Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 12:37PM
Art fest leaving Longview for downtown
By Russ Pulley
Summit Art is moving its annual art festival to downtown Lee’s Summit to take advantage of a growing arts scene.
The 2013 festival this fall will have a new name and location, leaving the New Longview area as the Longview Art & World Music Festival after five years.
This year it will be known as the Summit Art Festival and be held on West Main Street in downtown Lee’s Summit.
“We are excited about the cultural arts plan for downtown and the work Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street has been doing for the arts,” said Teresa Hogan Keene, marketing director for Summit Arts, a non-profit organization. “We just felt it was a great tie in.”
She said Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc., will coordinate music and food for the event which is planned to continue as an October event. She said St. Luke’s Hospital East will continue to be a sponsor.
Summit Art expects to have 90 plus artists at the festival in 2013. It is a non-profit membership organization of 80 artists and artist associates; it operates Got Art Gallery, 18 SW Third St., and offers classes and organizes exhibits.
She said the group’s board sees the new location as an opportunity for growth and expansion.
“We think the night life of downtown will help us have stronger attendance,” Keene said.
The festival had been growing with additional artists and music, but last year’s numbers fell off due to cold weather.
Keene said Summit Art is “really very grateful to David Gale, we do appreciate his support over the years.” They will offer the developer and the New Longview Foundation a booth space to continue Summit Art’s support for that organization.
David Gale, President of Gale Communities, said he wished the organization well. He said the move made sense and he was glad he had the opportunity to help the festival get started. Gale noted the first couple of concerts of Lee’s Summit Symphony were in the show barn at Longview.
“That’s part of community building, you help organizations get started and you give them their wings,” Gale said. He said other promotions will help the New Longview Foundation while giving his developments a showcase.
At The Flights of Fancy kite festival, the New Longview Foundation will be one of the sponsors of 5k and 8k races, along with the Lee’s Summit Symphony and Kids with Courage.
Gale Communities also helps with a major bicycling event in June, the Tour of Kansas City.
“We’ll back fill with other promotional activities,” Gale said.
Ryan Smarr, president of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street’s executive board, said the group is in preliminary discussions with Summit Art over details, but it should not be a problem to get the festival thriving at its new location. The event will likely land in October, not long after the Piccadilly Gala put on by DLSMS and Oktoberfest, a Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce event.
“We’re excited,” Smarr said. “It flows right along with our purpose and goals for enhancing the community as a whole.”
Information about the Summit Art Festival will be available March 1 at www.summitartfest.org.