Park(ing) Day in South Barstow District
Eau Claire is using Park(ing) Day, the annual open-source global event to temporarily transform parking spaces into public “parking” spaces as a platform for the local performing arts community.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -“In the art world and the theatre world, our world has been completely turned upside down,” says Ashley Fant.
The Eau Claire native is the inspiration behind this years art installation in the South Barstow District titled “Our World Turned Upside Down.”
During the pandemic, local arts and community theatre organizations have had to close their doors.
“We wanted to bring awareness to that to help encourage people to support the local theatre companies,” says Fant who is a set designer and longtime theatre enthusiast.
Sara Larsen with DECI says they are always looking for ways to draw attention to the arts community and this was a way to do it.
“This is great to use a set designer because they are not able to do what they love right now which is build community theatre sets and so we just knew something great was going to come of it and Ashley just brought such a unique concept.”
The green space on Barstow and Grand reflects a backyard patio area configured upside down.
#SaveOurStages is seen on the front of a facemask in the installation, Fant says she hopes the sculpture will be a “selfie” destination for social media users to help share the community’s story.
Fant moved back to Eau Claire last year but says she has been involved with the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild since eighth grade and being back has reminded her of how special the community is.
“We sent out a call for help with getting it all put together and a bunch of people that I - some of them I had never even met before and they jumped at the chance to get to help be involved in something theatrical again.”
Parking Day across the world lasts just a day but Larsen is keeping the installation through October 18 weather depending.
“The amount of work that Ashley and the other volunteers put in we really wanted it to be longer so we are hoping to have it up for the whole month so people can enjoy it.... trying to support your local organizations an local theatre organizations as much as much as possible.”
Sprucing up the downtown one stage at a time.
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