The show goes on for Arts in the Park despite budget cuts

By Maura Wery

Surviving a 25-percent city funding reduction, Arts In The Park will return for its 2013 season May 31 with a variety of performers.

Even with the budget cuts, recreation supervisor Kathy Swan, who is also in charge of programming Arts in the Park, said the only real adjustment was the types of acts she could bring in.

“The budget reductions don’t necessarily limit the number of shows,” Swan said. “It affects the ability to go for acts that have a more regional or national appeal.”

The reduced funding also required Swan and others in the Parks and Recreation Department to create sponsorship program so supporters could help fund such areas of need as lighting, sound and general upkeep.

“Interested donors can earmark, if they choose, different aspects of the program,” Swan said.

Despite the cuts, the season features a variety of performing artists through mid-August. The bill includes an indie star, a soul singer, a jazz saxophonist, a local reggae group and a country band that covers Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.”

The first act, the Manhattan Municipal Band, will kick off the season May 27 with a salute at Sunset Cemetery in the morning and then a concert in the evening. The entire series will run until August 16 and will be at the Larry Novell bandshell.

Here’s a summary of the scheduled performers:

Arts in the Park 2013 schedule


May 27: Manhattan Municipal Band, 9:30 a.m. salute at Sunset Cemetery, 7:30 p.m. concert

The Manhattan Municipal Band has been around since the 1920s and is a staple at the Arts in the Park Series. The band is lead by K-State professor of music and director of K-State Bands, Frank Tracz and has over 75 members.


May 31: The Gourds, 8 p.m.

An alternative country band from Austin, Texas, The Gourds have been around since 1994. The band consists of members Kevin “Shinyribs” Russel, Jimmy Smith, Claude Bernard, Keith Langford and Max Johnston. The band has a large arrange of material, but are best known for their cover of Snoop Dogg’s rap hit “Gin and Juice.”


June 4: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


June 7: The Manhattan Gold Orchestra and Manhattan Pops Choir, 8 p.m.

The Manhattan Gold Orchestra features the highest youth wind and string players in the area. The Manhattan Pop Choir is Manhattan High School’s premier show choir.


June 11: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


June 21: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


June 25: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


June 28: Red State Blues Band, 8 p.m.

They call themselves “The best damn blues band west of the Big Blue River,” which is a big claim, but most of those who have had the pleasure to see them would agree. The band consists of members John Blair, Walter Dodds, Steve Dyer, John Fellers, Bernd Friebe, Seth Galitzer, Mike Herman and Dean Vallega and, according to the band’s website, is “devoted to performing a variety of authentic blues styles stretching back across the past century.” The band has over 50 songs within their reach and feature a variety of originals and covers.


July 4: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


July 9: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


July 13: The Little Apple Music Festival, 6 p.m.

The festival will feature four acts: The 1st ID Big Band; indie artist Deer, Daniel; jazz flutist and saxophonist, Vincent Vincelli; blues band Walkin’ Cane; and country band Country Road. The festival will also have food vendors, art and giveaways during the evening.

July 19: Manhattan Municipal Band, 7:30 p.m.


July 26: Thomas Mayfield, 8 p.m.


Aug. 2: Heather Masse, 8 p.m.

New York singer-songwriter, Masse is mostly known for being a member of the folk group The Wailin’ Jennys. Masse sings a variety of different styles other than folk, including jazz, pop and bluegrass. She recently released a new album featuring jazz standards in 2013 called Lock My Heart. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. that same night, the Little Apple Day Camp will hold their talent show.


Aug. 9: High School Showcase, 8 p.m.

An evening of comedy and music from Manhattan’s own high school students. The Boys and Girls club will also have their talent show from 6 to 7:30 p.m. that same night.


Aug. 16: Muzzizi, 8 p.m.

Manhattan’s own local reggae band will close out the season.

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