Q-Fest weekend returns to Quincy

Shoppers get information on Mark McDaniel’s hand-crafted stone-blade knives and arrowheads during 2021’s Q-Fest weekend.

QUINCY — Jill Calvert of Crooked Finger Studio said she’s a strong believer in providing the tools, time and encouragement to young artists to help them explore their creative talents.

That’s one of the reasons the Blue Springs, Mo.-based jewelry artist is traveling to Quincy for this year’s installment of the Q-Fest Fine Art Showcase weekend.

“For little ones that may mean experiencing the sensory joy of finger paints or Play-Doh,” Calvert said. “For older kids that could be stepping away from TikTok or other social media and finding quiet solitude in nature or their own special place to pull creative ideas that are waiting to blossom. Art shows are a great place to see creativity, talk with artists, socialize with neighbors, and expand cultural knowledge.”

More than 60 artists are set to take part in this weekend’s festivities. Q-Fest will kick off Friday in Washington Park and will incorporate the Blues in the District performance. In comments from the Q-Fest board of directors, the idea of including the music aspects into the festival is an intentional decision.

“Music is part of the arts and celebrating all arts is the goal of Q-Fest weekend,” the board said. “Our mission is to increase awareness and appreciation for the fine arts by presenting a set of experiences that connects artists and the community at large. Blues in the District and the street concert help us do that.”

Along with Blues in the District on Friday evening, Saturday night will see the return of the Q-Fest Street Concert, this year featuring Urbana-based party band 90’s Daughter, with the stage set between Fifth and Sixth streets along Maine.

The Q-Fest board said efforts have been made to expand the cultural and inclusive aspects of performances this year.

“This year we added more artists and hope to continue each year on that path,” the Q-Fest board comments said. “(We’ve) continued the addition of the cultural tent, but this year added hands-on cultural art education activities to participate in along with our various performers in the gazebo showcasing Latin dancing, drum circle and more. Blessing Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the West Central Child Care Connection have helped create some of these great activities.”

A complete list of performers at the Washington Park gazebo can be found at the Q-Fest website, and includes Beat Arts Academy, the Heidelberg German Band, the Dave Shaffer Trio, and drum circles.

“We also added the glow in the dark activity tent Friday night in conjunction with the Blues in the District,” the board said.

Q-Fest, formerly Midsummer Arts Faire, is a partnership with The District, the Quincy Arts Festival, and the Quincy Art Center. All exhibits and performances are free and open to the public. The assembled artists will be showing their creations as well as offering products for sale.

“I think it’s very important for any community to support art and the culture of creativity,” Calvert said. “With our fast-paced, technologically driven lifestyles, art encourages conversation and community engagement. As a first-time Q-fest artist, I’m excited to engage with Quincy art lovers.”

For complete details on all the weekend’s events, please visit theqfest.com.

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