All Together Arts Week kicks off Friday in Princeton, Bluefield


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

The All Together Arts Week is returning May 3-10 for communities to explore new art and music endeavors.

Activities planned for Friday, May 3, include Book Bugs Storytime & Craft at Princeton Public Library at 11 a.m.; Jazz in the Afternoon at Sisters Coffeehouse in Princeton at noon; an open studio at Hammer & Stain in Princeton at 2 p.m.; the new Mercer Street Arts Walk starting at 4 p.m.; First Fridays in Downtown Bluefield at 5 p.m.; and the First Friday Concert in the Square with Grace Campbell & Princeton Dance Studio in the Grassroots District, Princeton at 6 p.m.

Then on Saturday, the Mercer Street Grassroots District plans on switching things up on May 4 by having their parade and Day of Merriment in Princeton at 11 a.m. instead of the parade being at the end of the week — featuring a sidewalk chalk, live music and face painting. Residents are encouraged to wear costumes of their choice.

A Gallery Hop on Trolley event will then be held on May 9th and 10th — featuring local businesses such as the Princeton Dance Studio, Holler, Contemporary Appalachian Art Gallery, Associated Photography and more. A Day with the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts also will be held on May 8th, according to an All Together Arts Week press release.

The week also offers poetry readings, healing arts, dance concerts, paint nights, art workshops and more.

"We are excited to introduce the Mercer Street Art Walk as a new addition to the cultural landscape of downtown Princeton," Shannon Shine of Shine Time Studios said. "This event is a celebration of our community's rich creative spirit and provides a platform for local artists to showcase their talents in alignment with the already popular First Fridays Concert Series hosted by RiffRaff Arts Collective."

All Together Arts Week Organizer Lori McKinney brought Shine's idea to life for this year's celebration.

"Basically Shannon is a visual artist and wanted to have more opportunities for visual artist to showcase their work and extend excitement of first Fridays," McKinney said. "Lots of people come early for the concert so this will help artists meet other artists before hand."

"The Mercer Street Art Walk is more than just an art show; it's a community gathering that fosters connections and strengthens our local economy," Shine added in a press release. "We encourage residents and visitors alike to join us for an evening of art, music, and celebration."

More featured events during the week include The Charleston Ballet at The Granada Theater, multiple concerts and events at the Chuck Mathena Center, Bluefield High School Theater Department's production of Hairspray, Jazz in the Afternoon at Sisters Coffeehouse, multiple workshops at Hammer & Stain, Open Stage Night at the Downtown Merchants and in The Room Upstairs, live music at Sophisticated Hound Brewing Co., activities at Craft Memorial and Princeton Public Libraries, and more.

"It's just a sweet time of year with new promise of newness with spring time and gathering again," McKinney said. "

It's extra special now too after not being able to get together for awhile and appreciate the beauty of that type of event and creativity and together and community spirit." McKinney added.

— Contact Tara Wyatt at