Thousands enjoy Sebastian Fine Arts and Music Festival

During the two-day Sebastian Riverside Art and Music Festival, thousands of visitors peruse and purchase works from more than 100 artist vendors whose tents dot the riverfront, stopping regularly to rest and Listen to local musicians perform.

Founded in 1999 by the late Lisanne Robinson, the non-profit organization promotes arts and culture within the community while encouraging children’s interest in the creative arts.

Through donations and scholarships, the festival supports schools and organizations such as Sebastian and Treasure Coast Elementary Schools, Roseland Christian Preschool, Sebastian River High School Theater Company, Sebastian River Arts Club and Sunrise Theater support.

Last year’s event was cut short by a day due to bad weather, but this year it was sunny, just a little cool and windy.

“They’re going to have a great weekend,” said board member and metal artist Robert Johnson, who has been involved since 2003 with his wife, jewelry artist Lynn.

“There are seven members on the board, and we are all volunteers. We donate money to arts events and arts projects throughout the town and school system,” Johnson said.

He explained that they are also involved in art in public spaces initiatives, including an upcoming mural project at the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce building.

“We’re providing funding for this; we’re connecting artists with people looking for murals,” Johnson said.

“We’re helping fund things related to the arts. It doesn’t have to be fine art. That’s our mission, to spread awareness of the arts and the cultural impact of artwork throughout the Sebastian River region.

The annual exhibition is judged by board members and several remote judges, and selections include all artworks from paintings, photography and sculpture to jewelry, leather goods, woodwork and mixed media.

Musically, there is an orchestra playing on the riverside stage every morning and afternoon. Saturday’s show features Purr Dogz, a mash-up of two bands, Purrbox and Sleepin’ Dogz, and there are afternoon performances by Dottie Kelly and Darryl Raines. Sunday’s specials are Mike & Penny and Knotty G’s.

Johnson said there is an application process on their website where people can apply for funding, adding, “We’ve been doing this for years, but now we have all the infrastructure in place and an online link to the form. So. We just want to help artists and artistically minded people with some art projects.

For more information, visit

Photo by Joshua Cordis

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