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January 31, 2020—WICHITA, Kan.— Wichita Festivals, Inc. unveiled the official poster and button designs, and announced new events and changes for Riverfest 2020 at a media event today at Emprise Bank, sponsor of the artwork contest.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to host the reveal of the Riverfest poster and button artwork again,” said Matt Michaelis, chairman and CEO of Emprise Bank. “Having the community gather in our building each January for this fun event is a tradition we look forward to, and meeting the winning artist and presenting them with their prize is always an honor.”
Wichita-based artists Meghan and Juanta Wolfe collected a check for $4,000 for their designs, featuring a robot DJ partying on the Arkansas River. The couple selected to illustrate “Rock Out on the River,” one of four theme options made available for this year’s contest.
“We are ecstatic to represent such an amazing festival for our city, and become a piece of Wichita’s history,” said Juanta. “Riverfest is one of our favorite events in the city and we are filled with so much joy to see our artwork become the face of it this year,” added Meghan.
The poster, sponsored by Docuplex, serves as an invitation to the largest community celebration in Kansas: Riverfest, set for May 29-June 6. A Riverfest button allows admission for all nine days of the festival. Adult buttons (for ages 13 and up) are available at the early-bird price of $7 when purchased by online presale now at WichitaRiverfest2020.eventbrite.com or in person April 10-May 2 at Meineke Car Care Centers. Starting May 3, buttons will be available at area QuikTrip locations: $10 for adults and $5 for children. Kids five years old and younger get in free.
“Meghan and Juanta’s artwork is spot-on in capturing the energy of Riverfest, which offers something for everybody during its nine-day run,” said Ty Tabing, Wichita Festivals’ president and CEO. “The design piques your interest and makes you want to come out and play along the river in downtown Wichita.”
In the art-filled atrium of Emprise Bank, festival organizers also announced this year’s Artist-in-Residence, art collective Factory Obscura headquartered in Oklahoma City, which will work with local artists to create an immersive art environment at the festival.
Factory Obscura is at the forefront of artist collectives across the country that are creating immersive installations for the public,” said Kate Van Steenhuyse, cofounder and executive director of Harvester Arts, which has partnered with Wichita Festivals on the Artist-in-Residence program since 2015. “We are really excited to have these artists in Wichita, engaging with the local creative community, and constructing an experience for festival-goers that is completely wacky and unique.”
The 49th festival will feature traditional favorites, such as the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale, CNH Industrial Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo, Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, Goodwill Cajun Food Fest, Fidelity Bank River Run, Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks, and the Safelight AutoGlass Sundown Parade.
New festival events for 2020 include an Equipment Rodeo, which will feature construction experts facing off for cash prizes; the Admiral’s Cup with teams of coworkers and friends competing in a series of events; RIsE DJ Battle, a competition hosted by DJ Carbon; a multicultural dance exhibition and a Christian rock concert. Recently added events that made a splash in the past few years and are rapidly growing in popularity include Project PopCon, a hybrid eSports, anime, and comicon event; Ottaway Carnival and the stock tank races. Event and concert schedules will be available to view on the Riverfest mobile app, sponsored by Evergy, starting April 10.
Meghan and Juanta, both 28, live in Wichita, where he grew up. She was raised in Clearwater, and then moved to Wichita where she graduated from Wichita State University in 2013. A freelance illustrator and photographer, Meghan serves as the president of the local chapter of American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), allowing her to focus on her passion of growing the design community in Wichita.
Juanta is a freelance muralist and a teaching artist for Arts Partners’ Generation STEAM program who is preparing for an exhibit of his work in April. Juanta’s love of street art, painting and drawing has inspired him to create murals throughout Wichita. He is most proud of his work on a community-driven multi-mural project in the South Broadway neighborhood where he grew up.
The artists are preparing for a collaborative show in June at The Workroom and working together on an AIGA community project, a deck of cards designed by 54 Wichita designers. When they’re not creating, Meghan and Juanta also share a love for another art—Brazilian jiu jitsu—which Juanta teaches, and their two dogs, Punkin and Skai, and cat, Medusa.
A team of design professionals met on Dec. 20 and selected the winning design from twenty-six submissions. Representatives from Emprise Bank and Wichita Festivals presented the Wolfes with the $4,000 award for their designs.
The much-anticipated Riverfest 2020 concert line-up will be released on Feb. 19 via Facebook, Twitter and Riverfest’s many media partners. Discounted early-bird registration for the Fidelity Bank River Run races has begun and will continue through Feb. 29.
Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations for the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29-June 6, 2020), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 11, 2020) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2020). For more information about Wichita Festivals or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.