This weekend, MidPoint Music Festival
makes its way back to Cincinnati. Music will fill Cincinnati venues, and the MidPoint Midway will take over 12th
Street between Vine and Walnut with food, drinks and street festivities, including the ArtWorks Box Truck Carnival
The free event features 10 box trucks, which are transformed from ordinary Penske moving trucks into whimsical, engaging “carnival booths” to fit with this year’s theme. The booths range from karaoke to a how-to on screenprinting.
The idea for the Box Truck Carnival came from ArtWorks’ CEO Tamara Harkavy. She heard of enterprise-based pop-up box truck festivals in San Francisco and Brooklyn, and thought it would be a great way to get ArtWorks involved in MPMF, says Sarah Corlett, director of creative enterprise at ArtWorks and producer of the Box Truck Carnival.
“For the first two years ArtWorks was involved in MidPoint, the box trucks were focused on artist installations and interactions,” she says. “But this year, they’re really focused on the carnival theme, and the participants are really playing it up.”
Participants include Crane, Neidhard & Stock; House of Leigh; Vincent Holiday, Bombs Away! Comedy
, OTR Improv
and Lofty Aspirations
; Kathleen Rose; Paint by the Glass
and Andy Mushaben; Powerhouse Print Lab; The Bird Haus
; Grace Dobush, Michelle Taute, Tricia Bateman and Julie Hill; Collective Espresso
and Chase Public
; and the Kennedy Heights Arts Center
“The introduction of the Box Truck Festival gives us the chance to interact with different artists,” Corlett says. “The biggest benefit is that we now have a deeper connection in the community by offering the box trucks.”
Amanda Crane of Crane, Neidhard & Stock (a group of second-year interior design and architecture students at DAAP) are running the Games box truck. They wanted people to engage in a “task” of some kind, which fits well with the carnival theme.
“We’re hoping to have a great time, while getting to know Cincinnati better,” Crane says. “We’re also excited to be collaborating with ArtWorks and the other box trucks.”
ArtWorks also moved ArtCars from Clifton’s Streetscape festival to the Midway for this year. The live art event employs more apprentices and professional artists than ever before—during the course of the three-day music festival, they transform cars and vans into mobile pieces of art.
This is the first year that MPMF and ArtWorks partnered for KidPoint, which is a family-friendly event from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. School of Rock Mason will be performing, as well as other bands. Plus, Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company
will be performing pieces of the Ballet’s "Carnival of Animals."
“Having something so unique and visible in the city is a huge shout-out for Cincinnati,” Corlett says. “It’s not just a fun place to play, but everyone who is participating lives and works here, too.”
By Caitlin Koenig
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