HARRISONBURG — Local creators, rock stars, freaks and geeks — today is the day to go out and grab some art in support of MACROCK.
This month is Macrocktober, the primary fundraising season for MACROCK — originally the Mid Atlantic Conference for College Radio. Julia Pasquale, one of the head coordinators, said the festival has moved away from its ties to collegiate radio and since expanded to be a celebration of any creative efforts.
“Its whole aim is to foster a community that completely devotes itself to supporting DIY independent artists separate from corporate donations, corporate funding, any corporate hand — it’s totally independent,” Pasquale said.
MACROCK is a volunteer-based festival that depends on donations to keep the show alive. The first funding event of Macrocktober is today’s art sale outside of Larkin Arts. A 25% baseline of profits from art sold today will go to booking bands and securing venues.
Next Saturday is a yard sale outside the Easy Greasy house show venue at 8 a.m. The last two events are throwback cover shows — the first is on Oct. 26 at the Crayola house; the second is a Halloween night cover show at The Golden Pony.
Andrew Van Epp returns as a contributing artist at the sale and is an involved member of the creative community that MACROCK serves to nurture. He said being a part of it all is rewarding because it’s a home-grown, inclusive effort to celebrate DIY artists and music.
“It’s one of the more exciting times of the year for myself, personally. I live in a show house. ... MACROCK comes to this house after all the other events have gone on,” Van Epp said. “I’ve just been very close to the music part of it. I’ve been in a band that played MACROCK last year, and it’s a lot of fun because everybody can get involved.”
The art sale today will feature an array of prints, embroidery and drawings available for purchase from noon to 5 p.m. at 61 Court Square. While the event is put on as a means of raising money for the festival, participating artist Wren Snyder said the opportunities leading up to the big show are also a blast to attend.
“It definitely isn’t just MACROCK; there’s like a bunch of different events that happen, so it’s good to keep your eyes peeled. And then as far as art, like I don’t know, it’s just cool to see. There’s so many different artists in Harrisonburg that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” Snyder said.
Next year is MACROCK XXIII and bands from anywhere and everywhere are welcome to apply by Jan. 15. Genres can range from indie to pop, punk to jazz and hip-hop to metal. More than 80 bands play across seven venues over the two-day event, this year on April 3-4.
Natalie Jurkowski is a MACROCK committee member who will also have collages for sale today. Her artwork is made of upcycled materials she finds like magazines, newspapers or leftover plywood, and she reimagines loved ones into her images. Jurkowski said the overall mission and message of MACROCK has been to unify and inspire artists to freely create what they want; the local art community will always support one another even if larger institutions do not.
“It’s largely just a community of people who really enjoy music and art. I don’t call it anti-capitalist. It definitely is anti-capitalist in a way, but it’s just this sense of — if there’s something that you want to create — just go out and make it. Make it yourself. Do it yourself,” Jurkowski said.