Student performances (piano, vocal, band, and recorder music, dance, and martial arts) and student art displays, along with workshops featuring guest professional musicians, dancers, and visual artists will all be a part of the Wabash FAME Festival on Saturday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Honeywell Center. This is the eighth year for a festival of this kind in Wabash. Admission to the festival and participation in most activities is free-of-charge.
This year’s festival will spotlight the cultures of countries in Northwestern Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland.
Piano performances will be in the Honeywell Room during the morning, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the afternoon.
Terry LeMaster of the Noisemaker invites anyone to come learn the basics of guitar playing, starting at 1:30 p.m.
Ford Theater stage will feature student performances and spotlight performances by the Alpentraum Ensemble, professional guest musicians. Alpentraum is a group of 10 alphorn players, one performer with Swiss cowbells, and an accordion player. After observing them perform, those attending will be given the opportunity to try to play these unique instruments. Sessions with Alpentraum will be at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Student performances will start at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the afternoon. Performances will include students from Manchester Elementary, Southwood Elementary, LaFontaine Elementary, O.J. Neighbours Elementary, and Wabash Middle School.
Mixed Martial Arts with Rocky France will begin at 2 p.m., followed by Wabash Valley Dance Theater at 2:30 p.m.
Student art displays will represent seventeen schools with over 2000 works on display in Eugenia’s, the Haist Room, and some art boards in the lobby of Honeywell Center.
Student-decorated wastebasket/trash cans will be on display in the lobby and will be available as items for a silent auction. These are usually group projects by art clubs or selected students from the schools. The unique, one-of-a-kind art pieces are great conversation starters in your home or office, as well as being a piece of usable art. Bids will be accepted throughout the day and the highest bidder may purchase the item at the end of the festival. If not in attendance at 4 p.m., the winner will be notified by phone.
Participating schools were invited to submit student drawings for consideration as designs for the FAME posters that have helped advertise the festival. Winning designs that grace this year’s posters were drawn by Konner Carpenter, a second grader from Metro North Elementary; Madison Johnson, a sixth grader from LaFontaine Elementary; Sheldon Jones, a fifth grader at W. C. Mills Elementary; Bree Meeks, a sixth grader from Blair Pointe Elementary in Peru; and Annie Schuler, a fourth grader at Sharp Creek Elementary. The winning posters will be framed and displayed at the festival.
Sanna and Mars Longden, folkdance experts from Evanston, Illinois, will present four workshops during the day in Legacy Hall. The sessions will start at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. and will last for about 40-45 minutes. If you arrive after the start of a session, please wait to enter the circle of dancers until the end of a dance.
Four visual artists will share their expertise as they teach sessions during the day. Sarah Luginbill from Peru, will lead sessions in watercolor painting for 25 students per session, ages third grade and older. Students will be given a choice of two paintings they may paint. Sessions with Sarah will be in the Crystal Room, starting at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Debi Shepler, an art instructor at Indiana Wesleyan University, will lead sessions in tesselations, an art form developed by M. C. Escher from Holland. Sessions will be limited to 25 students. If students are younger than third grade, they must have an adult with them. These sessions will begin at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. in the Board Room.
LaFontaine resident Karen Welsh, a teacher at Community School for the Arts, will lead sessions in which students will create a “selfie” coat-of-arms. Karen’s sessions will be for students in grades 3 and above and will be held in the upper level lobby. Sessions will start at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
Wabash County artist Sue Scamihorn will lead sessions in which students will make clay gnomes, celebrating the culture of Norway. Her sessions will be limited to 10 students each because of the drying of the clay. Her sessions, in the Nixon Room downstairs, will start at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The popular Imaginarium Make-it, Take-it craft area will be in the skating rink. Students will be able to make 10 crafts to take home. Most of these projects can be completed in 5 or 10 minutes, in contrast to the 30-minute sessions for older students with the visiting guest artists.
Muncie Music Center is providing instruments for a “petting zoo” that will be open all day for students to try playing different band and orchestral instruments. Their display will be in the main lobby. TAG art with Troy Ganser from Fort Wayne will be at the festival for face painting and caricature drawings.
Wabash’s festival is supported by grants and donations and is expected to be self-sustaining in its finances. The local planning committee, headed by Judy Ward and Jo Nordman, appreciates the support of various foundations, businesses, and individuals who support our projects with monetary donations. Major supporters this year include Ford Meter Box Foundation, Inc.; Hidden Hollows Retreat and Alpentraum Ensemble; Honeywell Foundation, Inc.; REMC Operation Round-Up; Wabash Cannonball Chili for Charity; Wabash County Arts Council; and Wabash County United Fund.