Community gathers to celebrate art

FMU and the city of Florence teamed up to bring families and students together for the annual Arts International Festival on April 13 from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on the Smith University Center lawn.

The festival included an international food court where students could try various dishes from different cultures, such as Japanese and Brazilian recipes.

The Beer Garden vendor truck was also available for attendees over the age of 21.

The event was kid-friendly and had areas designated for children. The FMU Education Foundation had tents set up in efforts to teach the children about different cultures around the world.

One of the busiest stands in the children’s area was Joy The Clown’s stand, where she did face-painting for the children.

Scoutmaster Tim Fisher and Boy Scout Troop 477 set up in the children’s area and made creative balloon sculptures.

That Hartsville Bubble Guy, an entertainer who makes life-size bubbles, also made an appearance in the children’s section.

The festival also had a continental crafts table where kids could make bracelets and different art crafts from around the world.

Also in the children’s section was Science South, which is a non-profit organization that has been located in Florence for about 20 years. It is a science outreach program that travels to schools and gets involved in different public events for children.

At the festival, the Science South stand taught the children about the science of iridescence by having them take a film of colorless material and produce colors of the rainbows.

FMU student Andy Marie volunteered at the bead-making table and helped children create bracelets for themselves and their family.

As an early childhood education major, it gave her the opportunity to be around children and interact with them doing something that she loves.

The event also gave FMU students the chance to mingle and enjoy the many vendors that came out.

The festival also showcased the works of some of the art students on campus, giving the city of Florence a chance to see what the art program produces.

The festival was full of festivities such as boat races, go-kart races and even a chalk art competition. The boat race, titled The Cardboard Regatta, was held at the Durant Pond, where students were challenged to get across the lake in cardboard boats without sinking.

Another exciting part of the festival was the music. The concert stage hosted three bands: Felonius Funk, Continental Divide and Triangle Afrobeat Orchestra.

Inside the Chapman Auditorium, there were different performances and showcases from different cultural groups, including the Jabali African Acrobats and the Cirque Tacular.

SGA secretary Kendria Mason came out along with other members to represent the Student Government Association.

“I think the reason that Francis Marion collabs with the community, different vendors and the city is because we are a liberal arts school,” Mason said. “The sole purpose of a liberal arts school is to make our students more well rounded and diverse than when they first got here.”