Celebrating nearly 40 years of volunteering with Festival of the Arts!
By Rachel Kornoelje
Thirty Seven years! This is how long Eva Sitek has been volunteering with Festival of the Arts. She began volunteering in 1981, and was co-chair of the program committee in 1988, and helped to design that year’s printed Festival program. She has been involved with the current art sales committee since 2010.
“I was one of the early cashiers for art sales, when we were hand-writing receipts, and using runners to make change from a table behind us. Have times changed!” Eva reflects.
When Eva began volunteering with Festival of the Arts in 1981 she started by helping children make hats at the Mad Hatter. She also logged attendance to the photography and children’s art show, at that time it was displayed in the County Building. She even sold Dove bars for the Gram, and tracked attendance to the regional art show as well. Eva has held many volunteer roles, and has been involved with the current art sales committee since 2010.
What goes into the decision making process for artist selection at Festival?
The art sales committee meets in the late fall to reevaluate the art sales application and make any edits if needed. They also layout a time line through Festival. In the spring the committee meets again to look over the received applications and to make final selections for Festival. The Artists selected are informed and a map is created that indicates where an artist will be placed on the Plaza and Federal Lawn. A few weeks after this, the art sales committee meets again to create artist packets with all the pertinent information that they will need to know for Festival weekend. Eva has come to know many of the artists who sell at Festival and looks forward to seeing them every year, along with meeting new artists.
The art sales committee will be at Festival for set up the Thursday before Festival begins and will be laying out the grid so the artists know where to set up. They will also be directing the artists upon arrival to the Plaza. On Sunday after Festival, Eva says that the art sales committee and art volunteers will likely serve as traffic advisors to allow for a smooth transition.
Eva says that this year’s art sales will be a new experience from previous years. This year, each artist will occupy their own pop-up tent, rather than being under two large tents. Each artist will be responsible for their own payment transactions, which is a task that they took on in 2017. In previous years, this used to be a primary task for art volunteers. The art volunteers and art sales committee will have their own tent and will be available to assist the artists or any of the attendees with any questions or concerns they may have.
When asked why she has been volunteering with Festival of the Arts for so long, Eva had this to say, “I enjoy supporting an organization that holds community art and culture in high esteem. It’s also an opportunity to have fun and to see friends in the process.”