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The Yankee Express

Art & Music Makers Festival is making a come-back at Alternatives’ Whitin Mill

Participants enjoying a prior ValleyCAST Art & Music Makers Festival in the Dennis H. Rice Community Plaza at the Alternatives’ Whitin Mill in Whitinsville, MA.

As many gallery-goers would agree, touching art on display is usually a hard “no.” However, visitors to ValleyCAST’s recent exhibit “Weaving Community” at the Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery are experiencing an exhibit that is anything but hands-off. The exhibit is not only a colorful feast for the eyes, with examples of circle weaving, basket weaving, loom weaving and more, but also a tactile and participatory delight. Upon entering the gallery there is a handmade floor to ceiling weaving loom that entices visitors to grab some yarn or fabric and start weaving.     
In this same engaging spirit, the Art & Music Makers Festival is a whole day of live music and hands-on art making and artist demonstrations. The Festival, which is taking place on the Dennis H. Rice Community Plaza from 10 a.m.– 3 p.m., will include potters, painters, jewelry makers, stained glass artists and more. In addition to selling their work, many of the artists will be offering demonstrations and more “hands-on” art opportunities.  
Free to attend, the Festival will also include live music by The Blackstone Valley Quartet, Worcester musicians Ash & Eric, and Otha Day, a Drum Circle Facilitator who will lead a drum circle with Festival participants. There will also be food and drink available for purchase from Dr. Hernandes’ brand-new International Food Trailer.  
“The Art & Music Makers Festival is not your average craft fair,” says ValleyCAST Director and Chief Curator, Cristi Collari. “It’s an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to come together to celebrate the artistic diversity of our community. From children to adults, artists to art enthusiasts, music lovers to music makers, we’re excited to say that there’s something for everyone!” 
The Weaving Community exhibit is open during regular gallery hours Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.. The last day to see and participate in this colorful exhibit is during the Art & Music Makers Festival on Sept. from 10 a.m.3 p.m. Festival goers are invited to wander in and out of the Heritage Gallery to participate in the exhibit’s two interactive displays. There are also examples of weaving on exhibit by local artists and weaving organizations where one can learn about textile weaving, basket weaving, loom weaving, and read a brief history of weaving. 
You can learn more about the Weaving Community exhibit and the Art & Music Makers Festival, including a full list of participating artists, musicians, and vendors at  
In case of inclement weather, the Art & Music Makers Festival moves indoors to the Singh Performance Center at the same location.