Spectrum Fest to benefit Autism Society

Staff Report

Donny Brown, formerly of the Verve Pipe, will headline at this year’s Spectrum Music and Arts Festival. Brown was an integral part of The Verve Pipe’s unique and dynamic sound.

The Spectrum Music and Arts Festival, or “Spectrum Fest,” presented by Farmers & Merchants State Bank, is returning to Sullivan’s Restaurant in Wauseon on June 3. Spectrum Fest will kick-off with free children’s art sessions and an Art Market, and continue with wine and canvas in the afternoon, and end with live music in the evening.

Amelia Airharts will begin the live music at 8 p.m. as they play both original songs as well as familiar songs from the 70s though today. They will be followed by the fun sounds of the Noisy Neighbors, whose repertoire includes hits from “Bad Romance” to “Shut Up and Dance” to “Sugar We’re Going Down” at 9 p.m.

The show concludes with Donny Brown and the VanDell-Tones at 10 p.m.

Brown is an accomplished musician, original songwriter, and singer. His choice of cover songs reflects his sponge-like absorption of all genres and decades of music, while his original compositions range from powerful to soulful to simply beautiful.

Brown is a lifelong resident of southeast and central Michigan and as such can be called a Midwestern singer and songwriter in the absolute best sense of the term. Tickets for the concert are $10, and can be purchased at the Fulton County Board of DD, New Horizons School, Sullivans Restaurant, or at the door.

Adult wine and canvas classes are offered at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Taught by Sarah Friess, art teacher and owner of Brushstrokes by B, the wine and canvas tickets sell for $30 and include canvas, paint, appetizers and a glass of wine. Tickets to the wine and canvas can be purchased online at www.spectrumfest.org.

Art classes for children of all abilities and needs with a variety of options will be offered every hour on the hour from 1 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., free of cost. Space is limited. While the kids are having fun creating art, there will also be an Art Market with art for sale featuring artists with special needs from all over the area including The Filling Home in Napoleon, The Studio in Wauseon, as well as others.

One-hundred percent of the profits will go to the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio to help provide support, education, advocacy, and services to those affected by autism in 12 northwest Ohio counties.

Spectrum Fest began with the efforts of the Delta High School Student Council, as a fun way to raise money for the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio. Derek Friess, organizer, explains:

“Several years ago, when I took over as the advisor for student council we wanted to do an event in the spring to raise money for a charity,” said Derek Friess, organizer. “At the time we had a wonderful, popular student with autism. He was Coming Home king, happy, and very popular, so the kids got to thinking that they wanted a way to help with the other aspects of his, and his family’s life.

“The Autism Society seemed to be exactly what they were looking for, a way to help local people, not only those with autism, but also their families. What began as a small gesture of student generosity has become an event that the entire area can be proud of.”

To learn more about this year’s Spectrum Music and Arts Festival, including sponsorship opportunities for businesses, see www.spectrumfest.org.

Staff Report