New concert series starts six-month run May 20

Thursday, May 11, 2006

By LIN RICEThisWeek Staff Writer

Patrons of Uptown will soon be able to enjoy live music with their morning meal when Gallery 202 Partners in Art Inc. hosts the first event of its new performance series, Breakfast with the Arts.

The first concert is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon May 20 at Gallery 202, 38 N. State St., and will feature Michael Isla, a local classical guitar player. He will perform Spanish and Latin American music, and possibly a few pieces he's written himself. Afterward, Isla will discuss his craft and answer questions, as each following performer will also do.

The series is free to the public; coffee and refreshments will be served, according to Renee Kropat, owner and curator of Gallery 202.

"We wanted to bring something to the community that people can come to on a Saturday morning, drink some coffee and listen to musical artists," said D.D. Parker, Gallery 202 board member.

"I don't think anything like this has really been done before, showcasing local artists in Uptown," Parker said. "I'm really excited."

May 20 will mark the first performance of what is planned as a six-installment summer series. If things go well, Kropat said, Breakfast with the Arts could become a permanent series.

"We're going to see how it goes, and if things go well and there's a good response from the patrons and artists, we may have it in an ongoing basis," she said. "I'd like to continue this year-round."

Breakfast with the Arts will take place the third Saturday of each month for the next six months. Isla is currently gathering musical artists to fill the venue for future performances.

"So far, there are about 10 to 15 people we're looking at of super high quality," Isla said. "Some are doctorate of the musical arts candidate students, those who can give a good perspective on a piece of music and how it works."

He said Gallery 202 is looking for wind and string players, and has included in the show Hank Arbaugh, a "veteran and expert in English and Scottish medieval ballads," who performs on dulcimer, guitar and mandolin.

"The point is to bring in various types of musical styles, but at the same time, to educate people as to why they're played that way -- how they fit into the time period they were created in and today," he said. "We want to approach this with a worldwide feel."

Kropat said she hopes the program will catch on with local performers.

"We're hoping to expand on the concept of partners in art, to expand and incorporate these performances along with our visual artists," she said. "I want to reach out to our local performers and those who might be interested. This really is giving an opportunity for our adults to act as artistic educators."

More information on the Breakfast with the Arts is available by calling 614-890-8202.