Tuesday, August 12, 2003

20/20 arts festival is back and sassy

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Tha Blast, a first-ever urban culture festival with hot fashions, creative hair, slammin' poetry and a juried art exhibit at SS NOVA Oct. 4, continuing into the wee hours of Oct. 5.

Baseball as America-inspired Wiffle ball in the Union Terminal Rotunda.

A city parking lot transformed into gallery space by Media Bridges, with art projected onto the blank walls of surrounding buildings.

It can only be the return of 20/20, Enjoy the Arts/START's eclectic autumn arts festival. It will feature 58 events by 45 organizations in 18 Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods over 20 days and nights, Sept. 23 through Oct. 12.

20/20 II begins on the University of Cincinnati campus, with actor Malcolm Jamal Warner joining in a free performance poetry event.

"The arts organizations really got jazzed last year," says Lisa Mullins, Enjoy the Arts executive director. Enjoy the Arts/START, is a membership organization that offers special events and discounts to performing arts events to students and young professionals.

The first week of 20/20 II will feature daily noontime entertainment on Fountain Square, including a featured band from the Midpoint Music Festival, happening Sept. 24 mostly in the Main Street entertainment district.

Gospel brunches, a hit of the 2002 festival, will return Oct. 5. Also returning will be Madcap Productions Puppet Theatre's sell-out of adult puppet entertainment. Down & Dirty Tales II moves to Old St. George Oct. 8-9.

There will be a Latin International Night Extravaganza Oct. 10 featuring film, dinner and dancing at Showcase Cinemas-Cincinnati, courtesy of Cincinnati International Film Festival.

Art Academy of Cincinnati will host a costumed Mad Hatter's Ball Oct. 3 at the Hyatt Regency, downtown, and Covedale Center for the Performing Arts will get in on the act Sept. 30 with Rock Your Socks Off!

Festival brochures and 20/20 Passport Cards ($50, offering discounts to 20/20 events and performances throughout the year) will be available at Enjoy the Arts/START beginning next Tuesday. Information: 621-4700 or www.CincinnatiArts.com.

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