Headwaters Arts Festival Kicks Off in May

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The city of Harlan will be the location for the inaugural Headwaters Arts Festival, a celebration of creativity including art, music, and film.

Harlan Tourism Director Brandon Pennington gave a few specifics of what folks can expect for the first edition of the festival, which takes place on May, 21, in downtown Harlan.

“We’re going to launch the event in May,” Pennington said. “That’s a Saturday.”

Email newsletter signup

Since this if the first outing of the Headwaters Arts Festival, plans have yet to be finalized.

“All the details have not been put in place just yet,” Pennington said. “But, it’s sort of a celebration of art and talent that originates from our mountains and then goes out to the world.”

The name of the festival is derived from a local waterway.

“We’re naming it the Headwaters Arts Festival because of course the headwaters of the Cumberland River are here in Harlan County,” Pennington said.

Pennington mentioned the festival will center on artists in and around the area.

This festival is going to focus primarily on the arts, looking primarily at film, songwriting and chalk art,” Pennington said. “Those are three main things we’re looking at doing. And of course, we are looking for both local and visiting talent to come in for this.”

According to Penninton, the overall theme for the Headwaters Arts Festival this year will be to “reconnect.” The festival will feature some competitions complete with prizes, including a chalk art competition.

The chalk walk competition will be creating unique art on the streets of Harlan using on chalk,” Pennington said. “We have a first place prize of $1,000, and there will also be a people’s choice award of $250. Entries will be judged based on creativity and talent.”

There will also be a songwriting competition.

“The songwriting competition will be using the theme of reconnect,” Pennington said. “The first place prize will be $500 plus a professional recording and mastering of a single at a recording studio.”

For those wishing to put their film-making skills up for consideration, there will also be a film competition.

“Entries for the film (competition) will be a 10 minute film exploring the theme of reconnect,” Pennington said. “The first place prize will be $500.”

Pennington added the festival will take place throughout the city of Harlan.

For more information on the Headwaters Arts Festival, check out the Headwaters Arts Festival Facebook page or send an email to headwatersfestival@gmail.com or contact the Harlan Center at 606-573-4495.