Poetry event at The Bridge Cafe
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Destination: Upland

Annual arts festival promotes local art and poetry


The Bridge Cafe’s upcoming event will feature readings from renowned love poems.

By Becca Eis | Echo

Most Taylor students wouldn’t think of their little town of Upland in Grant County, Indiana, as a hub for culture and creativity, but Taylor alumnus Wes Rediger (’68) sees its potential, and is setting out to make Upland a destination by tapping into local artists’ talents. One of his startups is the annual Barton Rees Pogue Poetry and Arts Festival, which is in its sixth year.

    The unofficial kickoff of this year’s festival will take place at The Bridge Cafe next Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. This informal poetry reading will feature treasured love poems, and anyone is welcome to attend or participate. Platters of European cured meats and cheese will be provided as refreshments, along with fresh lemonade. Members of the community will have the opportunity to connect with each other and learn more about the upcoming April festival.

    The theme for this April’s festival is “Love Is in the Air.” This might include love for family and friends, romantic love or God’s love for his children.

    Rediger formed the idea for the Barton Rees Pogue Poetry and Arts Festival in hopes of developing the town of Upland and making it a destination, specifically for artists.

    The festival originated in the Eastbrook school area but has expanded to most of Upland as well as other parts of Grant County. The visual art component will include a youth art division from Eastbrook High School’s art club as well as an adult division. Art from both divisions will be voted on by attendees. A poetry contest will also take place, and local judges will determine the champions. Winners of each contest will receive prizes from local businesses such as Ivanhoes and Payne’s.

    Taylor students are welcomed to submit poetry and art to the festival through its website (bartonreespogue.org) by March 31.

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