ArtsFalmouth’s Arts Alive Festival Celebrates the Arts with Music, Dance, Drama, Children’s Activities, Special Events, and More
Arts Alive, Falmouth’s vibrant three-day celebration of the performing, visual, and literary arts, takes place Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 23, on the Falmouth Library Lawn, Shore Street Extension, and Peg Noonan Park. All events are free.
Sponsored by ArtsFalmouth, Arts Alive features an abundance of entertainment for every taste. There will be over 50 different music, theater, spoken word, and educational performances from professional entertainers, students, and arts-loving amateurs of all ages and interests, a Town Dance on Friday night, Rockin’ Saturday Night concerts, activities for children, more than 60 artisans and craftspeople, face painting, a participatory Community Weaving Wall, artists painting on the lawn, food vendors, and much more.
The event begins Friday evening at 5 PM in the Performance Tent (the large tent on the left as you face the library) with a performance by singer/songwriter Dawna Hammers, known for her Joni Mitchell tribute concerts and for her original songs. Hammers also performs Sunday at 1 PM in the Music Tent. She will be followed at 6 PM by The Analogues, a gritty blues trio playing tunes by Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin, CCR and others.
Sly Resolve (performing last year at Arts Alive as Good Advances
The Town Dance, which takes place from 7 to 9 PM, is one of the highlights of the festival, attracting an enthusiastic crowd of energetic dancers. Sly Resolve, which generated a lot of excitement at their Saturday evening performance last year under the name Good Advances, will play a lively dance set. The five-piece funk/soul band features Michael Scena on vocals, Neil O’Connor on lead guitar, Dorian Tolis on rhythm guitar, Mike Burke on bass, and David O’Connor on drums. Scena advises, “Be sure to bring your dance partner and some stretchy pants because Sly is going to be getting down.”
On Saturday, June 22, performances start at 10 AM and run until 9 PM. There is much to choose from, with performances, talks, and children’s activities happening simultaneously in three tents spread across the library lawn. Most performances are an hour long, and audience members are free to stroll from one event to another to see as many performances as they like.
In the Performance Tent, the Saturday schedule begins at 10 AM with the Coalition for Children’s Dance Around the World. Donna Skinner will lead dances in many languages for children of all ages and their families.
Turning Point Dance Studio takes the stage at 11 AM, with students performing a variety of classical and contemporary dances under the artistic direction of Laura Sciortino. The Falmouth Theatre Guild follows at noon with a medley of tunes from recent and upcoming shows.
The Sonnay Fiddlers perform Celtic and international fiddle tunes at 1 PM. The group is made up of the very accomplished students of Nikki Engstrom, from young children to adults.
The 19-member Moonlighters Big Band is next, from 2 to 4 PM. The band, led by Bob Katcher, plays dance music: waltzes, tangos, cha-chas, rhumbas, bossa novas, swing music, foxtrots and more.
At 4 PM Tradewinds, a men’s a cappella quartet, will sing selections from the Great American Songbook, jazz, and pop tunes.
Rockin’ Saturday Night begins at 5 PM with The Rhythm and Blues Conspiracy, which performs postwar rhythm and blues, 1960s rock, and 1950s to ‘70s soul. They play music from the likes of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Bo Diddley, and the J. Geils Band.
12-Step Boogie takes the stage at 6:15, playing R&B, blues, and rock, including tunes by Tom Petty, Mudcrutch, Steve Earle, Warren Zevon, Joe Walsh, J. J. Cale, Johnny Cash, and more.
Puffy Elvis, a big old-time rock n’ roll band, plays classic rock hits from 7:30 to 9 PM. Made up of teachers, retired teachers, and friends, the band is young in spirit and high in energy.
Meanwhile, in the Library Tent (the center tent), Saturday starts out a little more quietly. Artist Doug Rugh will demonstrate how brushstrokes of oil color can combine to produce a realistic effect. This session runs from 10 AM to 11:30 AM.
Treasure Time Storybook Theater follows at 11:30. Mrs. Treasure (Lee Drescher) will read a children’s book about thunderstorms, sing songs, and play guitar. There will be a short play put on by a cast of children, and everyone in the audience will be encouraged to sing and dance along with the cast. Sara Hines from Eight Cousins will read art-related children’s books from 12:30 to 1 PM.
The Familiars of Cape Cod, Manny and Linda Dias, are on at 1 PM. The duo sings and plays folk, fiddle, country, Irish, and popular music from the 1950s through the 1980s.
At 2 PM, Diane Tetreault of Innerglow yoga provides a bit of a respite from all the activity in the form of a gentle yoga session for all ages, all bodies, and all levels of yoga experience, including newcomers. Bring a yoga mat or a towel. This session will be repeated at 11 AM on Sunday in the Library Tent.
Laura Ford, Youth Services Librarian at the Falmouth Public Library, follows at 3 PM with a Loud Story Hour. She will entertain children with stories and a craft and show off the library’s new Book Bike.
At 4 PM, the gentle music of the L’Esperance Mandolin Ensemble fills the air. The ensemble is led by Josh Bell and offers a range of musical genres, including Brazilian choro, American bluegrass, Baroque trio concertos, klezmer doinas, contemporary compositions, Top 40 popular classics, and more. The Mandolin Ensemble also performs earlier, at 2 PM in the Music Tent.
