Hastings community continues to grow as a center for the arts

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Updated: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:32:20 CST

The hills are alive with the sound of music, but so is America's Heartland. From music to murals, the love of arts is something the Hastings community continues to embrace, and a new project is bringing the community even closer to together through art. Soon the east wall of the Hastings' Depot Plaza will showcase a mural to be designed and painted by the Hastings community. But unity through art isn't something new to the area. "Hastings cares a lot about the arts" said Donna Hastings, with the Hastings Arts Council. In Hastings the love of arts goes beyond crayons and markers. "The Cottonwood Festival is interested in the Arts and has always promoted the fine arts," she added. '"Hastings College has a wonderful music department. We have the Flatwater Music Festival, and we have concerts downtown that are free and open to the public." From festivals showcasing the talents of area musicians to Hastings' Art in the Park, which gives the community the opportunity to both buy and sell local pieces, art of all different mediums brings the community together. Take, for example, the prized bronze statues adorning the corners of downtown. "It's so unique for a town our size to have so many bronzes not only downtown but on the Hastings College Campus and up at the museum," Hastings said. Now the new mural will be the latest piece of art to beautify the town and helping Hastings to appreciate art through a new medium. "We're used to the bronzes and the symphony and the community theater and what I would call traditional forms of art what this does is it gives the community an opportunity to experience a different type of art that we haven't really been a part of before," said Kaleena Fong, with the Hastings Arts Council. Community members will come together to both design and paint the mural--helping the project reach it's ultimate goal. "Really re-engage people with the issues that are important to them and set up a process where they feel empowered to act on those things," said muralist Dave Loewenstein. If you'd like to get involved with the Hastings' mural project, there will be two more community meetings at Alcott Elementary School. Those meetings are Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m.