Riverside Arts Weekend

Welcome to Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW), an annual arts festival that brings creativity and community together in the charming village of Riverside, IL. Every year, Riverside comes alive with a vibrant celebration of the arts, showcasing the talents of local and regional artists across various mediums. RAW 2023 kicks off June 10th at Guthrie Park in Riverside (GET DIRECTIONS). From captivating paintings to awe-inspiring sculptures, lively music performances to interactive workshops, RAW offers a unique and immersive experience for all ages. In this blog, we will explore the captivating world of Riverside Arts Weekend, delving into its rich history, highlighting its diverse range of artistic offerings, and discussing the significance of this beloved event in fostering artistic appreciation and community engagement in Riverside and beyond.

History of RAW

Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW) has its roots in the passion and vision of local artists and art enthusiasts. Started in 2008, RAW was created with the purpose of promoting the arts and culture in Riverside, IL, and providing a platform for artists to showcase their work. What started as a small, grassroots event has grown into a beloved annual tradition that draws artists and visitors from all over the region.

Over the years, RAW has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic arts festival that celebrates creativity in all its forms. From showcasing a diverse range of visual arts, including paintings, photography, and sculptures, to hosting live music performances, art demonstrations, and interactive workshops, RAW offers a diverse and immersive experience for art lovers and the community alike. The festival has become a significant cultural event in Riverside, bringing together artists, art enthusiasts, and the local community to appreciate and engage with the arts. RAW has also gained recognition beyond Riverside, contributing to the broader arts scene in the region and promoting Riverside as a hub of artistic talent and creativity.

Overview of Riverside Arts Weekend

RAW is typically held over a weekend in the spring, usually in late May or early June, and spans two days, Saturday and Sunday. This year's festival is held on June 10th and 11th! The festival takes place in the scenic and picturesque village of Riverside, IL, which is known for its historic architecture and lush landscapes. The festival is held at Guthrie Park (GET DIRECTIONS) but art is on display at multiple locations throughout Riverside, including its vibrant downtown area, parks, and other public spaces, creating a dynamic and immersive experience for visitors.

The format and structure of RAW are carefully curated to provide a diverse and engaging arts experience for attendees. The festival features a wide range of visual arts, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography, displayed in outdoor booths and indoor galleries. In addition to visual arts, RAW also includes live music performances by local bands and musicians, dance performances, theater shows, and other live entertainment. Workshops and interactive activities, such as art demonstrations, art classes, and hands-on arts and crafts, are also a highlight of the festival, providing opportunities for visitors to engage with their creative side. Food and beverage vendors, as well as other community-based activities, add to the festive atmosphere of RAW, making it a lively and enjoyable event for all ages.


Since 2014, Riverside Arts Weekend has brought together art and the community in an annual community art piece. Some of the community exhibits include the 2021 Riverside Triptych Spectacle at the Riverside Train Station which was designed by Erika Vazzana and painted by over 80 Riversiders and the 2019 Fred and Calvert’s Map flipbook and benches! Look out for the Birdhouse 2023 community art project!


More Community Art

This year’s RAW Festival

The Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW) has become a beloved and impactful arts festival in Riverside, IL. This years festival takes place on June 10th and 11th at Guthrie Park (GET DIRECTIONS) in Riverside. Kick off the festival at 9:30 am on Saturday the 10th with free yoga in the park and stay for the 25+ amazing artists, live music, children's art activities, student art & dance performances, and incredible local food and drink vendors. The festival will run from 9:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday.



Live Music Lineup:


Saturday June 10th

11:00AM: Beyond Words Dance Center

11:30AM: Hollywood Slim Blues Band

1:30PM: Ralph Hepola

3:30PM: Alewife



Sunday June 11th

10:30AM: Cod City

12:30PM: Vintage Duo

2:30PM: Out for Hours



Fantastic Food Vendors:


Come hungry to the 2023 Riverside Arts Weekend because you won't be able to pass up on these mouth-watering options:


La Barra


Sweet Ride Bakery

Fruit Smoothies


Sloan Coffee



Amazing Artists:


The 2023 Riverside Arts Weekend has over 25 incredible artists. View the full list and take a sneak peak of their work below!


View The Artists



Over the years, RAW has grown into a vibrant celebration of the arts, showcasing diverse artistic expressions and fostering community engagement.  If you have not yet experienced the Riverside Arts Weekend, mark your calendars and meet us for this dynamic festival. Attend, support, and engage with the arts in Riverside, IL by experiencing the diverse array of visual arts, performances, workshops, and more that RAW has to offer. By participating in RAW, you not only support the local arts community, but you also contribute to the cultural vitality of the region. Join in the celebration of arts and culture at Riverside Arts Weekend and be a part of the enduring legacy of this beloved festival.

RAW Impact

The Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW) has had a significant impact on the local community of Riverside, IL. One of the key benefits of RAW is its positive economic impact on the area. The festival attracts a large number of visitors from the surrounding communities and beyond, generating revenue for local businesses, restaurants, and vendors. The influx of visitors during the festival weekend provides a boost to the local economy, supporting local businesses and contributing to the overall economic vitality of the community.

In addition to the economic benefits, RAW also enriches the cultural fabric of Riverside and the broader region. The festival celebrates and promotes the arts, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions and providing a platform for local artists to showcase their work. RAW fosters a vibrant arts community, encouraging creativity and cultural exchange among artists and audiences alike. The festival also promotes community engagement, bringing people together from different backgrounds and creating opportunities for interaction and dialogue. RAW has become a highlight of the local arts calendar, drawing attention to Riverside as a destination for arts and culture.

Furthermore, RAW plays a vital role in supporting local artists. The festival provides local artists with a unique platform to showcase their work and connect with a broader audience. It serves as a launchpad for emerging artists, helping them gain exposure and recognition. RAW also creates networking opportunities for artists to connect with other artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts, fostering collaboration and growth within the local arts community. The festival's emphasis on supporting local talent helps to nurture a vibrant arts scene in Riverside, fostering creativity and artistic expression in the community and beyond.


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