The Woodlands Arts Council is preparing to host its 14th annual The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival featuring a full slate of live events and the works of over 200 artists.

The festival will be held April 13-14 along The Woodlands Waterway and Town Green Park and includes artists’ displays, entertainment stages, special exhibits and dining areas.

Arts council President Deb Speiss said visitors can expect to be engaged by art in many forms once they arrive at the festival next month.

“You’re walking around, and you can enjoy music; you can do some hands-on stuff, even the adults. … It just gets every sense you have when you walk in,” Speiss said.

Anchoring the festival is an outdoor gallery filled with the works of American artists from coast to coast, ranging from wood and clay pieces to jewelry and paintings. Festival Director Kelly Batterson said between 700 and 1,000 artists apply to be a part of the festival each year, and about 220 finalists are selected by a professional jury.

“I am always in awe of the art,” Batterson said. “You see art, and you just can’t believe people are that talented, and you go to the next booth, and you just are constantly blown away by the level of amazing art over 14 different mediums. It’s really special.”

In addition to individual artists’ booths, the festival is introducing a special exhibit, “The Spotlight on Mexico,” featuring cultural displays of Mexican art, cuisine and music alongside local artisans, chefs and performers.

“It’ll look like a perfect town square. … [It] shines a light on the beauty and culture of Mexico,” Batterson said.

Music and gastronomy will also be on display both days of the festival. Visitors can savor food samples; view live demonstrations by local chefs; and hear big band, jazz, country, folk and rock tunes.

Children can join in activities and games through Artopoly programming in which they participate in several installations and get the chance to start their own art collections in the Early Inspiration Gallery. Older high school artists can submit their work and compete for a portion of around $20,000 in scholarships awarded by the arts council.

“We bring in a lot of students and young people,” Speiss said. “We’re kind of bringing up that next level, supporting our young people who are interested in the arts and then giving them a place to showcase.”

Schedule of Main Stage performers
The festival features a variety of performers across its four music stages throughout the two-day event. Here are the artists who will be taking over the Main Stage on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, April 13
Moodafaruka 10-11:15 a.m.
The Kraken Quartet 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mikayla Griffin 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Ryan Paul Davis 3-4 p.m.
George Navarro 4:30-6 p.m.

Sunday, April 14
Greg Tivis 10-11:15 a.m.
E-Flat Porch Band 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cadillac Blues Band 1:30-3 p.m.
The Josh Fuller Band 3:30-5 p.m.

Festival grounds are open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (April 13) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (April 14). Two-day passes are $15 in advance and will be $18 at the gate. Free for children 12 and under.