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Central Florida’s Arts Scene Enhances First-Ever Epcot Festival of the Arts

There’s still plenty of time to get out and enjoy the first-ever EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. There’s so much to see that I’ve been for some part of three weekends and still don’t feel like I’ve seen it all. One of the things I want to see more of is how the festival is utilizing Central Florida artists to expose Disney’s guests to fine visual, performing, and culinary arts.

One of the festival itinerary’s highlights is a presentation about famed twentieth-century painter Andrew Wyeth, creator of iconic works such as “Christina’s World.” Led by David Matteson, associate curator of education and outreach at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA), the program is based on the museum’s current exhibition, “The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine.”

“It’s exciting to play a role in this inaugural festival and celebrate the arts, which is important to the success and vitality of art and culture in Central Florida,” said Jake White, OMA development director. “Sharing the stories behind Wyeth’s work with art lovers from around the world allows OMA to inspire creativity, passion and intellectual curiosity by connecting people with art and new ideas.”

Other local presenters taking part in the festival include:

  • Artist Josh Garrick, who will share his experiences in becoming the first American to exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. With “An Art Exhibition in One of the Top Ten Museums in the World,” Garrick will detail how his collection of photography found its way to this impressive venue.
  • Chad Harmon, director of the Horns and Heroes Project, who will share his perspective on this unique program, which fuses art and conservation to help protect the world’s rhinoceros species.
  • Joshua Vickery, founder and CEO of Central Florida Community Arts and a former Disney Cast Member, who will showcase the community-changing power of the arts. Exploring the power of initiatives such as youth programs, orchestras choirs, theater, wellness and visual arts, Vickery offers his outlook on how the arts shape communities.

In addition to presentations about the visuals arts and art in our communities, the festival will highlight local jazz bands, high school and university choirs and bands, as well as the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts runs Fridays through Mondays through February 20th.