FIRST NIGHT® – SAINT LOUIS RINGS IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A “KALEIDOSCOPE” OF SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN GRAND CENTER
A “Kaleidoscope” of colors, lights, music and dance unfolds on New Year’s Eve in Grand Center for First Night® – Saint Louis, the family-friendly, visual and performing arts festival that celebrates the coming of the New Year.
In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Kaleidoscope,” the entire Grand Center district will be illuminated and animated in colorful lights and festive light projections on the district’s buildings and structures, including the College Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Metropolitan Building, Strauss Park, Third Baptist Church and public art displays through collaborative efforts with Craft Alliance and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
The opening ceremony kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 31, at the main stage, located on Washington Boulevard near Grand. Activities and performances continue into the New Year in a diverse mix of colorful, multi-cultural sounds and images, resulting in an array of artistic interpretations that come together to create an even more beautiful whole. Grand Center’s streetscapes, parks, churches, theaters and performance centers open their doors for more than 70 indoor and outdoor presentations and activities.
Guests can enter First Night on Grand Boulevard near Lindell through a 24-foot long, life-sized kaleidoscope, created especially for the evening’s festivities. Throughout the night, revelers are invited to participate in a wide range of activities, including making wishes for the New Year in a “stained glass” display, creatively identifying their places of origin on a giant world map and make-and-take crafts of all varieties for the kids (or the kid inside!).
Guests will be treated to musical and performance art stylings with local country trio and Nashville Star favorites Pearl Heart at the Main Stage, world music at the Sheldon Concert Hall, graffiti artists at the SLU dog park between Olive and Lindell boulevards and wacky performance artist “The Human Slinky,” among other acts.
The “Kaleidoscope” celebration lights up the night with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. and culminates in a Grand Finale display at midnight.
Adding to this year’s grand celebration, Grand Center is collaborating with both Craft Alliance and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts to provide large-scale, community art installations.
In partnership with Craft Alliance and under the direction of artist Catherine Magel, a 12-foot-high mosaic rabbit sculpture is being designed and constructed with a combination of ceramic objects, glass, mirror and tile. Students from Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, Metro High School and Cardinal Ritter College Prep School are engaged with this project through three separate one-week long studio intensives as well as a field trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden to experience the current “NIKI” exhibit. The “Mosaic Rabbit” will be unveiled at First Night.
In partnership with The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and under the artistic direction of Sebastian Hungerer and Rainer Kehres, an extension of The Pulitzer’s current series of outdoor light installations, The Light Project, has been commissioned by Grand Center. Eight columns that explore the various nuances of light through the use of LED lighting and translucent materials will be installed on the Grand Public Arts Plaza on October 3 and remain through December 31. A central component of this project is a collaboration with four area schools who assisted in the construction of this project: Cole Elementary, Loyola Academy, Cardinal Ritter College Prep School and Metro High School.
With the purchase of an admission button, attendees gain access to all that First Night® – Saint Louis has to offer. Buttons will be sold in advance starting December 1 at area Borders and Dierbergs locations for $8 for adults and $4 for children. Buttons will also be sold at the event for $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 5 receive free admission. Plenty of parking will be available in safely secured lots.
First Night® – Saint Louis, produced by Grand Center, Inc., continues to be made possible through the generous funding of St. Louis corporations and foundations, including this year’s presenting sponsor, Edward Jones.
Added by janeice on November 5, 2008