Inaugural Performing Arts Festival Attracts Talent From All Over the Country; June 28 – July 1, 2012


President Kara Larson and Festival Coordinator Chase Sheaff for Portland Performing Arts Festival

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,066)

“This is the core, but not all of it. It’s large enough to draw people into Portland,” said Kara Larson, late yesterday afternoon. “We are creating fringe events to go along with these core events. There are lots of other conversations going on in Portland as well,” added Karson, president, of the newly formed Portland Performing Arts Festival. Karson was speaking at the first public announcement of the Festival at the Portland Public Library to about 50 people who attended.

Larson moved to Portland just over a year ago for personal reasons. Formerly, she’d been in charge of sales and marketing for a performing arts center at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Shortly after she moved here, people began encouraging Larson to begin a festival for the performing arts here in Portland. So, she decided “to do just that.” The inspiration for the inaugural Festival is the 17 day Spoleto Festival, held every spring in Charleston, SC.

The core artists will perform mostly in the evening with ‘fringe’ artists performing during the day. Responsible for the fringe performances is Chase Sheaff, festival coordinator. The festival will be responsible for their marketing and sales, but the artists need to select their own perfomrance venue.

State Senator Justin Alfond and his wife Rachael donated the seed money – $10,000 – without which the Festival could not have taken place said Larson. Professional photographer Arthur Fink won a raffle entitling him to a complimentary four day pass for the Festival.

In conclusion, Larson said: “We will need lots of help, money and enthusiasm from people in Portland. If you can help, please let us know.”

Please call (207) 370-7806 for more information, visit and email