After two installments held virtually last year, live music, poetry and art demonstrations return to the porches of East Capitol Avenue on Sunday for PorchFest JCMO.
The free event — from 1-4 p.m. Sunday — will feature around 30 artists and performers showcasing their talents across 13 porches in the 500-700 blocks of Capitol Avenue.
Leann Porrello, the cultural arts specialist with the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, described PorchFest as a "very organic festival" with numerous art mediums and genres of music on display to provide something for everyone to enjoy. She added the center of the street will also have a host of activities like face-painting, tie-dye stations, and other kid-friendly games and art demonstrations.
"It's very free-flowing where you can hang out at one porch the entire time, or walk up and down the street all day, or go in the middle of the street to do activities," she said. "It's very casual."
The afternoon will be broken into three one-hour time slots, meaning every hour, attendees have the option to see a different performer or artist on each of the 13 porches — though some performers are slated to stay at one porch for all three hours, such as local band Lucky.
Porrello said just about every music genre is represented, with numerous bands — often performing at the same time on different porches — scheduled to participate.
"It's been a long time since we've had live music. So for a lot of artists, this is kind of their debut back into society since the pandemic. We just want the support for them," she said, adding attendees are encouraged to bring cash to tip the artists who are volunteering their time to perform Sunday.
"There wouldn't be a PorchFest without our artists."
Aside from music, Porrello said PorchFest will feature painters, photographers, and other visual and performing artists showcasing their talents and offering demonstrations.
Porrello noted local painter Amy Greenbank, a regular PorchFest artist, will be creating a large piece of art on canvas throughout the day Sunday while standing near the 60-foot mural she recently completed along a fence on Capitol Avenue. In addition to her painting demonstration, Greenbank plans to answer questions about the mural, which features bright, 1980s pop colors highlighting the area's history and dedication to the arts.
New this year to PorchFest, Porrello said will be a sound bath demonstration as well as dedicated poetry porch. While various poets are scheduled to share their work, event participants are welcome to come up and read their own poetry.
"One thing we pride ourselves on with PorchFest is it's a cultural arts festival," Porrello said. "It's not just a music show or just art in the park; it has everything. So with it being cultural arts, people come because they know they can experience a wide variety of art, and there's something there for everyone."
And no festival is complete without food. RJ's Italian Ice, Love My Gelato and Ready Pop Kettle Corn will be on hand offering sweet summertime treats. The La Chica Loca food truck will also be serving food as will a barbecue stand, which is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Missouri.
For the dedicated PorchFest fans, Sunday isn't the only opportunity to enjoy the cultural arts on porches. The event returns again in the fall.
Porrello said the intention is to always hold the spring/summer PorchFest along Capitol Avenue, and then on a Sunday in early October, the event will take place in a different neighborhood each year. Last year was held virtually because of COVID-19, but the fall 2019 event graced the porches of the Forest Hill Avenue neighborhood. The fall 2021 location has not yet been finalized.
For more information on PorchFest and to see the full schedule of performers, visit the PorchFest JCMO page on Facebook.