June 3–11, 2022Admission June 3–11, 2022Admission

Artist-in-Residence George Ferrandi will conduct community workshops; attendees invited to participate in art and music projects

WICHITA, Kan., May 23, 2019 – Wichita Festivals, Inc. and Harvester Arts are teaming up to bring Brooklyn-based artist George Ferrandi to Riverfest 2019. The performance and installation artist will engage festival attendees at daily workshops, one of a number of creative opportunities at this year’s festival.

Ferrandi, originally from Baltimore, is the creator and director of Jump!Star, a celebration and attempt to invent traditions – a thousand years in advance – that can be passed down to celebrate the eventual changing of the North Star. The artist’s involvement in Riverfest 2019 is part of this celebration, and takes the form of a series of events and appearances:
• Ferrandi, with local artists and students, will march in the Safelite AutoGlass® Sundown Parade starting at 6:30 p.m. May 31 carrying large, illuminated, head-shaped sculptures representing the future North Star, Iota.
• Jump!Star drop-in mask-making workshops presented by Harvester Arts will take place at Ackerman’s Backyard (also known as A. Price Woodard Park), south of the Douglas Avenue bridge, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 1 through Saturday, June 8.
• The head sculptures will be viewable through the windows of the former central branch library from Saturday, June 1 through Saturday, June 8. They are also the focus of a foot parade that will begin at the old library at 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 4, and will wind through the festival footprint, arriving at the Wichita Acura Dealers Stage around 9:15 p.m. where an interactive “handclap” performance for the Jump!Star Iota will take place.


Ferrandi is the director of Wayfarers Studio Program and Gallery in Bushwick, and was the founding member of the touring performance project Cloud Seeding: Circus of the Performative Object. Her work has been performed and exhibited around the world. She teaches sculpture and performance art at Pratt Institute, at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the Rhode Island School of Design and runs a small business specializing in the restoration of statues for churches. In addition to her Riverfest residency, she has been working with students in Wichita State University’s School of Art, Design & Creative Industries for several months and her work will be featured at Symphony in the Flint Hills on June 15.

Create a sound snapshot of Riverfest and take part in MapMusik, a team initiative established by local artists and musicians to document the soundtrack of our community. Attendees can drop by the MapMusik tent in Ackerman’s Backyard and learn how to capture and upload a sound snapshot–4 to 6 seconds of video with audio of any aspect of Riverfest. Wichita composer Von Hansen will create a video postcard from the sound snapshots, which will be screened at the Wichita Acura Dealers Stage on Kennedy Plaza, on Friday, June 7 between the MarchFourth and Gogol Bordello concerts.

Aspiring performers will want to join the fun when The Mp3 Experiment pops up at Riverfest at 5 p.m., Saturday, June 1 and 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 6. A fusion of technology and live art, the event requires the participation of attendees who will be given specific instructions for performance in real time. Those who want to participate can register at WichitaRiverfest.com, under Participatory Events. No prior performance experience is necessary. Visit ImprovEverywhere.com to learn more.


People will also have a chance to express their artistic side at the Decorated Bicycle Contest and Parade, starting at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 8. A Bicycle Decoration Station, manned by local artists, will be available from noon to 2 p.m. so riders can gussy up their two wheelers, three wheelers, scooters, wheelchairs and penny farthings. Cash prizes will be awarded in eight categories for the best bike décor, from Peddle Pusher (best costume) to Bevy of Bikes (a group of three or more).

Other events offer opportunities to get creative, including the Sandcastle Build Competition and the Cardboard Regatta, which requires building a boat from cardboard, pool noodles and duct tape. There are also plenty of art-related things to see and experience at the festival, including the Human Car Wash, a walk-through installation by Mary Alexis Wirths.


“We are delighted to bring these memorable events to Riverfest,” said Ann Keefer, vice president of program development for Wichita Festivals. “These artistic elements have energized the festival, just as our vibrant art scene has invigorated our community.”

Riverfest admission buttons ($10 for adults and $5 for children) are available at QuikTrip locations. Admission for kids five and younger is free. Details about the festival are available at WichitaRiverfest.com. The Wichita Riverfest 2019 mobile app can be downloaded for iPhone and Android.


Riverfest 2019 Official Sponsors include: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, Spot’s Party Bus, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

The Riverfest 2019 Artist-in-Residence program is sponsored by Harvester Arts. For more information, or to volunteer, contact harvesterarts@gmail.com.


About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 31 through June 8, 2019), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 6, 2019) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 13-15, 2019). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or teri@wichitafestivals.com.

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