Georgia Southern University to Host 33rd Annual ArtsFest April 11

ArtsFest'13 Tie-Dye ArtStop, 2013, Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, Georgia Southern University

ArtsFest’13 Tie-Dye ArtStop, 2013

Georgia Southern University’s Sweetheart Circle will come alive on Saturday, April 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as thousands of people are expected to visit campus, celebrating visual and performing arts at the 33rd annual ArtsFest.

Hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, the free art festival welcomes and encourages the community to become artists for the day. Festival-goers can express their artistic abilities at more than a dozen ArtStops. ArtStops allow participants to explore types, techniques and media of art while learning about various subject matters. Patrons can paint, sculpt, craft a pattern, measure a fish, create paper flowers, tie-dye a commemorative ArtsFest T-shirt, repurpose materials, shoot a painted arrow, pet an instrument and much more – all for free. Guests can also grab something to eat and admire one-of-a-kind artwork made by local artisans in the Artist Market.

“ArtsFest allows our community, young and old, to celebrate the importance of the arts in our everyday lives,” said Stephanie Arends Neal, director of ArtsFest. “Through the arts, we develop lifelong skills such as decision-making, motor skills, collaboration, analytical and critical thinking, inventiveness, self-expression, confidence and cultural awareness. It has been an honor to be a part of ArtsFest and watching it evolve over the years.”

Neal encourages everyone, but especially youngsters, to visit as many ArtStops as possible during the event to get a well-rounded artistic experience. “Art can be delightfully messy, so be sure you wear clothing that can get as colorful as your ArtsFest experience,” she added.

In addition to the ArtStops, attendees can experience the musical talents of headlining acts, Those Cats, F-Beams, and Pladd Dot School of Rock & Roll.

ArtsFest is a nonprofit event made possible by community and University volunteers.

“ArtsFest is made possible because of individuals who have devoted their time and love of the arts to give back to the community and university. Volunteers and ArtStop hosts consist of community members and faculty, staff, students and alumni from Georgia Southern.” said Neal. “The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art takes pride in giving back to the local community while offering events and services to provide students with valuable professional and leadership experience.”

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). CLASS, the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity, and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:


Rain or Shine – ArtsFest is Set to Ignite Sweetheart Circle!


On Saturday, April 5, Sweetheart Circle will come alive as nearly 5,000 people gather to celebrate visual and performing art at the 32nd annual ArtsFest. This free festival, hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University, welcomes the community to become an artist of their own at our ArtStops while enjoying performances, food, and the local Artist Market. Festivities will take place from 11 am until 5 pm. 

“ArtsFest is way more than just an arts festival, it is a wonderful way to meet others in the community while learning to truly appreciate both visual and performing arts!” explains Lauren Mullins, Public Relations Intern for ArtsFest.

This year, ArtsFest invites patrons to watch an igniting display as our headline performers, Balefire, bring the magic of fire dancing from Atlanta. Gather around the community stage and rock out with the rising stars of Pladd Dot Music’s School of Rock and watch the Georgia Southern’s Mischief Makers in their performance of trickery.

Creative juices will be flowing through Sweetheart Circle as festivalgoers create their own artwork at 30 different ArtStops. With more community and organizational involvement this year than ever before, we are thrilled to introduce many new ArtStops alongside our community favorites. ArtStops allow participants to explore types, techniques, and art media while learning about various subject matters not always pertaining to fine art. Patrons can paint, sculpt, measure a fish, fractalize art, create paper flowers, tie-dye an ArtsFest t-shirt, graph sound waves, learn to dance, and much more – all for free! Not to mention, guests can grab some grub and admire one-of-a-kind artwork made by local Artisans in the Artist Market.

“Not only is ArtsFest quite possibly the largest public service event Georgia Southern offers, it provides a platform for our budding performers to build confidence in a social setting and our young artists to exemplify problem solving skills by offering multiple perspectives through creative thinking,” says ArtsFest Director Stephanie Arends Neal.

ArtsFest is a non-profit event made possible by community and student volunteers. The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art takes prides in giving back to the local community while offering events and services to provide students with valuable professional and leadership experience. ArtsFest’14 is supported in part by Georgia Southern University’s Campus Life Enrichment Committee, Averitt Center for the Arts, Campus Evolution Villages, Pizza Hut, and Wal-Mart.

For a complete list of supporters and festival guide visit ArtsFest at

Announcing 2014 Performances

Sweetheart Circle will be ablaze for ArtsFest’14!

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is proud to announce its ArtsFest’14 performance line-up that will provide festival-goers a cultural experience on Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.on Georgia Southern’s Sweetheart Circle!

Featuring Fire & Dance Performers


Bringing the art of fire dancing from Atlanta, Balefire will ignite
Sweetheart Circle with their fire and dance performances.


In addition to Balefire, Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community will join together to present a wide variety of free performances suitable for all ages.

