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Organizers hoping crowds, dollars will flock to Janesville art event

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JAMES P. LEUTE
June 11, 2011
— A three-day celebration of art is designed to attract even more visitors to Janesville for what already promises to be an active weekend.

For several months, the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has been developing “Art Infusion … Along the Janesville Mile,” which will take place Sept. 16-18.


The Janesville Mile is a marketing strategy that brings together downtown Janesville attractions, dining establishments and retail outlets as one central Janesville destination for residents and visitors.


It begins with Rotary Botanical Gardens, goes on to Lions Beach, the ice arena, the Janesville Performing Arts Center, the Hedberg Library and then reaches the downtown with the Janesville Armory, Speakeasy, Metropolitan and other attractions, food and retail establishments.


The September event is designed to increase visitors and dollars to the area, said Christine Rebout, executive director of the JACVB.


Rebout hopes the new event—an expansion of last year’s Chalk Walk—will enhance art appreciation, cultivate art education, grow community spirit and showcase the Janesville Mile to residents and visitors.


Activities will be staged in pockets along the Janesville Mile.


The area will be busy that weekend, as solo artist Richard Marx will do weekend concerts to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Janesville Performing Arts Center.


Art Infusion will incorporate several interesting art forms.


Competitions will include sidewalk chalk art, interactive busker-style performance and flash mobs, a group of people that suddenly assembles for a seemingly odd performance.


Master chalk artist/street painter Lee Jones will be the featured artist.


“Attendees will be able to watch Lee in action as she creates a chalk art mural while the event is taking place,” Rebout said. “She will also teach free street painting classes to event participants before the event is held.”


Jones worked as a freelance artist and production artist before opening her own design studio in 1990. She has been street painting since 1994 and has participated in festivals all across the United States.


Rebout said the JACVB will recruit other artists from the area to showcase their talents at the three-day event.


JACVB has received a $10,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for marketing assistance.


Rebout said her organization is looking for sponsors, donors and volunteers to help stage the event.


The convention and visitors bureau is a private non-profit destination marketing organization whose mission is to lead, support and promote tourism in the area. It is funded by a local hotel room tax.


For more information, call the bureau at (608) 757-3171.



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