New festivals hope to aid 'music and art' brand in Conway

New festivals hope to aid 'music and art' brand in Conway

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Leaders in Conway are gearing up to bring a slew of first time events to Horry County.  The city leaders say that art and music play a big part in the area, and they want to bring more events to spark community involvement.

The largest farm tour festival, The Ag + Art Tour, has added Darlington and Horry Counties to their festival list.

Horry and Darlington join a list of seven other counties in the free, self-guided tour of local farms.  The point is to have a good time exploring local artisan booths and listening to live music while seeing where your fresh food comes from.  For vendors, you can expect anything from potters to quilters.  Ag + Art Tour in Horry County is locally led by Create! Conway, Conway Cultural Development Corporation and the Ag + Art Tour of Horry County Leadership Team.

Ag + Art takes place over the entire month of June, but Horry and Darlington County farms will only host the event June 4th and 5th.  The same Conway committees are also introducing the Indie Market Festival.

"What's the brand of Conway? What's Conway all about? What's the thing we really want to put forward as a community?" said Dennis Stevens, President of the Conway Cultural Development Corporation.  City leaders are trying to solve this.

Indie Market specifically caters to Conway and is reflective of the charge to brand Conway as a 'music and arts' city.  Stevens said the the city has had difficulty agreeing on branding in the past.  Now with new leaders, he has high hopes they'll come up with something.

"So, this notion of branding the city as an arts and culture destination is not a new idea.  It's one that sort of fades, we lose momentum with, but it's something that's been a big part of what we've been doing for a very long time. It's something that has to be held as a priority of the city.

There will 20-30 vendors, local bands, art, beer and wine when it takes place on Laurel Street in Conway on April 2.  Coastal Carolina University and The Bottle Shop are sponsoring the Indie Market.

Conway leaders are expecting large crowds at both events.  Lastly, the Conway community is bringing a public piano to bring music to the streets of Conway.  The piano was bought for $40 from the Horry County School district.  Stevens said it had been sitting in a basement for years, and he's happy to refurbish it for the joy of others.

Right now, the piano is being decorated.  There isn't a date set on when it will make its public appearance.  Professional players will be scheduled to play it in streets and shops when it's ready to go.  The committee hopes to expand this idea with more pianos around downtown.  The city is looking for more pianos to be donated to grow the new project.

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