In 2002, Ray Mills, a resident artist at the Harrison Center for the Arts, wanted to do something - anything - special for local independent musicians and artists. Mills decided to create IMAF - the Independent Music and Art Festival - as means of recognizing his peers. "He wanted them to feel especially honored and cared for on this day," remembers Pam Allee, Arts Director at the Harrison Center. "Part of that included feeding them a home-cooked meal at a home across the street from the event." Community embrace of the event wasn't exactly immediate: Allee estimates 100 people attended the first festival, "if we count the dogs."
It's grown since then and according to Joanna Taft, Executive Director, Harrison Center for the Arts, IMAF attracted an estimated 7,000 people in 2012. (They no longer count the dogs that stop by.) IMAF 2013 is setting up to be better than ever with works from local artists for sale in multiple booths sprinkled around the Harrison, the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, food from Duos and Judge's Barbeque, and Sun King beer. But the highlight, for us, is the line-up.
In a cheery summer spirit, we are counting down the days and presenting to you The 12 Bands of IMAF.
For the first band of IMAF, the IMAF Advisory Committee brings to you the Lord of the Yum-Yum. Part emcee and part comedian, this Lord (a.k.a. Paul Velat) is all about "maximum happy feelings", and about re-living one's childhood through song and dance, all powered through his grind/scat vocal versions of familiar classical pieces, remixed beat-boxing and an electronic loop. An IMAF veteran, he'll get the party started and entertain in between band sets throughout the day.