The emerging group has been meeting since September to gather ideas to facilitate the presence of art in the community. While it had no hand in organizing Friday's ArtsFest event, group member Julianne Miranda said she hopes to use First Friday as a model for future monthly events.
"We want to explore and experience that and launch a Greencastle arts First Friday event to get to know artists in the area," she said. "That's probably something that could be achieved. One of the purposes of First Friday, as consumers, is to get ideas."
As a former DePauw faculty member and musician by training, Miranda has an interest in the arts, and saw an opportunity to bring together supporters in the community to advance the presence of the arts in Greencastle.
"There are lots of offerings in other cities, but Greencastle is an amazing place. We already have wonderful depth of talent," she said.
Gigi Fenlon, coordinator of arts publicity and marketing at DePauw, said if the First Friday event at ArtsFest is successful this year, it might be able to lead the community in the direction of having a downtown arts walk as a more regular event.
"If we start to establish a First Friday kind of thing, more people would see the importance of showing artwork," she said.
First Friday discount vouchers will entitle patrons to half price drinks or free hors de overes at participating locations, which will also be previewing local musicians and artists.
Fenlon, who has also attended meetings for the emerging Greencastle Arts Council, said while the council is not a part of this event, she said it has its eye on having a similar event that could potentially happen on a monthly basis.
"I'm curious to see how it evolves and how many people partake it in it to see if we want to develop it in the future," Fenlon said.
The idea to have a First Friday event spawned from preliminary ArtsFest planning committee meetings near the end of DePauw's spring semester this year, which included a lot of brainstorming between campus and community representatives, Fenlon said.
She said she hopes it will be ongoing event, but that depends on how well it's received this year.
"This year we've chosen to be a lot more inclusive of our surroundings," she said. "The idea is to have a representative from town and campus and work together to publicize it to different constituencies."
Uzoma Oluka, assistant director of campus activities at DePauw and one of First Friday's coordinators, said the idea is to have artwork from students in the Greencastle area on display for patrons to view.
While she said she's not sure if the event will carry on into next year's ArtsFest activities, it would be something the planning committee would consider if the event does well and community groups work to make it a more regular occurrence.
"If the town takes it over, if that's up and running, then ArtsFest would have to consider it," she said. "Every year we do ArtsFest we always have a new set of coordinators, so who knows what direction it will go."
Sue Brucks, director of the GC Galleria and community event organizer for First Friday, said the concept of the event is to raise awareness of the high concentration of artistic talent in the area.
"We have a lot of talent in this small area, so unless you hold events like (First Friday), you don't realize it," she said.
While the emerging Arts Council does not have a website yet, it does have its own Facebook page searchable under "Greencastle Arts Council." Interested community members can also call Miranda at 653-6682 or e-mail her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org