Playful performances follow giant red ball around Rochester


A giant, red ball that rolled into Rochester this week has attracted tons of curious people who are snapping photos, playing and jumping into it, and hosting performances around it.

That's just what artist Kurt Perschke – who created the RedBall public art project that has traveled the globe – wants to see. His mission with the RedBall is to get people, and the city, to be part of the performance.

"What I hope is that as the piece moves around and people enjoy its physically playing with the city, that there might be some places that you either see in a different way or see for the first time," Perschke said at the opening of the event Saturday, according to the Rochester Post Bulletin.

And that's just what's happening. From choir performances by the Choral Arts Ensemble in Peace Plaza Tuesday, to people imagining the RedBall was a Sci-Fi movie (watch the trailer below), to local restaurants concocting RedBall-themed beverages, to people just playing with the ball.

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The 15-foot, 250-pound inflatable red ball debuted this past weekend at the Rochester Arts Center, and every day since it's been inflated in a new place around the city (see the schedule here).

Families from out of town and people who accidentally stumbled upon it have made sure to stop and enjoy the creativity and randomness the RedBall offers. And businesses in the area are enjoying the crowds of people.

"We've seen a lot of extra traffic today," Tyler Kase of Kahler Hospitality Group, which runs Salute Wine Bar in Peace Plaza, told ABC 6 Tuesday. "A lot of people taking their photos by the RedBall and filling up our patios. We're seeing a lot more traffic in Peace Plaza."

Salute and Martini's, another eatery in the area, are taking advantage of the RedBall's presence, adding RedBall drinks to their menus.

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The RedBall Project Rochester is a Downtown Cultural Initiative presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance at a cost of $26,000, the Rochester Post Bulletin notes. The fee includes the artist's visit to the city, among other costs associated with installing the RedBall around town every day.

The hope is that a project like this, which has gained international attention, will make Rochester a destination for similar cultural projects.

“Vital communities and beautiful communities value contemporary art,” Shannon Fitzgerald, executive director of the Rochester Arts Center, told KIMT. “They value public sculpture and art in the public and what it serves for the community so, this is a good thing.”

People around the city seem to really enjoy the RedBall, at least according to the hundreds of social media posts about it. Here's a sampling:

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