Last Wednesday we announced that because of the volatile economic times, admission to Art in the Park is free - no $1 entry for adults. In light of some public comments, we're glad we did. We want everyone to come and have a great time at the biggest Art in the Park.
As Steamboat grows, the needs of our arts community grow as well. We want to be responsive to the needs of our community and wanted to use the wristband proceeds to support community arts programs. Wristbands to support the arts will be available for voluntary contributions at both entrances, and proceeds still will go into community arts programs.
There is a trend around the country to charge admission to many arts festivals. Prices range from $7 to $15. These entry fees fund festival improvements, and, for groups like ours, they also support year-round programs in the community. As public expectations grow, it's difficult to fund all the activities that you'd like to offer without new sources of revenue.
All that said, this year is our largest festival with more vendors and several new features, including an area for children called KidSpot, and morning performances by community groups (mostly children). There still will be performances by many of Steamboat's favorite performing groups and bands. We also are presenting an interactive children's performer at 10 a.m. Sunday. This year's vendors include not only many favorite artisans, but also work by many fine artists in a variety of disciplines, including jewelry, painting, photography and furniture.
On the heels of July 4, I feel grateful to live in a country where public discussion is not only allowed but encouraged. When there is a real exchange of ideas, we all learn to appreciate each other's perspectives and concerns. We welcome your feedback and ideas, so please call or come by the Depot Art Center. Working together, we can make this an even better community for the arts.
Art in the Park 2008 is going to be terrific. So, come join the fun.
Executive Director, Steamboat Springs Arts Council