CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s once again time to embrace the culture in the Capital City as it becomes a work of art for ten days.

FestivALL Charleston makes its return for the 20th year starting Friday, June 14. It will showcase over 90 events across the city featuring music, art, theater, dance, literature, and culinary arts.

FestivALL Executive Director Mackenzie Spencer said after two decades of holding the event in the city, it’s truly a milestone they are excited to celebrate.

Mackenzie Spencer

“We’re so excited to see everybody come out, support artists, support entertainers, support local businesses, and really just be able to create those memories and have a great time in our city,” Spencer said.

FestivALL favorites will make their return again this year, including the Sunrise Carriage Trail Walk, Mountain Stage performances, the Shakepearoke with the Rustic Mechanicals at Short Story Brewing, the two-day Capitol Street Art Fair and the Children’s Art Fair, as well as the Youth ArtBus. This year, the Art Fair will showcase over 80 artists.

Some new and old programming this year includes a FestivALL Princess Art Exhibit showcasing costumes and props at the Kanawha County Public Library, Dance FestivALL that will feature famed-Broadway choreographer and performer James Kinney, and Recycle the Runway with Dress for Success.

In addition, the Community Keys artist-piano project will also make its return this year after not being held since 2015. Spencer explained a little bit about what the project entails and where festival-attendees will be able to find it.

“We’re going to bring in artists and actually commission them to make pianos into works of art and have them throughout our city, so we’re going to have one at the Capitol Market, we’re going to have one at GoMart Ballpark,” she said.

She said they are also excited for the Clay Center to be hosting a longtime Charleston artist in an exhibit this year, the Charly Jupiter Hamilton Retrospective exhibit, because he was a prominent contributor of FestivALL and they wanted to make sure the exhibit took place during the event.

Spencer said last year was FestivALLs’ first year fully returning to normal after the Covid-19 Pandemic forced them to take the event virtual and then hybrid for a couple of years.

She said it has felt good to be able to make the transition back into normalcy for the event.

“We are excited to be fully back in person, fully back to all of the programming that we know and that we love but also adding some new favorites in and also bringing back some old favorites that may have fallen by the wayside in years past in honor of the 20th,” she said.

A host of sponsors help put on FestivALL every year. Some of them this year include The City of Charleston, the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, West Virginia Humanities Council, the State of West Virginia, Maier Foundation, Ford, Encova, Annie & Gaines Wehrle Charitable Fund, among many others.

Spencer said Charleston has such a vibrant art, music, and theatrical scene already, and to be able to condense it into one huge community event is something truly remarkable.

“To be able to showcase that local talent and to be able to bring all of our friends and neighbors together and bring that sense of community to Charleston is just so important,” said Spencer. “And to be able to bring in acts that are nationally and internationally recognized also brings the perspective of things that you may not see in Charleston otherwise.”

You can find out more about FestivALL, see the full programming and event schedule, and sign up to be a volunteer here.

Print schedules will also be available throughout the city at FestivALL event locations, restaurants and hotels.

FestivALL will take place June 14-23.