The downtown Salina stage opens with a concert for its first event

The City of Salina christened the new downtown stage at the corner of Ash Street and Santa Fe Avenue with a concert Friday.

Starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday night, Anna Pausher Morawitz of Salina Arts and Humanities thanked the crowd that gathered for the new stage celebration. Musician Taylor Kline performed. Morawitz thanked the people and organizations that made this new event space possible.

“Salina City staff and contractors have made this step happen quickly,” she said.

The overhead stage structure was, until October 2021, located in Campbell Plaza, a few blocks south of the stage’s current location. Since that time, stage work has progressed to this point, with all work nearing completion.

After:Salina joins Main Street program, plans to increase pedestrian traffic and downtown residences

Dave Loewenstein, right, is the lead artist for the mural that sits on the back wall of the new stage in downtown Salina.  Loewenstein was joined by Salinan and mural assistant Karla Prickett, midfielder and a local boy, as the three of them painted at the celebratory event for the opening of the stage located on the corner of Ash Street and Santa Fe Ave.

Before and during Kline’s performance, Dave Loewenstein, an artist from Lawrence, along with assistant and Salinan Karla Prickett, were busy working on the mural that sits on the back wall of the stage.

Morawitz said Loewenstein was working in Salina to connect with the community to find out what his vision for the mural would be. He was inspired by a map of the city center.

“(This card) asks what are the significant places that represent your experiences and memories,” Morawitz said. “This mural is a great visual representation of this community in general, specific to Salina.”

People who came to the celebration that opened the new downtown Salina stage had the opportunity to purchase food and root beer floats from Food by Bonnie, a local food truck.

In addition to having live music and the mural, Food by Bonnie, a local food truck, was selling grilled sandwiches, fajitas, nachos and root beer floats onsite.

After:New Show Stage, More Activities Coming to Downtown Salina

Arts and Humanities used this event to promote the upcoming Smoky Hill River Festival, selling wristbands allowing entry to the event from June 9-12, as well as festival t-shirts.

David H. Henry