Joy King

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Local bands, artists and a variety of vendors were in attendance at the Free For All Arts Festival, an event created by a visual performance class at Winthrop University.

The festival, April 13, was held at the Courtroom at the Gettys Art Center on East Main Street in Rock Hill.

“My arts lab class picks a topic or theme every semester and we do a show,” said Jill O’Neill, adjunct professor of music at Winthrop.

The event was a sponsored by Shakespeare Carolina, a Rock Hill theatre group, and the restaurant called Wing Bonz.

“I think it promotes community and an open interpretation to different types of arts. It exposes these students on how to run a festival, how to get bands, gigs, vendors, locations, which…to be in the performing arts world you have to know how to do that at some point,” said Maggie Schwieter, a vendor at the event.

The event featured music trivia, handmade jewelry, face painting and henna tattoos.

It also provided guests an opportunity to win one of the performing bands for a night with a best-dressed costume contest of their favorite singer or band.

“I feel like performing arts, it really adds happiness to life,” said Nakia Hartley, who performed at the event.

“It’s not too serious, it’s not so academic, it’s really expressive and creative and I feel like we really need that in a world because you don’t find that in everything.”

Schwieter said it isn’t fair the arts aren’t valued as much as other academic topics.

“Why aren’t they important? They encompass math, literature, history, science; all of it is including arts whether it’s music, physical mediums, theatre; it’s all there. Art is that basis of everything else and art takes from everything to make something new,” said Schwieter.