Renaissance Weirton awarded $25,000 grant for Gate 5 festival

CRAFTSMAN — A blacksmith was among crafters and vendors set up during the inaugural Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival in 2018. Renaissance Weirton, which organizes the festival, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. -- File photo

WEIRTON — A recently created community festival has been awarded an investment from a national organization with the hope of keeping it going for years to come.

The City of Weirton announced Wednesday that Renaissance Weirton had received a grant for $25,000 to assist with the funding of the Gate 5 Industrial Art Festival.

The award was one of 57, totaling $4.1 million, announced by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of its Our Town program.

“One thing you don’t want to do is lose your history,” Mayor Harold Miller said. “The festival activities associated with Gate 5 are a reminder of Weirton’s ties to the steel industry, with the hope of continuing the celebration of our heritage for years to come.”

Miller also serves as chairman of the Renaissance Weirton committee.

The Gate 5 festival was founed in 2018 as a way to celebrate the industrial history of the region, with artists and crafters using metals, pottery, glass and other materials in their wares, as well as live demonstrations and other activities.

The second-annual festival is scheduled for Sept. 21, with the committee currently recruiting crafters and vendors.

Plans are in place for the Tin Man 5K, the Gr8 Gate 5 Puzzle Hunt and the Steampunk Fashion Show, along with glass blowing demonstrations, live blacksmithing and more.

“These awards made to organizations across the United States are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” stated Mary Anne Carter, acting chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Weirton Renaissance Corporation are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create and be inspired.”

Work also is continuing on a planned metal sculpture, designed by artist Jeff Forster, to include a series of employee badges from Weirton Steel.

To assist with the costs, the committee currently is selling sponsorships for a “Giving Tree” aluminum sculpture.

For more information, call (304) 797-8500, ext 1002 or ext. 1003.