Fifteenth ArtSoup set for this weekend

ArtSoup, a regional community arts festival, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with its biggest and most interactive offering yet in its 15-year history.
There will be national acts, twice as much food, more performances, more art and more opportunities for people of all ages to create art at the June 28 event sponsored by the Elk River Arts Alliance in downtown Elk River, according to Sheri Olson, the former owner of Reading Frenzy Book Corner with a flare for marketing and bringing reading to life.
“The first nine have attracted between 2,000 and 3,000 apiece,” Olson said. “We want to bring in 4,000.”
Organizers are casting a wider net this year and finding new ways to get people talking about the event, including a television advertisement created by James Zaczkowski of Truth in Motion Studios of Elk River. Zaczkowski, a member of the Elk River Area Arts Alliance board, brought some of the local acts together to shoot a Willy Wonka-esque clip at the Handke Family Center. That will begin airing today in more than 60,000 homes, he said.
The commercial features local talent and members of the Elk River Community Theater, Dance Caravan and the Elk River German Band.
These will be among the acts to appear on the Pedaling for Pennies Community Stage. Others will include Signature School of Music and participants in a Poetry Slam, headed up by Seal Dwyer, of St. Cloud.
National acts will include Paddy O’Brien and the Chulrua, a traditional Irish band;  Batucada de Norte, a Brazillian drum band; and Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins, a blues, folk and bluegrass band. Dennis Warner and the D’s and Z Juggling Rosenschnoz will provide family fun on the big stage.
There will also be a kid’s stage for music and a demonstration tent with ample room to keep a wood carvers, glass painters, jewelry makers, weavers, tie-dyed makers and potters busy all day.
Dennis Warner, author of Beads on One String, will lead families in a community weave project.
There will also be a chance to do sidewalk poetry and a sidewalk chalk art contest and a book crawl featuring author signings.
Other attractions will be a community, artist and business marketplace, a juried art exhibit, a kids and teen art exhibit.
There are already 46 vendors lined up to be at the arts festival, compared to 26 at last year’s event.
The goal of organizers has been to have things for everyone to do. Guests will be working up an appetite, of course.
“We’d like to double the people, so we know we’re going to need double the food,” Olson said.
Downtown restaurants will provide anchors for the event. They include Sunshine Depot, Pompeii Pizzeria, Club Euphoria, McCoy’s Pub and beer garden,  Diamond City Breads and Daddy-O’s Cafe.  Also at the event will be Sugar Shack Food Truck out of Zimmerman, Pour Wine and Bistro out of Otsego and Harvest Grill in Rogers.
The list doesn’t stop there.
Others include Hibachi Daruma Food Truck, Taste of Minnesota Twins Food Truck and Kettle Korn House.
This year’s event will also include a mobile film fest led by Jason Ewert, of Zimmerman. Film artists have been asked to create a short film (three minutes at most) on their cellphones with the theme “inspire.” The winning entry will be show at the Saint Cloud Film Fest in October.
There was also a T-shirt designing contest for kids and adults.

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