Plaza musical event carving welcome niche entertainment

Some events catch on quickly with audiences and create a niche for themselves. That seems to be the case with Live on the Plaza.

The third edition of the annual musical event, courtesy of the Columbus Area Arts Council, drew about 1,500 people on June 17 to the Bartholomew County Public Library Plaza to hear the internationally touring a capella group Naturally 7 perform.

The group and event created enough buzz that some visitors in attendance were from as far away as Connecticut, Florida, California and Ohio. One couple even started driving from Connecticut in the early morning hours of June 16 because of their strong desire to hear the group perform.

Live on the Plaza has quickly become a welcome new entertainment option for residents and a vehicle for attracting unique artists. The inaugural event featured Black Violin, a hip-hop classic strings duo, and last year MarchFourth!, a 21-member troupe blending high-energy music and a circus-like atmosphere, entertained the crowd.

It seems only rain can keep the crowd down, as happened last year when the event had to move indoors to Central Middle School and 500 people heard MarchFourth! perform. This year’s attendance rebounded strongly and was a good showing relative to the inaugural event’s crowd of about 2,500.

Meanwhile, the Columbus Area Arts Council’s latest Live on the Plaza served as a nice exit for Karen Shrode, the arts council’s outgoing executive director.

The organization’s ongoing efforts in creating and conducting Live on the Plaza — as well as other arts events — are greatly appreciated as they all add to quality of life offerings in the community.