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Tastemakers: Free for the tasting

Tastemakers: Free for the tasting

Tastemakers music festival and craft food and beer event offers free admission Oct. 19 at the Old Lumberyard in downtown Visalia


VISALIA – Sound N Vision Foundation’s Tastemakers Festival is no stranger to change. In its five-year history, the music festival focused on local and emerging artists has changed venues, changed formats and has never shied away from pushing the boundaries of musical genres. This year, the SNV Foundation is betting on yet another big change — it’s going to be free. 

Winners of the Exeter Family Fall Night jack-o-lantern carving contest which took place at Mixter Park in Exeter on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Graphic by Robert Perry.

“This year our event is on the same day as the Arts Consortium’s amazing Taste The Arts event. We thought that since our mission aligns so well with theirs that it’d be fun to combine the two events for an all-day and night celebration of the arts,” SNV Foundation director Aaron Gomes said. “We’ve always charged a ticket fee to get into our event, and we always draw from our loyal supporters. But this time our intention is the expand our audience so more people can discover what we are doing in the community.” 

From 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 19 immediately following Taste the Arts, Tastemakers will return to the Downtown Lumberyard for a night filled with music, craft food and beer. Like past years, the highlight of the event will be a performance by the SNV Foundation Youth band — a collection of students from the foundation’s year-round youth music classes. 

“It’s always an amazing experience. For many of the students it’s their first time performing on a stage, so it’s a lot to take in,” Gomes said. “The crowd loves it and they walk away with an experience they will forever remember.” 

The SNV Band will be joined by SNV Dancers and local favorites The Box, BRIM, PIMS, Call Me James and The Charities. 

On the menu will be Quesadilla Gorilla, Pita Kabob, Tacos Lucha, Los Toritos and Nitrobike along with a selection of beers provided by Fresno’s Tioga Sequoia. 

The SNV Foundation is a nonprofit which has played an integral role in building a music hub in the city of Visalia. It began by booking emerging artists from an array of genres to tap into the energy of the community and create unique cultural experiences, but has since grown to become much more. 

In 2010, Gomes developed curricula for summer music and art classes that was free to local underserved youth. Through funds raised by the Tastemakers Festival, they have expanded many of their classes year-round. 

All funds raised at Tastemakers through sponsorships, beverage purchases and donations, will support the classes and enable SNV to continue bringing national touring acts and critical cultural experiences to venues like Visalia’s Cellar Door, as well as other Visalia-area locations. 

For more information, visit Tastemakers at www.tastemakersfestival.com.

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