ARTicipation Week

Downtown Waupaca comes alive with art during ARTicipation Week, a week-long celebration of creativity from August 11–17.

ARTicipation Week is presented by the Waupaca Community Arts Board (WCAB) and features daily events with local artists, workshops, presentations, projects, live music and more. Events throughout the week include the annual street dance on August 16 with a performance by The People Brothers Band and The Phantom Art Gallery “popping up” at 215 N. Main Street.  

The week culminates in the 13th annual Arts on the Square festival on Saturday, August 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where a group of juried artists display and sell their artwork.

“Forty artists are juried into the show and thus it is quite the talented group that display and sell their artwork,” says Anita Olson, WCAB member. “About a third are returning artists whose artwork is anticipated by the public.”

Due to downtown renovations, this year’s Arts on the Square festival has been moved to the north end of Main Street. A second art exhibit area will be located in Rotary Park along the Waupaca River. Food vendors are present all day and there will be numerous interactive art workshops and activities, including a “human chess” game and a 10-person bicycle, to engage the crowd of 5,000 attendees. Musicians perform throughout the day in the Main Tent, in addition to jazz musicians performing in Danes Hall.

Each year, a community art project is conducted as part of Arts on the Square. The 2019 project is Murals at Our Feet, an initiative to paint seven of Waupaca’s crosswalks with artist-created designs. Five crosswalks have already been painted and the final two will be completed in the days leading up to Arts on the Square. 

“One man who often walks Main Street, as he lives in an apartment complex on the street, said the crosswalk paintings ‘brought pure joy to downtown Waupaca,”’ Olson says. 

WCAB is a group of volunteers who work to incorporate the arts into everyday life, thereby promoting creativity, artistic expression and community building. Olson says the Murals at Our Feet project fulfills the group’s mission of “community building through the arts.” 

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