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BARN party: Beloiters host arts festival in The Castle

April 9, 2014
By Carolyn Stransky'15

This Saturday (April 12) between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., the Beloit Artist Resource Network (known as BARN) will be hosting a half-day festival at The Castle (formerly a church, it’s just a block away from the southern edge of campus, just past Neese Theatre) that will feature a variety of events to both showcase and build upon local artistic talent. Events include live music, dance, and theater, some workshops and a discussion titled, “What is societal excellence?” presented by the WISE Foundation.

Developed by student artist Marilu Wiesner’14, BARN aims to promote, support, and connect artists across a wide range of mediums in Beloit.

“I created BARN because I am involved in a band, am a dancer, and would like to help build a really solid arts scene in Beloit that extends itself beyond the current circles of audiences in Beloit,” says Wiesner. “There are many pockets of artists and art audiences around. I wanted this network to be an opportunity for people to come together in order to increase event attendance as well as create interesting collaboration and dialogue between groups.”

The festival will feature bands from the greater Illinois and Wisconsin area – including Chicago-rooted rock band Two Houses and the folk rock group Ugly Brothers who are native to Milwaukee. Local bands performing consist of reggae rock group Earth to Clark, the Rob Tomaro Jazz Trio and the Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Band.

Many Beloit College students are taking part in the festival as well. Performances include the Beloit College Jazz Ensemble, sketch comedy by 10,000 AD, and a capella set from Bits and Pieces. Student music groups such as hip-hop duo TROY & Eli and Weisner’s own folk rock band Dupond Dupont. Dance pieces and workshops by students will also be occurring throughout the day.

“This is a great opportunity to interact with a community,” Wiesner says. “You will also get a chance to have face-to-face conversations with professional artists… some of which are people traveling from Chicago and Milwaukee and some of which live right here in Beloit.”

The BARN Festival will be held at The Castle (501 Prospect Street), an up-and-coming performing arts venue and education center for the city of Beloit. Beloit College’s Hendricks Center for the Arts will also be used. This event is free to all Beloit College students with a valid student ID or general admission is $5 in advance, $8 at the door. For more information, please visit the BARN Festival website.