Arts Festival-Not!

DollsThis picture has nothing to do with anything. I just wanted a cheerful picture. It was taken in a Peruvian market.

Okay, maybe I’m just in a bad mood because getting the new water filter installed on my well did not turn out to be a simple process, and as I write this, I have no water. Running water is a beautiful thing! And I miss it! And I don’t enjoy the inconvenience lack of running water causes—even for a few hours. Grumpy me!

But—I recently received a notice from an arts festival with the following in their artist requirements:

Silent Auction: All artists are required to donate an item (value of donated item must be comparable to artist’s other pieces available in booth) to the Historic Nameless Arts Festival 2010 Silent Auction. Monies raised from this event are used to further promote interest in the Historic Nameless area. Festival staff will come by your booth at 10:00 am on Saturday to collect your auction donation.

I obviously substituted Nameless for the actual name of the arts festival. I also underlined and put in boldface the part about the value of the donated item. Now, admittedly, the booths for this even are not very expensive, especially when compared with other festivals. But even a booth in one of the “expensive” festivals would not be as much as the festival is demanding of the artist. When you consider that some pieces take at least three weeks or more to weave plus finishing time, the booth space is costing the artist a month’s work—or more!

Has anyone else received anything like this? Is it just grumpy me that considers this a ridiculous requirement?

5 thoughts on “Arts Festival-Not!

  1. ClaudiaJane

    We did a fiber festival once that required this. The person who won the scarf we donated actually came back to our booth and spent $300. I guess it was a success. I was not a big fan of giving away something I worked hard at plus paying a booth fee. The scarf did get the attention of the winner so I can’t complain.

  2. Laura

    My local craft fairs do this but they stipulate a value of $35 minimum which is well within my ability to provide. In fact I usually give more. BUT this requirement is part of the original information they give out, *not* after you have signed up.

  3. Sherri Woodard Coffey

    To be clear–this donation requirement is listed in the requirements for artists, which, of course, should be read before signing up for anything. And I don’t mind making reasonable donations. However, most of my pieces are fairly large and I don’t feel that I can donate something that takes so long to make. This just reminds me that I should probably make a few small pieces, something I’ve been thinking about doing. It’s just that I gravitate towards larger. I am a rugweaver, after all! At least mostly.

    ClaudiaJane-I did donate a piece for out guild show and sale raffle, which brought in a very nice sum of money and garnered interest in my work, so I understand your point.

  4. Jennifer

    Yes – i agree that it is too much to ask someone to donate on the same value as the pieces in the booth – particularly on the level of your value. I would think that something donated is appropropriate with the lower booth fees. have you worked this show before? Is the audience worth this?

  5. Sherri Woodard Coffey

    This may be a new show. I looked at their info after they sent me an invite/advertisement. The show will benefit the historic downtown area, something that I definitely agree with. The area is also home to burgeoning upscale housing developments, so perhaps there would be a good turn out. I won’t know, though, ’cause I’m not going to be there.


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