Arts: 10 things to do at Agora

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There may be swankier events than Agora on the city's arts calendar, but none have the raw energy of this annual multimedia showcase.

Organized by artists and performers - groups notorious for their partying skills - Agora offers a festive cultural onslaught among a large, diverse crowd. And with the social opportunities that arise while wending your way through the nooks and crannies of Junctionview Studios, it's a top see-and-be-seen destination.

Should you choose to join the seen for the eighth edition of Agora, here are 10 things worth your time.

Leave home with an extra layer of deodorant.

Those packed hallways can get awfully hot.

Flame on.

Kristina Isabelle has performed an outdoor fire dance for every Agora, but this year, she explained, "I've upped the ante. It's the first draft of something I want to present in 2012 for the [city's] bicentennial."

"Fire Wall" involves nine dancers, a time-traveling narrative and flames erupting from batons, swinging balls and finger extensions. Artist Ashley Voss is contributing a painted backdrop, and video artist JR Gualtieri is creating projections.

Dancers Noelle Chun and Coco Loupe, as well as the Viva Valezz burlesque troupe, are also scheduled to perform at the event.

Soak up a studio.

Most of the 40-plus resident artists at Junctionview will have their studio doors open, including Kat Marie Moya, who'll be debuting new prints from her fabulous "Cuckoo" series.

Jump the generation gap.

Visiting artists invited to hang work range in age from current CCAD student Molly Savage to photographer Kojo Kamau, a part of the local art scene for more than five decades.

Find your new favorite T-shirt.

Among the nearly 20 booths at this year's indie marketplace, look for the delicate graphics of Basho Apparel and Carmacazzi Designs.

Have a nosh.

About 10 food vendors are expected, including Rad Dog and Pattycake Bakery.

Spruce up.

Awesomely named, dreamily poppy six-piece The Spruce Campbells are one of eight bands scheduled throughout the day, along with the Alwood Sisters, The Town Monster and Shin Tower Music.

Take in a movie.

A viewing and performance area will feature a continuous loop of locally made short films, including works from Andrew Ina and former Wexner Center residency artist Jennifer Reeder, and "Stones," the grand prize winner from 2010's 48-Hour Film Fest. (It screened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week.)

Laugh your ass off.

Local sketch comedy troupe The Asbestos Crew will perform live and on video, backed by stand-up comedians Dean Masello, Darrell Dawson and Justin Golak.

Dance off whatever's left.

Agora closes with a dance party with tunes spun by Moonce, a.k.a. filmmaker Jon Mancinetti. He'll incorporate an interactive video-performance element.

See it all:

Junctionview Studios

Noon-midnight Saturday, May 21

889 Williams Ave., Grandview