Arts and music for everybody

Published 9:01 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

Just a few weeks ago, your kids (or grandkids) celebrated the last day of school. And you said to yourself, “Self, I’m going to see to it that my precious kiddos do not spend the whole summer in front of a screen.” Am I right?

The Austin Area Commission for the Arts is here to help with youth and family art opportunities in July and August.

Layl McDill is coming back to Austin with her polymer clay class Beads, Buttons and Tiles for ages 8-98 at 2:30 on Friday. Attendees will learn a whole array of polymer clay techniques including millefiore, fluffiness twist and water color technique appropriate for beginner and intermediate sculptors.

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All supplies provided. Take the clay home to bake it in your own oven. Because of the wide variety of ages included, this is a great parent/child or grandparent/grandchild opportunity. Registration is required at or at the Austin ArtWorks Center on Main Street.

Family and art

If quality time as a family is a priority, check out the Family Art Studio from 1 to 3 p.m. on July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9 at the ArtWorks Center. Drop in as a family and get creative with materials provided.This is free, all ages encouraged to attend and create together. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Funded by a grant from the Austin Area Foundation.

World Music Series

Expand your family’s musical horizons by exploring three diverse musical genres at World Music Series concerts at the Paramount Theatre. The free concert series kicks off with the three Argentinian women of Femina performing world folk-rap fusion on July 12. Blues trio Delgres brings tunes from Caribbean, New Orleans and the Delta on July 19. The final show is Connla, a 5 piece celtic band from Ireland on July 26. All shows are typically a $25 ticket and presented free through grant funding from Southeast Minnesota Arts Council and the City of Rochester Riverside Concerts.

Getting the kids involved

Kids Studio: Around the World Art Camp will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 1 to 4. Using art as a passport, kids age 4-13 will explore different corners of the world and create artwork inspired by different cultures. Registration is required at or at the Austin ArtWorks Center on Main Street.

Austin ArtWorks Festival

Mark your calendar now for family-friendly activities at the Austin ArtWorks Festival in the heart of downtown Austin.

ArtWorks Week includes music in the Peace Garden on Monday, Aug. 20 with Emmy-award-winning organic vaudeville folk duo Jack and Kitty.

The ArtWorks Festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27.

The event is free to attend with family art activities including piñata making, origami, glass mosaic and Brush the Beetle. All ages will delight in art demonstrations including painting, glass blowing, Pallet Players impromptu dramas, African hair braiding, African seed bead sculpture and a special exhibit of “Canstruction,” artwork created from Spam cans near the Spam  Museum.

We can’t forget the Dick Schindler Celebration Concert on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Paramount: Artrageous. See more at

Tickets go on sale for the show on July 13.

Paramount Theatre

$5 Movie: “Top Gun,” July 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Femina – World Music Series, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

ArtWorks Center

Buttons, Beads & Tiles with Layl McDill, July 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Family Art Studio, July 8 at 1 to 3 p.m.

Gallery Opening Reception: Craig Groe, July 14 at 5 p.m.