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Free family festival in downtown this week




TOLEDO (WTVG) – Momentum is a three-day downtown festival. The festivities are all free, and everything kicks off later this week with an exhibition honoring the rich history of Libbey in Toledo.

There’s been plenty of momentum in the revitalization of the city. A family- friendly festival to celebrate glass, art, music and makers takes center stage downtown this week.

Part of Momentum is a Hot Glass Exhibition and competition,”Look at the color in this artwork. It’s just amazing. You might find something like this at Bloomingdale’s or Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.”

The lobby of 300 Madison is filled with dozens of creations, “This artist is from Mexico City. She made very small drinking vessels. They are very delicate compared to some of the other works. Seeing the variety of work in this exhibition opens your eyes to what glass can be, and how it can be used as a material.”

This year’s Momentum Hot Glass Exhibition celebrates 200 years of Libbey, a place Robert Zollweg has worked for nearly 50 years,”Very few companies can say they’ve been around for 200 years, and are still producing what they started making in the beginning. Kodak is still around, but they don’t make cameras anymore. We are still making glass 200 years later. The company was started in the Boston area, and Edward Drummond Libbey moved it to Toledo in 1888.”

Zollweg is the Creative Director at Libbey,”My job in the past 48 years has been to continue Mr. Libbey’s legacy with innovation. The history of Libbey is amazing. Out of the original company, Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning and Libbey-Owens-Ford, now Pilkington North America, were all born. They all continue to thrive today as well. ”

Zollweg loves all the creativity on display at this year’s exhibition. The pieces are all drinking or cocktail vessels, or inspired by one, “Some things look like like glasses and cocktail glasses, and some are certainly a stretch of the imagination. That to me is the beauty of this exhibition.”

The exhibition features artists from all over the world. A glass pitcher made by an artist from the Toledo area sits next to a piece of artwork that came all the way from Germany.

Crystal Phelps is the Momentum Coordinator for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo,”There are about 28 different artists and 34 works of art. There are nine different local artists, two international artists and the rest are all national artists.”

Just like the revitalization of Toledo, Zollweg says this is just the beginning for the festival, “We have a lot of plans for the future on how to expand it, and how to keep the momentum going.”

Momentum kicks off Thursday night, it runs from 5-9. It all starts with the Hot Glass Opening Reception at 300 Madison Avenue. The free festival picks back up from 5-10pm Friday, and noon-10 pm Saturday.
The fun includes concerts, dance lessons, food trucks, a mini maker faire and interactive displays–492890711.html