Plaza to be latest ‘Arts’ venue

The Northern Kentucky University Music Department will offer free performances Monday, Oct. 6, on the University Center Plaza as part of the Enjoy the Arts/START 20/20 II Festival.

Scheduled to perform are the Musical Theatre Troupe, Dance Troupe, Improv Troupe, NKU Jazz Band, NKU Chamber Choir and a steel drum band. Art students will also display exhibits outside the Fine Arts building.

“It is more convenient for ensemble groups to perform at an outside venue because they are small,” said Dr. Paul Kreider, chair of the NKU Music Department.

The festival began last year to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Enjoy the Arts/START. Various performances will be in the Greater Cincinnati area over 20 days and 20 nights.

The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University are other area schools involved in Enjoy the Arts.

“It seemed appropriate to include students because they are the reason we exist,” said Julie Bernzott, outreach coordinator of Enjoy the Arts/START.

Bernzott said Irma Lazarus founded the program in the 1960s under the name “Young Friends of the Arts” in hopes of attracting more young people to art events.

In 1982 the program became Enjoy the Arts, “a non-profit organization whose purpose is to serve students,” Bernzott said.

NKU was invited to participate in the festival again this year because of the impressive performances it hosted last year, she said.

If the festival maintains large turnouts, Bernzott hopes it will continue to be an annual event.

Kreider said it is important for everyone, not just students, to experience art first-hand.

“I think that through art, theater, dance and music, the world can clearly experience the cultures of other people and countries,” Kreider said. “I believe everyone should have exposure to the cultures of the world to be informed and well-rounded citizens of the eart.,”

“I also believe that exposure to the arts at any level and age fosters a sense of creativity in people and also spreads the joy and even the trials of humanity,” Kreider added.

Bernzott encouraged students to attend the events outside of NKU, as well, and also to look into an Enjoy the Arts student membership.

“No matter what their interest is, students will find something they like,” she said.

The 20/20 II Festival began Sept. 23 and will end Oct. 12. A calendar of events is available online at