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Water-themed ArtBeat festival this weekend

Posted by Marcia Dick  July 14, 2010 10:00 AM

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01102010_10debo.2.jpg Though the police and fire departments would say there's definitely been enough water, in Somerville this weekend, art is all wet. On July 16 and 17, the Somerville Arts Council holds its annual ArtBeat festival, which this year honors the coolest element: Water.

It doesn't mean, however, that Davis Square will become a mud pit: Most of the activities aren't terribly literal. Water is both "representational ... [and] emblematic of other things," said Gregory Jenkins, director of the arts council. They always try to choose "themes that are sort of broad-based, that people can interpret very differently."

Kids can participate in a pirate-themed parade, with costume-making beforehand. Composer Clifford Anderson presents an interactive water-music sculpture. The center traffic island will become Easter Island, with make-your-own tiki heads that use old water and laundry detergent bottles. Groundwork Somerville offers water bottles as jewelry plus an educational relay race.

The year's lineup of bands features a bunch of acts that are pretty much guaranteed to make people dance, including Debo Band (Ethiopian funk, pictured), Macrotones (Afrobeat), Raizes do Ritmo (Brazilian forre), and Bearstronaut (synth-pop dance rock).

The festival is funded by grants and contributions, including an optional $3 dog tag attendees can buy on site. Learn more at somervilleartscouncil.org.

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