaleidoscope arts festival offers colorful medley of fun

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University campus community will be filled with artistry and outdoor activities - as well as a Children's Day performance under the big tent by the Zany Umbrella Circus - during the annual Kaleidoscope arts festival April 16-29.

            Opening festivities on April 16 will include a campus barbeque and a 6 p.m. performance by the poetry-rock band Coyote Run. The second annual Kaleidoscope on Main will bring 25 musical acts and dozens of artists to town April 19.

            Most of the campus and town events, including the circus, are free.

            "We're most excited about the collaboration between the University and the Borough of Slippery Rock," said Rachela Permenter, SRU professor of English and arts festival director. "We're all working together to support and celebrate the arts. This year brings an exciting assortment of performers to our community and will showcase the talents of our students.

            SRU's College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts created Kaleidoscope seven years ago to bring greater awareness and appreciation of the arts to campus and the wider community. More than 6,000 people attended last year's festivities.

            This year's fun will include internationally known artists, a Shakespeare's Birthday Dinner Party, brass and flute concerts, and battle of the bands winners, guest speakers and a Japanese Taiko drummer's concert. The SRU Brass Ensemble and Orchestra will perform as well.

            Kaleidoscope on Main will include live music from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., art exhibits and SRU student dance performances.

            Children's Day is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26.  The Zany Umbrella Circus will perform at 3 p.m. in front of the Russell Wright Alumni House.  The Pittsburgh-based circus uses art as a vehicle for promoting dialogue, teaching cooperation skills and encouraging children to use their imaginations to create artwork of their own. Performances include puppetry, music, storytelling and street theatre, clowns riding bicycles, stilt walkers and tightrope climbers.

            Children's Day also includes storytelling, arts and crafts, music, food and outdoor theatre. All Children's Day activities are free. That evening the play "After Ashley" will be performed at 8 p.m. at SRU's Miller Auditorium.

            The biggest change to Kaleidoscope On Main, Permenter said, is the increase in the number of artists' booths and the expansion of the music in the streets.  Musical groups from Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., will perform on Main Street and at SRU's Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable System Education and Research.  The Main Street stages will be at the parking lot gazebo and outside of North Country Brewing and Ginger Hill restaurants.  In the event of poor weather, bands will play inside at North Country, Ginger Hill, and Luigi's restaurants.

            Many local businesses will house art exhibits by SRU students and area artists.  Bob McCafferty, owner of North Country Brewing, said the liaison is a natural outcome of town-gown opportunities.  "I am a big fan of SRU events including the downtown area," said McCafferty, a member of the Slippery Rock Business Association.

            The annual Earth Festival at the Macoskey Center is on April 19.  Campbell Bus Lines is donating their "Happy Bus" for transporting festival goers between Earth Day and Main Street events, Permenter said.

            Dennis McCurdy, a Zelienople attorney and member of the Lonesome No More Band, is coordinating most of the musical acts for Kaleidoscope on Main.

            "I'm happy to donate my time for this festival.  These are wonderful people to work with and the outcome can be nothing less than great fun," McCurdy said.  In addition, two SRU Jazz Combos will perform that day.  Kaleidoscope's additional gifts to the community are performances by the popular Pittsburgh-based group Guaranteed Irish.  The free concerts will take place on Main Street at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

            Information about all festival events is available on


 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.







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