LA GRANDE — Art is taking over Eastern Oregon University for the first-ever Arts Festival, organized by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on May 20 and 21.

“The main goal of the event is to have a day celebrating the arts and highlighting locals making great art and food in our community,” said Heather Tomlinson, EOU theatre professor.

In addition to two days of art and music events, the festival coincides with “Rent,” the first musical in two years presented at EOU May 19-22.

Saturday activities begin at noon when the Craft Fair opens in Gilbert Center with local vendors and interactive tables hosted by the EOU Art Club and Art Center East. Student Advocates and Gender Equity & MountainQueers (SAGE/MQ) will be holding their annual book sale fundraiser at the Craft Fest as well. Books cost “a buck an inch.”

Those with an appetite can find food and beer trucks open until 6 p.m. in the Gilbert Plaza.

Here’s the schedule:


3:30-5 p.m.: Ashley O’Toole leads a tour of the Liberty Theater

5 p.m.: Oregon East Reading in Schwarz Theatre

5-7 p.m.: Nightingale Gallery extended hours for All-Campus Juried Student Art Exhibition

7 p.m.: “Rent” in McKenzie Theatre


Noon-6 p.m.: Crafts Fair in Gilbert Center with vendors and SAGE/MQ book sale

12:15-2 p.m.: 45th Parallel Jazz Ensemble

1-3 p.m.: Open senior studios and studio tours

2 p.m.: Opening of wood kiln and ceramics raffle to support Arts Fest for future years

3 p.m.: EOU African Drumming Ensemble

3:20 p.m.: EOU Community Music

4 p.m.: EOU Singers

4:15 p.m.: “Life in the Arts after EOU” Alumni Panel with Dean Nate Lowe in the Gilbert Center

5 p.m.: Ars Poetica Reading with Tina Ontiveros in Gilbert Plaza

6 p.m.: Alumni Social in Ackerman Alumni Room

7 p.m.: “Rent” in McKenzie Theatre


EOU’s theater department presents the musical “Rent” at 7 p.m. May 19, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. May 22. Shows are in Loso Hall’s McKenzie Theatre.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, veterans and currently military or free for EOU students. Purchase tickets online at, at the Loso Hall box office or by calling 541-962-3757.

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