CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 9th annual celebration of arts, music, theater, and dance during the fall season in Charleston is different this year but it’s underway.
The leaders of FestivALL began FestivFALL on Saturday as the eight day event ends on Oct. 17. The expanded celebration of eight days instead of three is just one of the many changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, executive director of FestivFALL Maria Belcher told 580-WCHS.
“We are at such a crucial time in support of the arts and we want everyone in Charleston and beyond to see the work and ingenuity and flexibility of the arts partners that we have,” she said of the importance to still hold the events.
The virtual and at-home arts programming main events include a virtual Harvest Art Fair, the Charleston ARTbus unveiling, Art-for-FALL: Virtual Teen Art Exhibition, Three Things, programming from the West Virginia Dance Company, a grab & go Taste-of-ALL promo, performances by local musicians, tutorials, and more.
Belcher said the Taste-of-ALL will support local businesses. According to a release, this promotion will highlight a variety of new and old restaurants in the area all week.
“Since we are not able to host a standard Taste-Of-All, we’ve gotten a fall special from participating restaurants that you can order out, dine-in, you can do takeout or curbside delivery,” she said.
The Harvest Art Fair will virtually present 25 regional artisans and their handcrafted goods. Shoppers will be able to peruse the FestivALL website and the Facebook event page to experience this fall favorite. FestivALL encourages shoppers to make this fair a priority in their holiday shopping, especially this year, a FestivFALL release stated.
Other events include FestivALL’s live monthly speaker series Three Things that will continue virtually, welcoming three West Virginia professionals to share their firsts, favorites and futures. Season 5, episode 5 will feature musician/police officer Jeff Ellis, singer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., and Mayor of Smithers, Dr. Anne Cavalier on October 14 at 7pm. This episode will premiere on the FestivALL YouTube channel and tickets will be ‘pay what you wish’.
Belcher said the virtual events seen this fall and in the summer for FestivALL are partially here to stay. All events and schedules can be accessed on the festival’s website.
“We are keeping some of this virtual element in addition to the in-person programs moving forward. We are definitely applying those lessons learned for FestivFALL,” she added.