COLUMBUS (WCMH) — About a dozen volunteers spent their Sunday morning cutting weeds, overgrown plants, and removing trash from Dodge Park in honor of Earth Day.
Ryan McKee, the co-owner of What? Music and Art Festival, said they started this effort about two years ago as it’s become a place of comfort for them. Each year, they hold their festival near Dodge Park and keeping it clean is important to them, while it also gives them the opportunity of getting to know their community.
““Most of us are artists or have artistic endeavors or something like that,” he said. “That’s kind of where we’re at now. The cool thing is that since we had so much time off, in between, we were able to reach out and talk to a lot more people and get more people involved in the art community and scenery.”
Last year, COVID-19 shut down the festival, but this year, it will be held in August. However, they wanted to do more as a lot of their planning has revolved around Zoom meetings and Zoom art shows.
“The point of it is to get people involved and engaged and not being able to do that was pretty challenging for us as a team and organization,” McKee said. “We came together and saw what we could do as a group in the meantime, and it’s stuff like this.”
McKee wants to make a positive impact in the community as it’s been a hard year for not just the festival, but for everyone.
“This is where everything started for us, was in Franklinton,” volunteer Kyle Dineen said.
“There’s so much incredible talent in the small artists in this community and everywhere,” added volunteer Stella Barnes. “I think this is one of the most important things about What? fest. It gives them exposure and a place to show the world what they’ve been working on.”
If you want to support their festival, scheduled for Aug. 6 and 7, tickets are on sale now and can be found on the organization’s website.