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Celebrating arts and culture 2010 Penrod Arts Fair

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As the end of summer approaches, many individuals will be looking for ways to spend any nice days that are still ahead.

Those who like enjoying activities that are both exciting and relaxing are being advised to visit this year’s Penrod Arts Fair.

One of the nation’s largest single-day art fairs, the Penrod Arts Fair includes more than 330 artists with work on display, local cuisine from more than 20 restaurants, culinary demonstrations, an extensive children’s area and six stages of live entertainment.

Known affectionately to many attendees as “Indiana’s Nicest Day,” the Penrod Arts Fair has been a tradition in Indianapolis for over 40 years and draws more than 20,000 participants.

“This festival doesn’t disappoint because it offers something for everyone, including people of all ages and different cultures,” said John Andrews, a spokesman for the Penrod Society, which hosts the event. “It has also been very helpful in fulfilling our mission, which is to develop public interest and support for the arts.”

The Penrod Society was formed in 1967 by a group of professional men who saw a need for a volunteer association that could support and encourage the growing arts scene in Indianapolis, particularly artists, students and arts organizations.

“Penrod” is derived from the name of Penrod Schoefield, a well-known comedic character created by Indianapolis novelist Booth Tarkington.

In addition to the Penrod Arts Fair, the Penrod Society has also been very instrumental in presenting other annual events such as the Prelude Awards, which honor outstanding students for achievements in fine arts, as well as creating organizations such as the Economic Club of Indianapolis.

Over the years, the Penrod Arts Fair has become very much appreciated because of the financial resources that the one-day event generates for grants given to local arts and community organizations.

Some of the organizations that have benefited from contributions made from Penrod Arts Fair patrons include the American Pianists Association, Art with a Heart, the Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis Inc., the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Herron School of Art, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis and Young Audiences of Indiana, among many others.

What draws repeat guests to the Penrod Arts Fair year after year is the new work they will see from a variety of artists known for their excellence with paintings, glass making, sculpting, pottery, jewelry design, photography, fabrics and woodworking.

Special guests performing live music this year will include, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the Tropical Jazztet, jazz vocalist Cynthia Layne, blues band Phoebe and The Mojo Makers and many other artists.

“We are definitely excited to be having our 44th fair,” said Jeff Kirk, chairman of the Penrod Arts Fair. “We just hope fair-goers stop and reflect on not just the good times they have had over the years at Penrod, but also the positive impact The Penrod Society has been able to make in this community through their patronage.”

See it for yourself

What: Penrod Arts Fair

When: Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Tickets: $12-$15 in advance, $17 day of event. Free admission for children under age 10. Tickets available for purchase at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Marsh, National Bank of Indianapolis, Hubbard & Cravens, Borders and Bazbeaux.

For more information, visit www.penrod.org.

A participating artist ® shows a young attendee how to make pottery.

Penrod parking tips

There is a variety of options for the Penrod Arts Fair.

Pay parking is available on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art for $25 per vehicle, until the lot is full.

Free parking with shuttle service is available at:

n Bertha Ross Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Clifton streets

n Butler University’s Clowes Hall and Irwin Library, 46th Street and Sunset Avenue

n International School of Indiana, 4330 N. Michigan Rd.

n Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 N. Michigan Rd.

n Major Taylor Velodrome, 3649 Cold Spring Rd.

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