OAKLAND The sounds and melodies of jazz, gospel, rock and other music genres are set to fill the Oakland Town Center Saturday at the 10th annual Town of Oakland Arts & Music Festival.
Presented by the HAPCO Music Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to arts and music education — the festival is the foundation’s way of giving back to the town of Oakland and surrounding communities, which help support HAPCO year-round.
The festival began 10 years ago when HAPCO founder Joseph McMullen became a town commissioner and decided he wanted to do something involving art education and to spur on its enhancement in the community.
“Some friends I was working with suggested putting on a festival to highlight some of the programs I was working with, so I came to the commission about it … and we had the first festival at the charter school 10 years ago,” McMullen said.
Now, the free festival is being held at the town center and serves as a way to give back to the community, to let the people in it know that HAPCO appreciates its support and involvement in art education.
“At the core of it, it’s letting the community know we appreciate art education for our kids,” he said. “We really want the community to come out and have a great time.”
This year’s festival takes place from 3 to 8:30 p.m. and features a presentation of both live music and live art. Nine artists will take the stage throughout the day and entertain the audience with the sounds of multiple genres of music, including rock, gospel, jazz, blues, R&B and some funk and country.
In addition to live music, four artists — including some original Florida Highwaymen — are set to impress guests with an array of live art, painting and working on masterpieces throughout the day and answering questions guests may have.
“We’re going to have the artists inside the town center, and you have the chance to interact and connect with them,” McMullen said. “Whenever they get here, they’ll paint whatever they feel. Sometimes they may paint something from the area, sometimes Florida scenery.”
Guests also can check out a healthcare tent sponsored by Health Central and meet with health-related vendors as they enjoy the music.
Although festival admission is free, guests can purchase VIP access, which includes two drink tickets, heavy hor d’oeuvres, wine tasting and access to an air-conditioned VIP tent.
For McMullen, the festival is a quality event he hopes will show the community that HAPCO is committed to art and music education, as well as a presentation of what the foundation does throughout the year.
“It’s a snippet of what you’ll see on a regular basis throughout the year in the town of Oakland,” he said. “I love live music and listening to a different array of music. You get to hear nine acts from different genres and I’m looking forward to hearing different sounds and how the audience will embrace the music. That’s priceless.”
Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].