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After four decades, Festival of the Arts continues to build on its success

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For Festival of the Arts 2008, downtown Oklahoma City will be swarmed for six straight days with roughly:

5,000 volunteers, 144 artists, 300 performers and 750,000 visitors.

The massive festival "? which starts Tuesday and runs through April 27 at the Festival Plaza, Stage Center and the Myriad Botanical Gardens "? has been a staple of the Oklahoma City spring season since 1967. Festival organizers are trying to keep the event vibrant with subtle twists and improvements to continue its evolution. 

CHANGES
This year's festival again will see the visual artists' tents grouped along N. Hudson Avenue, as well as a special exhibit entitled "5x5" in the South Hudson Gallery. Five renowned artists will fill this gallery, each be providing five pieces for the show.

According to Meg Salyer, South Hudson Gallery committee co-chair, it is a unique chance to purchase work not readily available to the public at large.

The Sculpture Park will expand this year, according to committee co-chair Randy Cassimus, including working with two foundries to bring in more artists. Live pourings, which debuted last year, will be returning every day at dusk, so festivalgoers can watch artisans use melted bronze to create a sculpture in front of their eyes.

"Everyone who comes to the festival has something that they like to see every year," Salyer said. "But being able to offer something new keeps the experience exciting for the festivalgoers."

"?Charles Martin

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