SELMA – Second Street was packed with talented performers of all ages for the 2nd Annual Block Arty Aug. 29. The event started in 2018 when The Dancing School of Selma's Director Elizabeth Zobian noticed how many performing arts and student-focused venues were concentrated in Downtown Selma.
Zobian coordinated with directors at Centro De Folklor, Kratos Music, The Selma Arts Center and Reyna’s Black Belt Academy that first year to put on the inaugural Block Arty. This year, Selma Punjabi dancers were added to the line-up.
“I’m so excited that we had our second annual Block Arty. This year, all the groups worked together to do a dance at the end, the finale. It was really fun,” Zobian said.
The Selma District Chamber of Commerce helps coordinate the event and Director Bob Allen was adamant the event should continue.
Since there are so many students involved, and Second Street is closed for the evening, Zobian said it does take some coordinating to make the event happen.
“The City’s been really good to us about letting us close the street and it’s a busy time for all the arts organizations, but they all made it a priority.”
Zobian said she likes the sense of community the event builds between all the participants as each brought a different style of dance, culture or discipline to the line-up.
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“We had it last year and I love working with other artists. They’re my favorite people so it was great to do this again.”
The plan is to continue the event to feature the local martial artists, actors, dancers, singers and artists that all practice or rehearse in studios in the immediate area. Local Selma artist Matt Miller was also painting on site during the event and brought some of his artwork to sell.
Spectators brought their own lawn chairs and local restaurants in the area kept their doors open for the evening.
Block Arty wrapped up with a performance by the Prestige Band lead by Kratos Music’s Jeff Dodd on drums, his son Nick Dodd on lead guitar, singer Tina Lockwood and bass guitarist Jerry Coleman.
“The word is spreading so I think we’ll have even more of the community out here,” Zobian said in anticipation of the third Block Arty in 2020.
Dodd agreed that having a group finale showed the camaraderie amongst the performers that night.
“I liked seeing all the different performers and their unique style, but the best was the ending when everyone came together. All ages, races and backgrounds came together at the end to show we are truly just one big family.”