Cultural Trust Gives Sneak Peek At 2012 Arts Festival

Nick Jovonovich April 30, 2012

People who were passing through Point State Park on Monday morning may have been tapping their feet a little more than usual, as they got a preview of things to come at this year’s annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

One of the new attractions at this year’s festival will include a day entirely devoted to Bluegrass music.

Marguerite Jarrett Marks, who oversees the programming for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, previewed all the unique festivities, art and entertainment that will be at this year's festival; which runs from June 1-10.

They were greeted by the pleasant sounds of Bluegrass music, provided by the band Midnight Drive.

Jeff Scheller, the Bass player for Midnight Drive and a teacher in the North Allegheny School District for more than 25 years, could not be more excited be a part of the festival again. He performed at the fest previously with the Country/Rock band Rhubarb back in 1986. “It’s great to be back and shows you can go home!” Scheller said.

As far as featuring Bluegrass during this year’s festival, according to Scheller, “It’s what should be, and it’s great that they’re doing it. I’m so proud of the organizers and all the people. Bluegrass is worthy of a day, and a lot of people who aren’t very familiar with Bluegrass, they like the sound, it’s up-beat music, but it will be neat for them to get a little taste of what a Bluegrass festival is like.”

The Arts Fest will open with a focus on jazz. The first day will feature a long list of jazz artists playing in several venues throughout the cultural district and Point Start Park. Three Rivers Arts Festival Director Marguerite Jarrett Marks said that will be a great opportunity for visitors to crawl around the district and get to know it better.

Marks said the more than 500 visual artists that will be part of the festival will allow organizers to take the artists market outside of Gateway Center. In the past the market has spilled into Point State Park only on weekends. This year, according to Marks, there will be artists in the park every day and on a few nearby streets on the weekends.