It seems like spring may never arrive, much less summer. However, the staff and board of Summerset Festival of the Arts recently got a bit of sunshine. A local anonymous donor wanted to keep the arts festival part of the local cultural landscape for years to come. That support came in the form of a $10,000 donation to UW-Baraboo/Sauk County to maintain the Summerset program, which is in its third year as a festival.
Campus dean Tom Pleger expressed his appreciation, “We continue to be stunned by the generosity and confidence shown in our arts programming. Summerset has been successful in its fiscal responsibility to give the entire community an economically-priced arts festival to feature all the arts and humanities disciplines.”
The Summerset Festival of the Arts began in 2011, with a strong focus on bringing in national and regional artists who would incorporate an educational component to their program. Along the way, the festival became a thriving local arts showcase that also acted as an “arts incubator” - giving birth to new multi-disciplinary collaborations year-round.
“The wealth of local talent in Sauk County is impressive, and it deserves a stage. With the foundational help of our benefactor, the Festival will both be able to continue to feature local artists and bring in complementary regional acts - all with an interactive, educational, and ultimately enriching experience,” say festival artistic director and theatre/communications professor, Lauren Love.
This year’s festival will again bring together local artists and performers to actively involve the audience. Shifting from its salsa theme of last year, Summerset 2013 “Baraboo on the Bayou” will feature a Cajun dinner with the return of the popular singing waiters, the band Cajun Strangers, a new Sunday jazz brunch, aerial dance troupe Cycropia, the band Fatbook with Baraboo native Reed Flygt, and approximately forty events on campus over the weekend of August 2-4.
Campus director of development Bridget Morrey-Seals adds, “The vision and support of our thoughtful patron enables Summerset to maintain its value ratio - high quality paired with a low cost to ensure accessibility to everyone. Continued local donations combined with competitive grant funding have helped triple our audience, and increased giving can aid the festival in enriching more lives.”
The festival is one of the many arts programs the UW-BSC campus offers for enjoyment and community participation, including live theatre, concert band and jazz band, choir, art gallery showings, along with art classes for all ages through the Continuing Education department.