Thursday, July 10, 2008

Festivals, Festivals, Everywhere A Festival

The weekend of arts festivals has finally arrived in Centre County, PA! Our yearly arts festivals, yes plural, started yesterday. We have two different festivals that occur the week after July 4th, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and People's Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts.

Now "local folklore" would have it that at one point in our town's history there was only one arts festival. After much ado, the second one came about in reaction to the way the first one was including, or in some cases ignoring, Pennsylvanian artists. Taking all of this past history with a grain of salt, our area is blessed with two great festivals at the same time. They bring in quite a few out-of-town and out-of-region visitors. I participated in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts for two years and found it ran professionally.

I had reasonable sales of my pottery both years. The sales figures were because of my lack of inventory and I was new to the arts festival. I was lucky enough to share a booth space with my then studio host/friend, Moose Run Works. Terri was gracious enough to let me use some space in her studio to create my stuff, collaborated on some pieces together, and shared booth expenses. She helped me get my feet wet in the world of retail craft shows. And I am so thankful for her help and guidance.

Back to the festivals...

The two festivals have different flavors. Central Pennsylvania has a sidewalk sale of local, regional, and international artists. In addition to the sidewalk sale that is placed in downtown State College and on part of the Pennsyslvania State University campus, there are dance and music events held at venues along the sidewalk sale route. Lots of good, er... bad for you, food vendors and other great festival fare. People's Choice is place at the Boalsburg, Pennsylvania Military Museum lawn. There is also art, music and dance at the festival. Not to mention the bad for you, but yummy vendor food. The major difference is that the People's Choice is only open to Pennsylvanian artist while the Cental Pennsylvanian festival is open to international artist. I would recommend visiting the festivals to everyone.

From an art/craft person perspective, I get so energized to do my own work after seeing all the lovely items that the artists at the festivals have to offer. I believe that both show have ample visitor attendance and a reasonable price for booth fees for a four-day show. I would recommend applying to the show if you live close to the area. The festival offers some housing to out-of-towner vendors, so check their websites. If you want to visit the festivals before applying, I have had good luck discussing the show with the vendors themselves. Most are helpful and are eager to talk "shop".

I will be posting some photos of both festivals over the next couple of days. Until then, here are some shots of the participating artist:

Wild Duck Pottery
Warrington, PA

Anna Shapiro
Providence, RI

Molly Dingledine
Asheville, NC

No comments: