There’s a chill in the air and a light snow is falling—it’s perfect weather for the Seward Winter Frolic: Art in the ‘hood festival. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, December 7th from 10 am–5 pm and Sunday, December 8th from 12 pm–5 pm.
What began fourteen years ago as the Seward Art Crawl has blossomed into a seasonal celebration that’s well worth the effort to bundle up and venture out into the cold. In its present incarnation, neighborhood artists open the doors to their homes and studios for one of the best art crawls in the city, while many local businesses feature live music, serve up hot apple cider, and offer seasonal specials and activities. Festive, relaxed, homespun, and locally made, the Winter Frolic is holiday shopping at its very best.
Friday Events: Kick-off Benefit
A complete line up of weekend fun begins Friday, December 6th with the Seward Neighborhood Group’s Kick-off Benefit, held at the Playwrights’ Center from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. The event showcases the work of local performance artists, including live music and readings from Patricia Cumbie, Tara Innmon, John Coy, and Julia Klatt Singer. Neighborhood restaurants will dish up a sampling of culinary delights, while the Town Hall Brewery provides beer and wine. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple, and include entertainment, food, and drink. Proceeds support the great work of the Seward Neighborhood Group.
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Saturday Events: Sculpture Unveiling, Art Car Parade, Lighting Ceremony
On Saturday, December 7, don’t miss the unveiling of the Seward Gateway Sculpture at 10:00 am at Fire Station #7, an event sponsored by Articulture, Seward Neighborhood Group, and Seward Redesign. For the past three months, a group of teen artists have been working on the glass mosaic sculpture, which is a response to the question, “What is our collective understanding of home and community?”
The very act of working together to create the sculpture provides one of the answers. Articulture’s Deborah Ervin explains, “We’ve worked with teens on each of our public projects, and watching the teens grow and develop through the act of collaboration is awe-inspiring. This group was smaller than the groups we’ve assembled for the murals, so everyone was able to get to know each other much better as a result. That kind of connectivity is at the heart of community projects like this.”
After the unveiling, at 10:30 am, the ever-popular Art Car Parade will depart from the fire station and roll east down Franklin Avenue toward the future home of the Chef Shack at 31st Street. A band organ will lead this year’s parade of fifteen art cars, with a fleet of decorated bikes bringing up the end. (Note: Bicyclists are invited to gather at Articulture from 4-6:30 pm on Friday evening to deck out their bikes for the parade.)
The rest of the day is yours to explore artist’s studios, get your hands dirty at a Northern Clay Center workshop, or stop by the Seward Co-op for live music and holiday shopping. To make getting around a little easier, two pedicabs will be cruising the neighborhood, providing free rides to all art crawl destinations.
At 5 pm on Saturday evening, be sure to wander over to Triangle Park at 26th and Franklin to watch the holiday lighting ceremony. Grab a warm cup of chai, provided by Verdant Tea, and cozy up by the fire while you enjoy the fire juggling show and live music.
Sunday Events: Art Crawl & Pedicabs
Check out the art and businesses that you weren’t able to get to on Saturday. Businesses will once again be offering specials throughout the day, and artists will be displaying their work. Be sure to see the map (link below) for all of the artist stops.
Catch a free pedicab to zip around Seward and get a glimpse of the neighborhood from a different perspective.
About Kari Cornell
Kari Cornell is a freelance writer and editor who has lived in the Longfellow Neighborhood since 1996. She’s a huge fan of vintage collectibles, good food, tinkering in the garden, and making something clever out of nothing. Cornell is the co-author of Growing with Purpose: Forty Years of Seward Community Cooperative and has written a number of cookbooks for kids.
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