Arts Alive!, Hancock County’s premiere arts festival, got its start back in 2004 as a studio tour of members of The Arts, Hancock County. As with most events of this nature, Arts Alive! started small and encompassed much of the Bay St. Louis historic downtown. By 2019, the festival was bursting at the seams and it seemed evident that a new venue would have to be found. COVID interrupted any plans to grow the festival and, like so many other events, was put on hold.
Our motto is Celebrating Art, Engaging Communities, Enriching Lives. #Arts Alive BSL is celebrating art by showcasing some of the region's best professional artists. In our Artists & Artisans Showcase, artists and artisans will be showing and selling their art throughout the Depot Arts Distrist along Blaize Avenue. Thanks to our partners and sponsors, we are engaging communities by encouraging the next generation of artists. Exhibitions by Hancock County students will be on display in The Community Hall. Through our Teaching Artists, we are enriching lives by offering demonstrations by local artists in the MakerSpace area, also located in The Community Hall. Admission to #Arts Alive BSL is free and open to the public. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three winners in the Culinary Dessert Competition held in The Community Hall at 2:00 PM.
The Arts, Hancock County Board of Directors put their heads together to evaluate the situation. Then, through the unexpected and kind donation of local art lover Mamie Hillery, The Arts, Hancock County was able to purchase a permanent home in the heart of the Historic Depot District on Blaize Avenue. The choice was obvious; Arts Alive! must move to the Depot District! Blaize Avenue, already the home to the Alice Mosley and Mardi Gras Museums, as well as the Historic Depot, Bay St. Louis Little Theatre, the Tourism Bureau, and now The Arts, Hancock County, would quickly become known as the Historic Depot Arts District.
Currently undergoing extensive renovation, the new Arts building will serve as the jumping off place for Arts Alive! 2022. Returning after a two-year COVID hiatus, #ArtsAlive! is back and better than ever! This year will feature three performance stages, a juried Artist’s Trail with over 40 spaces for artists, a Culinary Competition, a Student Art Exhibition, and a full day in the Maker’s Space where you can observe artisans at work, as well as try your hand at making pottery, painting, creative writing, and more!
Join us on May 21st and you’ll find something for visitors of all ages! Be sure to stop by the info booth to grab a program with up to date festival info. Oh, and bring a wagon; you can have a great day in the Bay and get your holiday shopping done, too!
Admission is free. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and, as always, #ArtsAlive is family friendly!
The Arts, Hancock County would like to personally thank the many sponsors of #Arts Alive BSL. Without your support of our organization and community, we would not be able to offer this event to artists and guests to our city.