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Art, music tune-up for Masaryktown fest

Bring a covered dish to share with others and musical instruments to jam at Saturday's event.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

Nearly two decades ago, artist Larry Whidden started a fine arts festival in the tiny town of Masaryktown that eventually attracted up to 20,000 people in one weekend.

That show changed over the years and was moved to Brooksville a couple of years ago.

Now Whidden, the Tri County League of Professional Artists (Pasco-Hernando-Citrus) and other art enthusiasts are resurrecting the Masaryktown show with the original concept: serious art and fine crafts, with no mass-produced or country store-style items. To be called the Masaryktown Fine Arts, Crafts and Music Festival, the show will be on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

To get things going and gather some seed money, Whidden and his pals are having an outdoor music concert and art viewing at 6 p.m. Saturday at Casa De Angela, Whidden's artists' retreat near the end of Bosley Drive, off Shady Hills Road, 2 miles south of County Line Road (or 5 miles north of State Road 52).

Four musical groups will perform on a small stage on the property, and about a half-dozen artists will have their creations on exhibit and for sale, Whidden said.

"People can listen to the music and then walk through the galleries looking at the art," Whidden said.

Performers are Equal Time, who play music from the 1950s and '60s; Future Perfect, a duo once described as a mix of Enya with spatterings of Kabuki and overtones of New Age composer Steven Halpern; the acoustic swing group Outrageous Fortune; and folk favorites Mary Ann DiNella and Dennis Devine.

"This is sort of a preliminary event for the big show later on," Whidden said.

The $10 admission will cover costs of the Saturday event and provide a base for the upcoming show. A portion will go to Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Whidden said.

Those who attend should bring lawn chairs and insect repellent and are invited to bring a covered dish to share with others at the event, as well as beverages for themselves. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments to join a jam session at the end of the musical performances. Call (352) 796-1766 for reservations.

If you go

WHAT: Concert and art viewing

WHERE: Casa De Angela, 18133 Bosley Drive, Shady Hills (off Shady Hills Road)

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

TICKETS: $10; reservations requested. Call (352) 796-1766.

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