Pittsburg Festival of the Arts planned for mid-June

Staff Reports / news@morningsun.net

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Pittsburg Festival of the Arts, an annual tradition featuring a weeklong series of concerts and arts events, will continue this summer from June 13 to 19 at venues at Pittsburg State University and Block22 in Downtown Pittsburg.  

The festival is a collaboration by the PSU Department of Music and the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. While last year’s festival had to be presented in virtual format because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festival will once again be in person.  

"It's a wonderful feeling to once again give local musicians, singers, and audiences opportunities live experiences,” Festival Director Raul Munguía said in a press release.  

“This region has a reputation for talent in the arts,” he said. “It’s one of the things that attracted our family to this community, and one of the reasons we've stayed. We're looking forward to being able to showcase that for local audiences as well as visitors who come here seeking opportunities like these.” 

Events planned as part of the festival include: 

Sunday, June 13

Jazz at Dusk 

“Jazz at Dusk” will kick off the festival at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, June 13, on the front lawn of the Bicknell Center on the PSU campus. The rain site will be in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall inside the Bicknell Center. Performing the concert will be the Summer Kicks Band directed by Robert Kehle and comprised of great jazz musicians from the Four State region. Music will range from classic and danceable swing era works to contemporary jazz.   

Monday, June 14 

Ortolani Family Band lunch concert at Block22   

The Ortolani Family Band, comprised of Jamie Ortolani and his sons, Andrew and Josh, will perform a free noon concert of classic rock in the Evergy Courtyard at Block22 as part of the weeklong Pittsburg Festival of the Arts. It is open to the public and will feature a casual atmosphere. Attendees are invited to bring their lunches. 

Songs and Seasons 

“Songs and Seasons,” a gallery exhibit opening, reception, and artist paint, is planned for Monday, June 14, in tandem with the concert “Latin Flair.” The exhibit, to be on display in the Bicknell Centerthrough July 12, will feature works by Joplin-based artist Paula Giltner. The reception will be from 6 to 7 p.m. An artist paint featuring Joplin-based artists Margie Moss, Nina Johnston, and Jesse McCormick will begin at 7 p.m., along with the “Latin Flair” concert in the Paul Bergant Lobby. It is free and open to the public. 

Latin Flair 

The weeklong Pittsburg Festival of the Arts continues on Monday, June 14, with “Latin Flair,” a concert that will bring music of Latin countries to life, in the lobby of the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University. It will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 

Tuesday, June 15 

Violin/piano Performance 

Violinist Raúl Munguía and pianist Robert Ensor will bring to life the work of Clara Schumann and three of the most influential composers of all times, Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, in “Clara & the Might Bs.” The free concert is planned for 7 p.m. in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Center. Works include Bach Violin Sonata IV, BWV 1017, Beethoven “Spring” Sonata, Clara Schumann 3 Romances Op. 22, and Brahms Violin Sonata 2.   

Wednesday, June 16 

Outdoor Brass Concert 

The Pittsburg Brass Quintet will perform a free noon concert, “Mighty Brass in the Courtyard,” in the Evergy Courtyard at Block22 on Wednesday, June 16. The group is directed by PSU professor of trumpet Todd Hastings. The concert is open to the public and will feature a casual atmosphere. Attendees are invited to bring their lunches. 

Kaleidescope of Styles 

The Solo & Chamber Ensemble, comprised of some of the most recognizable artists in the region, will perform "Kaleidescope of Styles,” a free concert that will begin at 7 p.m. June 16 in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Center. Musicians include Andrea Dinkel, accordion; Jonathan Lane, double bass; Rusty Jones, tenor sax; and Robert Kehle, trombone. Tunes will range from Argentine Tangos, American Jazz, to works such as the iconic Toy Symphony by Leopold Mozart. 

Thursday, June 17  

Tim Nowell 

Local country singer Tim Nowell will perform a free noon acoustic concert in the Evergy Courtyard at Block22 on Thursday, June 17. It is open to the public and will feature a casual atmosphere. Attendees are invited to bring their lunches.  

Friday, June 18 

Harmony Hill String Band  

The Harmony Hill String Band will perform a free noon concert, “A Family Affair,” featuring gospel, bluegrass, Celtic, and old-time style music in the Evergy Courtyard at Block22 on Friday, June 18. It is open to the public and will feature a casual atmosphere. Attendees are invited to bring their lunches.  

Classic Movie Screening 

For the first time, the weeklong Pittsburg Festival of the Arts will include a night dedicated to classic movies: “Road to Bali” at 5:15 p.m. and “Royal Wedding” at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 18. They’ll be shown on the jumbo screen in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell Center. The event is free and open to the public. 

Saturday, June 19 

Grand Finale 

The weeklong Pittsburg Festival of the Arts will conclude on June 19 with “Grand Finale,” with some of the most recognizable artists in the region performing a variety of pieces. The free concert is planned for noon in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall on the PSU campus. Musicians will include Andrea Dinkel, accordion; Jonathan Lane, double bass; Rusty Jones, tenor sax; and Robert Kehle, trombone. Tunes will range from Argentine Tangos, American Jazz, to works such as the iconic Toy Symphony by Leopold Mozart. 

For more information about the Pittsburg Festival of the Arts, visit Facebook.com/Pittsburgartsfest