Donna Skinner demonstrates BollyX at 5 and invites all to participate in this Bollywood-inspired dance fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with the hottest music from around the world, drawing its inspiration from the film industry in India.
Events in the Music Tent, on the right as you face the library, start with a performance by the Seaside String Ensemble at 10 AM. This Cape Conservatory of Music and Arts string ensemble, directed by Lary Chaplan, performs a diverse repertoire of classical music, country music, and show tunes.
Old Main Road is on at 11 AM. The trio includes Lisa Allen, Susan McBride, and Rich Latimer, who play traditional folk and blues tunes and some originals. Acoustic guitarist Michael Shea performs at noon. His original tunes are influenced by Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Al Jolson, John Hammond, and others.
Vintage Slang performs at 1 PM. Michael Scena, vocals, and Neil Ganju, guitar, play soul music with jazz and hip hop influences from artists like D’Angelo, Anderson, Paak, and Stevie Wonder. At 2 PM L’Esperance Mandolin Ensemble performs.
Cat’s Melodeon, led by Bill Black, will play traditional Irish dance music on fiddle, flute, recorder, accordion, banjo, guitar, uilleann pipes, and bodhran at 2 PM. Bill Black is joined by his wife Pat at 3 PM for their Irish duo, Healey and Quinn, named for the couple’s Irish mothers’ maiden names. They specialize in songs of Ireland and songs with maritime connections.
At 5 PM, singer/guitarist Andrew Sexton will play great American standards and originals.
At 6 PM, Country Flavored plays traditional country music and modern folk music with a country twist, featuring pedal steel guitar. Audio Fossil with vocalist Katherine Joyce goes on at 7, playing high-energy rock, both classic and current.
On Sunday, June 23, performances begin at 11 AM. The Oxford Drive Band starts things off in the Performance Tent. This five-piece indie folk/rock band plays a mix of originals and covers. The Falmouth Fiddlers follow at noon, playing and singing traditional music and fiddle tunes, including old-time, bluegrass, and Celtic music.
Khadija and Troupe Mirage, a colorful Egyptian-style dance troupe, performs at 1 PM. They are followed at 2 PM by Yesterday’s Country, who play old-time traditional country music.
The College Light Opera Company (CLOC) brings its talented cast of college students at 3 PM to perform a sneak preview of its opening show of the summer season.
Sunday in the Library Tent begins at 11 AM with another yoga session for all, presented by Diane Tetreault of Innerglow Yoga. At noon, Barbara Sillery, author of “The Haunting of Cape Cod and the Islands,” will tell ghost stories of Cape Cod, delving into the history behind the mystery.
At 1 PM, the Youth Producers of Falmouth Community Television (FCTV) will demonstrate how to create a stop-motion video using clay characters, green screen, vocal and music effects, and more.
At 2 PM, artist Mimi Schlichter of Mimi’s Art will discuss and demonstrate her artistic technique and the recent evolution of her oil painting from tight realism to impressionism and the abstract.
At 3 PM, Lee Geishecker of VIEW Photography will discuss MOM-ography, the basics of photographing children in action—in sports, dance, and theater—and provide pointers how to capture the best shots.
The Woods Hole Ukulele Institute starts things off on Sunday at 11 AM in the Music Tent. This informal group of local music lovers plays an eclectic mix of pieces, including tradition, popular, and Hawaiian-influence Irish tunes.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Matt Borrello performs his original music at noon. Borrello writes from his own experience and draws on inspirations from folk, country, blues, and rock music.
At 1 PM, Dawna Hammers returns for another set. She is followed at 2 PM by Ladies’ Choice, a group of seven women who enjoy singing and playing folk, Celtic, fiddle, popular, and original music on fiddle, guitar, pennywhistle, flute, cello, and bodhran.
And, finally, the Laughing Crow Band takes the stage at 3 PM. Led by Philip Austen, the band plays blues, folk, gospel, and Americana music on guitar, bass, lap steel, and drums. They cover the music of Ben Harper, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Hot Tuna, and more.
Arts Alive events are free, but attendees can support the festival by buying raffle tickets—and the chance to win one of six raffle packages provided by local businesses, including Express Yourself (Woodruff Art Center); A Fun Day in Falmouth (Black Dog, Black Dog Heights Cafe, Pickle Jar Kitchen, Ryan Family Amusements, Eight Cousins, Ghelfi’s Candy and Ice Cream); Something Fishy (Cataumet Fish, The Clam Man, and Eastman’s Hardware); A Fine VIEW of Falmouth (VIEW Photography); After the Beach (John’s Liquor Store, North Falmouth Cheese Shop, and Ghelfi’s); and Indulge Yourself (jewelry by Marilyn Rowland, Innerglow Yoga, Anytime Fitness and Ghelfi’s). Tickets are $2 for one, $5 for three, and $20 for 15.
Arts Alive is sponsored in part by the Cape Cod 5 Foundation, The Enterprise, the Falmouth Road Race, the Falmouth Village Association, Martha’s Vineyard Bank, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Rand Atlantic Cape Cod Realty, Taylor Rental, Turning Pointe Dance Studio, and the Woods Hole Foundation, Inc.
A full schedule of performance times, along with information about the Artisans’ Market and raffle tickets, is posted at ArtsFalmouth.org.