Watershed Arts Alliance Hosts Artist BBQ This Saturday | News

Many barbecue experts will probably tell you that there is an art to cooking meat to perfection. Why not do it at an event dedicated to the art?

Watershed Arts Alliance is hosting an Artist Mixer BBQ event this Saturday, July 13th at Somersport Park, Shelter #1.

The event is free to the public and runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite barbecue side dish. Meat-based staples will be available as well as vegetarian and vegan options, condiments, plates, utensils and beverages.

According to Ashley Homrich, president of the local nonprofit Watershed Arts Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting the arts in the community, the event has a purpose beyond simply providing something delicious to eat.

“Around 2020, the Watershed Arts Alliance (WAA) began to recognize and address a major visibility and accessibility issue regarding who is included (and who has been and continues to be historically excluded) in our artistic spaces and expressions, locally and globally,” she told Commonwealth Journal. “… BBQ comes from Black, African American, and Indigenous culture. We embrace this part of our diverse Appalachian history and experience while facilitating a space for local artists and our entire community to come out, mix, and mingle with one another.”

She described it as a “very low barrier event for everyone in a public community space,” where everyone is welcome, and said it also caters to a wide range of artists from different genres.

“Overall, our vision includes community connection through artistic collaboration, growth and unique experiences,” Homrich said. “…Art lovers, friends and acquaintances have the opportunity to show love and support for their local artists, whether visual, literary, musical or otherwise.”

It’s also a return to visibility for Watershed Arts Alliance itself. The last community arts event hosted by Watershed Arts Alliance was in April 2023 at the Lake Cumberland Farmers Market, Homrich noted.

Activities and entertainment will include music, cornhole, a community art project, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and kickball. A number of Appalachian artists are also scheduled to be on hand as vendors to sell their work, including Alice Burton, Anton L. Miller, Ava Noelle, Brianna Poynter, Cindi Nave, Freda Marie Rector, Hallie Watts, Jobie Bradley, Jakes Wilson, Jeff Scribner, Steffanie Michelle Phillippi and the Pulaski County Writers Alliance.

Artist setup begins at 2 p.m. Any local artists still interested in joining the vendor list can contact Watershed Arts Alliance on their Facebook page or email watershedtix@gmail.com to sign up.

Somersport Park is located at 310 Pumphouse Road.

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