ArtsFest Onstage PerformancesJoining Balefire on the main stage, the Southern Saxophones will set the tone with their opening performance. Georgia Southern’s Winterguard will display their colorful flags, Theatre & Performance’s Mischief Maker’s will tell share their stories of trickery and Pladd Dot Music’s School of Rock will rock out playing everything from ACDC and Guns N’ Roses to Cream and Sheryl Crow.

The Community Stage, sponsored by Averitt Center for the Arts, will be featuring the Gail Hursey School of Dance, Statesboro Youth Theater, Statesboro Youth Ballet, Averitt Center for the Arts After Hours, Performance Works Players, Claxton Youth Choral and Averitt Starz.

Announcing 2014 ArtsStops!


Announcing 2014 ArtsStops!

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt) is excited to announce its ArtsFest’14 ArtStops that will provide festival goers a fun-filled, creative day on Georgia Southern’s Sweetheart Circle!

In addition to volunteers from the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community will join together to host a wide variety of ArtStops available for attendees of all ages at ArtsFest on Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.Participation from the University and community is an integral part of ArtsFest. This year, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is proud to announce that over half of the nearly 30 ArtStops will be hosted by organizations outside of the Department of Art.

ArtStops are free activities designed to let participants explore types, techniques and mediums of art while learning about various subject matters not always pertaining to fine art.

ArtStopsThis year, adults and children alike will be able to learn to dance, graph sound waves, build bridges, construct paper flowers, tie dye commemorative ArtsFest t-shirts, fractalize art, measure a fish (in traditional Japanese form), paint with some of Statesboro’s finest artists, learn about medieval times, make paper, get clay under their fingernails, explore musical instruments, and more.

Georgia Southern student organizations hosting ArtStops include the Community Liaisons, International Club, National Association for Music Educators, Society of Women Engineers, Southern Creative Anachronists, Student Art League, i2STEMe, Euphoria Dance Crew, and the Child and Family Development Club.

Community members, businesses and organizations hosting ArtStops include Adventures in Art, the Averitt Center for the Arts, Ferst Foundation, Colonial House of Flowers, Statesboro Regional Art Association, Fractal Art, and Bulloch County 4-H, the Humane Society of Statesboro and Bulloch County, and the Garden of the Coastal Plain.

Additionally, the Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability and Georgia Southern Museum will be co-hosting an ArtStop in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition, Victory From Within: The American Prisoner of War Experience to teach visitors about art created by Prisoners of War.

ArtsFest, completely powered by volunteers, is a free public event that unites the community in celebrating the importance of the performing and visual arts by creating their own art, experiencing cultural performances and treating their taste buds to culinary delights. ArtsFest, presented by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, is celebrated annually on Georgia Southern’s Sweetheart Circle located in the historic part of campus.


Participation Deadline is Approaching

(and spaces are filling up fast!)

Now is your chance to promote your business/organization and serve the community with one of our community’s favorite events — ArtsFest!

→ Reserve your spot by Saturday, March 1!


Businesses & Organizations – Get Involved! A perfect way to promote your business or organization is through hosting an ArtStop by incorporating art into a promotion. There are many unique ways businesses and organizations bring a little art to the festival! Take for example the Statesboro Connect hosting an ArtStop to craft paper hats from old editions of the newspaper. Or how about the Statesboro Humane Society having life-sized animal cutouts for children to “paint a pet!”

We welcome your new ideas to ArtsFest! But if you need help coming up with an idea, we’d be happy to assist you. In the meantime, check out last year’s Art Stops to start brainstorming ideas of your own!

Current 2014 ArtStop Hosts:

  • National Association for Music Education (Georgia Southern Chapter)
  • Community Liaisons
  • Beyond Poverty
  • Humane Society of Statesboro and Bulloch County
  • Ferst Foundation
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • i2STEMe
  • Averitt Center for the Arts
  • Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art
  • Georgia Southern Museum
  • Colonial House of Flowers

Sign up to host an ArtStop today! There are only 9 ‘Stops’ left!

Food & Beverage

Bring your culinary delights to Sweetheart Circle! Fill the festival with scents that will make attendees’ mouth water. From cultural cuisines to unique sweet treats, we want it all! All food vendors are required to donate 20% of their proceeds to ArtsFest for operating costs. Hurry! Spaces fill up fast! No two are alike!

Current 2014 Food & Beverage Vendors:

  • The Design Group (BFSDoArt Student Organization)
    Popcorn, cotton candy & Coca-Cola products
  • Marie’s Italian Ice 
    Italian Ice
  • Simply Sweet Cakery
    Cupcakes, cookies & cake-pops
  • AJ’s Concessions
    Funnel cakes & strawberry Lemonade


Support the Arts by VOLUNTEERING! Not sure how to help? Never fear; we have plenty of opportunities to serve, from manning Art Stops to assisting artists and working as a stagehand!



Can’t attend but still want to help? ArtsFest is always looking to SPONSORS! This festival is a public service project to the community. The goal of ArtsFest each year is to spread the love of art, and we need your help! From exciting performances and more art supplies to feeding the hungry mouths of our hundreds of volunteers … We would love to partner with YOU!




ArtsFest Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • Phone: 912.GSU.ARTS • Email: