In April, The 2014 Waterway Arts Festival in The Woodlands will bring some of the finest art around the nation to the great outdoors. The Woodlands Waterway and Town Green Park in The Woodlands Town Center will be transformed into a giant gallery – with 200 artists exhibiting their works among the trees, festival director Jenny Wright said. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 13. Wright has compiled a list of the "Top Things to Do at The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival.""

Her first suggestion is to meet the artists and shop for original paintings and sculptures. The festival's outstanding reputation has drawn some of the nation's best artists to exhibit in the show. That means the quality of work that makes it through the jurors is top-notch, she explained.

The second item on Wright's to-do list is to spend time enjoying the live music and performing arts groups featured at the festival. Live music will be featured both days on the Palette Café Stage, along with a variety of performances on the Arts in Montgomery County Stage. The Arts and Culture in Montgomery County Stage, standing at the entrance to Town Green Park, will showcase local talent throughout the weekend.

For attendees looking for another type of entertainment – who don't want to miss out on the Masters Golf Tournament – the festival's newest offering is a tent with two big-screen televisions for golf lovers to watch the event.

For hungry art aficionados, the Art of Food tent hosted by Hubbell and Hudson, will feature demonstrations by local chefs.There will also be several food vendors on deck – and strolling shoppers may stop to sample wines or sip a Stella Artois. St. Arnold's West End is keeping a variety of craft beers on tap.

Because Art Matters is creating a community art project called ""Woodlands Alive"" for the Friendship Center's Meals on Wheel Program. The fun activity for the whole family will be led by The Woodlands Art League. The Early Inspiration Gallery, sponsored by The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, will give children ages 4 to 12 a chance to begin their first art collection. Students and teachers have donated art. Proceeds from the booth will go to buying art supplies for schools in need.

At ARTopoly, The Woodlands Children's Museum will lead young artists to create their own projects. Wright said the festival is truly made possible by residents who have volunteered their time to the cause. She explained that The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, a nonprofit organization, produces the festival annually. Because Art Matters is the year-round educational outreach arm of the non-profit.

Because Art Matters will join the festival this year, with a tent displaying collaborative art projects and information about its efforts year-round. The group is on a mission to enrich lives, strengthen character and help heal through the performing and visual arts in Montgomery County, coordinator Kayleen Barton explained. Because Art Matters brings visiting artists into classrooms that have high numbers of at-risk students and introduces music therapy to schools. Because Art Matters also brings programs to senior citizen centers, as well as centers for those with special needs.

In conjunction with the Waterway Arts Festival, Because Art Matters will host a separte fundraiser called Drum Jam. The event is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at The Woodlands Waterway Square. The suggested donation for entry is $5. Drum Jam will feature interactive drum and beat stations, bongo drums, drum lines and junkyard percussion. A line-up of percussion artists will include Let Them Drum! All-Stars, the Sam Houston State University Steel Drum Band and Dan the Drummer. The event is open to all ages and donations are welcomed. All proceeds will go directly to Because Art Matters.


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