A long-awaited dream of Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator for the City of Encinitas, is soon to come true. The First Annual Encinitas Arts Festival will become reality on May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center.Having coordinated Imagination Celebration of Orange County, a three-week-long arts festival held in 50 locations, Jim feels Encinitas is ready for a similar, although smaller-scaled, event.
The Festival will include a huge outdoor drum circle, student art exhibit, music, theatre, dance workshops, as well as an impressive lineup of dance performances on two stages coordinated by professional dancer Georgia Schmid.
Georgia, who has traveled the country performing and competing since childhood, came to Encinitas in 2008 from Boulder, Colo. She commented on the lack of performance opportunities in Encinitas, “We struggle with not having a professional-level dance stage in Encinitas. Local dance studios go elsewhere to perform.”
Georgia joined the Encinitas Commission for the Arts last year, desiring to build a stronger dance presence in Encinitas. She commented, “All the dance studios weren’t aware of each other and what they were teaching.” She continued, “Coordinating performances on community stages inspires us as dancers, and pushes us to practice technique and style to bring our talents to new heights.”
Georgia has succeeded in bringing dance to the Arts Festival in hopes community members will take advantage of the free dance workshops, possibly inspiring them to adopt dance as an enriching addition to their lives.
The Dance Stage will feature a full schedule of 30-minute performances from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. West Coast Martial Arts will begin the festival’s performances with the Chinese Dragon Dance, followed by Zumba, performed by Cindy Chavez of Total Woman Gym.
The six-hour schedule of performances includes Hawaiian and Tahitian dances by both the Kehulili O Kailani studio and Kailani’s Wahines; various styles of belly dancing by both Denell Dilley’s Dance Studio and Sahar Dance Company; ballet by Encinitas Ballet Academy; Latin dance by Ooh La La Dance Company, and various colorful performances by the YMCA Dancers, North County School of Arts, and Performing Arts Workshop. Diop Percu, originally from Senegal, will be performing African dance and drumming.
Aubree Bouché, American Idol contestant of Hollywood week 2012, will sing with back-up dancers from the Junior Ballet Ensemble of Performing Arts Workshop.
Dance performances will be followed by free hour-long dance workshops led by professional instructors in the Activity Room.
The public is encouraged to register in advance for the free workshops. To sign up, visit and enter Encinitas Arts Festival. Up to 25 people can pre-register at eventbrite.com for each workshop. Walk-ins are also welcome on a limited basis.
For a downloadable brochure including the full schedule of events, go to encinitasca.gov and click on News.
Don’t miss the First Annual Encinitas Festival of the Arts May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas. The event is free to all.
Kay Colvin is an art consultant and director of the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. She specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists and bringing enrichment programs to elementary schools through The Kid’s College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.