Real talk? We've been dreaming of creating a mural festival for Bay County ever since we started working at Bay Arts Alliance in 2018. Every time we talk to the community about what they want to see, murals always come up in the conversation.
And whenever we get together and brainstorm, we think BIG!
Every other city in the country seems to have a mural festival, so how could ours be different? We thought about all the other festivals we have in Panama City like Public Eye SOAR, Songwriter's Festival, and Spring Festival of the Arts. We looked at the amazing arts festivals other cities put on like Light City Baltimore, and LUMA. And we thought...."Why not combine all these ideas in one crazy, amazing arts festival?"
Originally we were hoping to have the festival last November when Public Eye SOAR and the Songwriter's Festival were held to combine them all, but funding fell through. Despite the change in schedule, we still want to incorporate elements of those festivals, so we're planning to include projection art and music in our arts festival as well. If all goes according to plan, we're also hoping to create a few light art installations to delight adults and children alike.
It's a lot to do in a short amount of time, but when the funding finally came through, we knew we needed to jump on the opportunity and make it happen.
This is the first year of the festival, and we can only grow from here!
How do I pronounce it?
It's pronounced like the Flux Capacitor from Back to the Future. It rhymes with deluxe.
What's in a name?
So why did we choose the name Flluxe? We knew we wanted our arts festival to be more than just murals, so that eliminated Mural Festival This and Mural Festival That.
We also knew that we needed the festival to be flexible. Bay Arts Alliance is a county-wide arts agency, and our vision is to put art on every corner in Bay County. Most cities' downtowns don't have that many walls to paint, so the festival would have to be mobile—moving from city to city and back again. So that eliminated naming the festival after a particular city.
We quickly became inspired by festivals with made up names like Bonaroo, Lolapolooza, and others. The words meant nothing until people caught on to how awesome the event was and they became a strong brand. We liked that idea, but we also wanted our name to stand for something.
That's when we stumbled upon the word Flluxe. A lightbulb quickly went off in our heads. FL Luxe! Florida Luxe! Flluxe is a word we can build a brand around, and Florida Luxe is a phrase we can build a brand around.
And that's how FLLUXE was born! Only time will tell if the name becomes as strong a brand as other festival names. But we have a good feeling about it. We hope you do, too.
Mark your calendars!
Next year's festival will be the first one. It's our hope that the festival will be a moral boost for the community and grow to be a major economic driver for our county over the years.
So mark your calendars for Spring 2021, and come on this journey into Florida's newest arts festival and future destination event. We can't wait to see you!
Jayson Kretzer, Executive Director, Bay Arts Alliance
Dixie Clough, Director, Marketing & Development, Bay Arts Alliance