Ballet Wichita will stage the first-ever Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run on June 23 in downtown Wichita. The certified 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race will begin at 8 a.m. near the corner of Douglas and Waco.
The event features on-course performances by groups representing Wichita’s arts community and concludes with the creation of a large-scale painting by the runners who will move across a blank canvas with the soles of their shoes dipped in paint.
“We created this event to celebrate the athleticism of dance and running and by including a diverse mix of artists to perform during and after the run, we hope to honor and call attention to the many fantastic local arts organizations in Wichita,” said Barbara Chamberlin, executive director of Ballet Wichita. “This event is also about connecting the wellness of the cultural life of our community with our own personal wellbeing. Dance is a rigorously athletic practice incorporating many artistic elements—this event joins the arts and fitness communities to support the ongoing work of Ballet Wichita.”
Race director Clark Ensz designed a course that includes many downtown landmarks including the Delano district roundabout, the Keeper of the Plains pedestrian bridge, Exploration Place, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the Water Wall at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the art in A Price Woodward Park.
The race finishes near the amphitheater in A Price Woodard Park where a 48-foot by 14-foot vinyl will be stretched out on the ground. The vinyl will become surface for the FOOTPRINT project.
After finishing the race, runners can opt to enter the designated paint area where the soles of their shoes will be lightly covered in paint. They will then be directed in walking/moving across the billboard. Nationally-know performance and large-scale artist and former Wichitan, Rachel Kice, will direct the FOOTPRINT. Once runners have finished making their mark, Kice will complete the work. Participants are invited to stay and observe this process from the elevated terraces that make up the amphitheater. “This is really a unique and special project,” says Kice. “Where else can you actually take part in the creation of art while supporting dance and the running communities?”