'The District' to host a weekend of art, community events

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COLUMBIA - From new art, to a beloved Columbia tradition, there's a lot happening in The District on Friday and Saturday. 

On Friday at 5 p.m., a new public art piece will be unveiled at Dancearts. 

The mural is the work of Brittany Williamson, a local art teacher. It depicts five different pairs of shoes.

The District's Executive Director, Nicki Davis, said the mural represents the diversity of the North Village Arts District. 

The mural was commissioned by Dancearts and is one of many public art pieces throughout downtown. Other murals include the butterfly wings in Alley A and the mural on the Hitt Street side of Alpine Shop.

Davis said the artwork adds value to the downtown area. 

"Beautification obviously is the easiest go-to, but it really brings a vibrancy," she said. "Everyone stops and takes pictures in front of these murals, so while The District already is a one-of-a-kind downtown, these just add to that and show how much we love art in Columbia."

The North Village Arts District will also hold the First Friday art crawl on Friday. 

On Saturday, Davis said most downtown shops will participate in the Holiday Shop Hop, which will include discounts and refreshments throughout the day. 

The event will conclude with the Magic Tree lighting at 7 p.m. 

Davis said this is the sixth year there has been a magic tree downtown. She said even though the event is fairly new, it holds a lot of significance for Columbians. 

"It involves everyone from the college-aged student, to the family," she said. "There's really no one that doesn't love seeing this light up and seeing all of downtown light up."

The tree will stay lit until the True/False Film Festival comes to town in early March.

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