PNC and Partners to Lead 2005 Provence Festival

PNC and Partners to Lead 2005 Provence Festival

WESTVILLE – Purdue University North Central and several community partners will together lead the summer event, “Find Provence Here! A Celebration of Arts, Culture and The Good Life Along Lake Michigan’s Riviera!”

Provence (pronounced Pro-VAHNS) is the sunny Southeastern region of France where artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Chagall and others found great creative inspiration. Today it is still considered an unmatched source of arts and culture, leisure, learning, quaint village shops, hospitality and cuisine. Its natural beauty, including vast fields of sunflowers, lavender and charming gardens and the blue waters of the Riviera, characterize “the good life”, or joie de vivre, in French.

LaPorte County and the Michiana region, bear many resemblances to the region in the summer tourist season. In fact, the area has been referred to as Lake Michigan’s Riviera.

This year’s Provence event will span six weeks from July 7 through Aug. 21. LaPorte County and Michiana-area restaurants, bed and breakfasts, galleries, artists, boutiques and other businesses and organizations are invited to offer events or offer themed retail features for the public to enjoy. The Provence festival was introduced in 2004 and drew more than a thousand area residents as well as tourists from the region.

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to be part of this growing event. Activities, shows and exhibits can be offered for both adults and children. They can be interactive, educational or simply for relaxation and enjoyment.

PNC will again offer mini art seminars on campus through the Office of Continuing Education, as well as an array of unique gardens among the Odyssey sculptures.

Provence partner Lubeznik Center for the Arts will again offer learning activities for children. Plus, the annual Lakefront Arts Festival will cap off the celebration on Aug. 20 and 21.

NIPSCO, as a partner, will again sponsor a jazz concert, featuring the popular North Coast Sound. This year, the Michigan City Senior Center will co-sponsor the event on the lake on Saturday, Aug. 6.

“The News-Dispatch” will also partner with PNC to publicize and highlight specific events.

The idea for the Provence festival was generated July, 2004 by the PNC Office of Campus Relations. The initiative took root throughout LaPorte County.

“We want to encourage the growth of a more viable arts and cultural economy and environment in LaPorte County and Michiana and provide low- or no-cost opportunities for citizens of all ages to enjoy features of the area,” said Judy Jacobi, PNC director of marketing.

“We welcome LaPorte County and Michiana businesses, non-profit groups and organizations to participate in any creative way that lends itself to the Provence theme, emphasizing arts, culture and the good life.”

“It will provide fun, educational and entertaining events for our community residents as well as out-of-town visitors. This is a tremendous opportunity for communities to highlight the arts, natural beauty, good cuisine, leisure, learning and unique shopping destinations,” Jacobi said.

Participating organizations thus far:

  • Woodruff Garden Center
  • Friendship Gardens of Michigan City
  • The Michigan City Senior Center
  • Michiana Resources of Michigan City
  • PNC Department of Continuing Education
  • Lubeznik Center for the Arts
  • Marquette Mall of Michigan City
  • Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, Inc.
  • The News-Dispatch
  • The Michigan City Public Library
  • Lighthouse Place
  • Fatouros Media, Inc.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Jacobi at, or 800-872-1231, ext. 5593.