For that moment when you absolutely need your lunch break downtown to be outdoors and surrounded by cultural experiences, Artistic Encounters at Kesey Square is the place to be. Three days a week there is folk, bluegrass and other music filling the air as well as other cultural performances allowing you to relieve the stress of the workday. Artistic Encounters is a partnership between Harmonic Laboratory of Eugene and the city of Eugene Cultural Services. Harmonic Laboratory — an arts collective founded in 2010 whose artists today are Jeremy Schropp, John Park and Jon Bellona — brings in the artists. Schropp notes that it’s primarily music the past two years, but National Dance Week had a turn in April, and other cultural performances could be on the schedule. Artistic Encounters was a workhorse event through the pandemic, Schropp says. Because it is an outdoor venue, the show went on three days a week with proper social distancing, and the artists were all paid. “The artists were quite thankful for that,” Schropp says. In the fiscal year ending June 2022, Schropp adds that 270 artists — lead and backup musicians — performed at Artistic Encounters and were each paid $100.