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Art and Music Festival in Newport Highlights Work by Tom Mitts

History, the arts and music will take over Southgate Street in Newport this Saturday, Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the first ever Harvest the Arts & Music Fest hosted by The Newport History Museum.

The free event will feature The Tom Mitts Memorial Art Exhibit, live music, art demonstrations, food and more at the Newport History Museum, 215 E. Southgate St., behind the Hofbrauhaus. The museum is the former Southgate Street School, which served Newport's African American students from 1893 until 1955, when public schools were desegregated.

Paintings from the late Newport artist Tom Mitts, including many spectacular scenes of Newport, will be featured during the festival.

"Tom was a local artist who did beautiful work and who passed away last year," said Newport Historic Preservation Officer Scott Clark. "A group of us from The Newport History Museum, The Behringer-Crawford Museum and a few volunteers from the westside of Newport were able to rescue about 150 of Tom's paintings from his estate.

"The Newport Collection features beautiful scenes that he painted all around Newport," Clark said. "Tom was an incredibly versatile artist. We have scenes of Newport at night, snow scenes, building and street scenes, scenes from out of his window from his upstairs studio at The York Street Cafe. Tom had his own unique style, and he loved painting Newport."

Reportedly, there are four or five houses on the East Row that Mitts painted and signed, Clark said.

Also during the festival, public history students from Northern Kentucky University will be conducting preliminary interviews for a Newport History Museum oral history project.

"We want all stories about Newport, but we want to focus initially on stories about the Southgate Street School," Clark said. "We want to hear from and about people who went there, who had family that attended the school and other information and stories about the school.

"There are some great stories out there about the school and desegregation, including how teachers and educators very easily assimilated into the Newport schools, and we want to try and capture those stories," he said.


Schedule of Events


Live Music


11 am to 12:30 pm – Kyle Meadows - Hammered Dulcimer featuring mid-to-late 1800’s selections and more

1 to 2 pm – NKY Brotherhood Singers - a jubilee-style, a cappella, sacred gospel quintet

3 to 5 pm  – Turned Up Band - variety of genres like Funk, Pop, R&B, Motown, Jazz, Blues and even a bit of Country


Art Demonstrations


Attendees will be given the opportunity to paint wood murals to be displayed at a later time on the Westside of Newport.

And More!


Other Attractions


Fresh Thyme Farmers Market (on-site) - grilled sausages & hot dogs, kettle-potato-chips & juices

St. Elizabeth Healthcare – Health Expo booth

Newport Independent Schools – Cardio Drumming

NKU – History & Journalism students – conducting Oral History interviews of Newport stories for future use

Newport Fire/EMS – “Touch a Truck” – in support of National Fire Prevention Week – various fire trucks will be on-site from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

-Staff report