Festival Arts of Antioch is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity founded to promote the performing arts and to provide education and instruction with respect to same.
Festival Arts of Antioch is a not for profit organization that is affiliated with the Village of Antioch, Illinois Park District.
To celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary the State Bank of Antioch decided to present something special for the bank’s customers. Bank president Randy Miles asked Ken Smouse if he would work with the bank in presenting a musical comedy. Of course he would! Kiss Me Kate was chosen and arrangements were begun to produce the show on the Antioch High School stage. Since the high school required that only a not-for-profit corporation was allowed to mount a production on it’s stage, voilà, such a not-for-profit corporation was formed and Festival Arts of Antioch was registered on August 23, 1993.
Kiss Me Kate was a success, the bank was happy, and there we were with a not-for-profit corporation and nothing for it to do. What to do? The answer was simple. We had been doing several events under a loose arrangement called The Fool’s Players. It was a relatively easy thing to bring all our activities under the far better structure of Festival Arts so, the annual concerts of the Antioch Community Chorus (i.e., “The Messiah” by Handel and “The Crucifixion” by Stainer). Other musicals had been produced along with the Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. In addition the Lakes Area Community Band became a very welcome addition to the group.
With the band as part of our group we have a much richer choice of what to do and how to do it. The band and choir do a variety of concerts together: The opening summer concert in the band shell and the fourth of July. We draw our brass and woodwinds for The Messiah from the band, and in turn the choir provides small group for specials such as the bands’ Christmas concert.
In addition Festival Arts has been the producing group for concerts by Lloyd Pedersen, Keith Boehm, Phil Fabry and Dina Byrd and concerts for various benefits.