Ashley for the Arts festival growing

Ashley FurnitureAshley Furniture supplied the stage cover for the amphitheater in Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wis., the site of musical performances at the Ashley for the Arts festival.
ARCADIA, Wis. - This city's picturesque Memorial Park hosted an estimated 15,000 guests this month at Ashley for the Arts, a free music and arts festival that has grown fast since its inception in 2009.
     Ashley Furniture President and CEO Todd Wanek has been a primary driver behind the event, which also is a fundraiser for children's charities, the American Cancer Society and other local charities.
     Among the offerings at this year's festival were art exhibits, hot air balloon launches, a car show and performances by entertainers including headliners Jared Blake from NBC-TV's "The Voice," country music star Jack Ingram and the rock band Trapt.
     "The arts have the power to enhance society with extraordinary grace and incalculable value," said Wanek. "Our goal with Ashley for the Arts is to entertain and inspire the entire family, promote the works of artists from across the globe, and raise funds for local charities and other community organizations.
     "We have been extremely humbled by the positive response from all who attend the event, the hundreds of volunteers who help manage it and the people associated with the causes that benefit from the proceeds that are raised. We as a company are proud to have played a part in the success of Ashley for the Arts and the lives who have been touched by it," he said.
     He also praised the work of volunteers and community sponsors "to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone who attended this unique event."
     In addition to arts and music, the festival also featured a fireworks show and races for runners, walkers and bicyclists.
     The 54-acre Memorial Park includes Soldier's Walk, a war memorial that was the brainchild of Ashley Chairman Ron Wanek. The park also has an outdoor Millennium Amphitheater that can accommodate 4,000 people. Ashley invested in a modern cover for the stage.

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