When one thinks of the Community Arts Center, running and fitness hardly come to mind, and for good reason — the arts center is a place to explore and enjoy the arts, not a gym. However, thanks to the efforts of a few community leaders, the arts and exercise have combined into one unique community event that has become a Danville tradition: the Constitution Square 5K Run for the Arts.
The Run for the Arts is aptly named— it traditionally was held in conjunction with Danville’s Constitution Square Arts Fest, which showcased local artists and craftsmen. The connection to the arts has only deepened thanks to the efforts of Ernst Crown-Weber, owner of Danville Bike and Footwear. Crown-Weber began managing the race shortly after he opened his business in 1993; at this point, charity runs hadn’t become popular yet.
“Back in those days, you just put on a race and didn’t worry about whether it made money or not,” Crown-Weber says.
After the Community Arts Center opened in 2004, Ernst saw an organization that could use the money.
“I thought, ‘Why not take our race to the next level and support the arts?’ The Community Arts Center is just two buildings down from me and they’re a great cause. I wanted to support them,” Crown-Weber explains.
And support them the race certainly has: Last year, the combined efforts of the race sponsors and participants raised $3,000 dollars for the arts center, an amount of money that goes a long way in preparing the arts center’s well-known blockbuster exhibits (featuring dinosaurs, trains, and outer space) as well as maintaining the building and paying the staff.
However, the race doesn’t just support the arts in our community financially — it also provides a creative opportunity for local artist Alison Craig, formerly of Myrtle’s Market on Main. In what has begun to be a yearly ritual, Craig designs the unique and eye-catching awards presented to runners at the end of each race. This is just one of several features that makes the Constitution 5K unique among other races in this area.
It also is one of the only races held on a Sunday afternoon — this allows entire families to run the race together, making it a fun fall family event. A big draw for the race is the fact that it has such a rich tradition.
“The competition to do other 5Ks has become much more intense; there’s at least one if not several 5Ks every weekend,” Crown-Weber explains. “This race is special because it’s the oldest race in the area, and people want to be a part of that. In fact, there’s a man from Lexington who’s run every single one since 1978.”
IF YOU GO
5K Run for the Arts
5 p.m. Sept. 16
Download a registration form at www.dbfky.com or pick up a form at
Danville Bike and Footwear, 417 W. Main St.
Pre-registration is $18;
race-day registration is $20.
All proceeds benefit the
Community Arts Center.
Sept. 16: Starry Night Studio for kids and their parents: “Blast Off!” 2-4 pm.
Sept. 19: Lunch with the Arts with Lisa Williams and KY Women Writers, noon-1 p.m. $5 if you bring your own lunch, $10 if you want one provided