FestivALL Having Year-round Impact on Charleston's Art Scene

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- FestivALL lasts just 10 days out of the year, but its impact is starting to show 365 days a year.

“We have artists here who are having their work displayed in ways that no one ever would have thought of before now, because they're empowered by FestivALL,” Charleston Deputy Mayor Rod Blackstone said.

One example is Ian Bode. He’s a local artist who is helping paint murals on piers under the interstate.

That’s just one of several art projects in Charleston inspired by FestivALL.

This year's event is expected to attract more than 50,000 people, many from out of town.

The money spent on hotels and restaurants serves as an investment into the city's art scene.

“It gives an outlet for people who have been doing their thing here in Charleston already for a long time who haven't really had recognition,” Bode said.

“When you have art in a place that's otherwise kind of cold and barren, I think it makes the place more inviting and more attractive,” Blackstone said. “Think of what we're trying to do. We're trying to attract people to live here, to visit here, to invest here.”

Now in its ninth year, FestivALL has helped accomplish that.

It’s also helping local artists like bode stay local.

“It's bringing art a little closer to the business world,” Bode said. “It means people can make money off of it.”


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