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Annual arts fest is always fantastic
Compiled for The Red Rock Review

The 11th Annual Sedona Arts Festival is just around the corner! Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th, 2001, at Sedona Red Rock High School, this event has rapidly become one of Sedona’s most popular experiences for art lovers and art appreciators of all ages.

The athletic field at Sedona Red Rock High school transforms overnight into a sea of white tents, each hosting a different artist from all across the country. Artists come from as far away as Virginia, Montana, Georgia and Kansas, as well as from “neighboring states” such as New Mexico, California, Utah and Colorado. The Festival hosts several artists from Sedona and the Verde Valley as well as old and new favorites from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

More than 120 artists are displaying and selling their hand-made wares at the festival.

“We really have something for everyone” said Patrick Schweiss, chair of the Sedona Arts Festival Board. “If you’re looking to find that perfect painting, sculpture, or wall-hanging for your Sedona home, the Sedona Arts Festival is the place to find it. Or, if you’re looking for holiday gifts for your relatives and friends, the festival is a great place to find one-of-a-kind items like pottery, blown glass, jewelry, metal work, hand-made paper or even wooden kitchen implements! There’s no end to the variety of art and craft that’s exhibited at the Sedona Arts Festival. And, our proceeds benefits arts programs in our schools - what could be better?”

The Sedona Arts Festival is a showcase of art for the public, but the artists find that many purposes are served by exhibiting at the show. Some of the more than 6,000 attendees are art gallery owners or managers who will often identify artists that they then invite to display at their places of business.

“That’s great business for everyone,” said Barbara Schay, executive director of the festival. “Of course we like to see each artist sell as much as possible throughout the festival weekend. A terrific booth, from our point of view, is one that is practically empty by Sunday afternoon at 5 o’clock! It’s not expected that all of our artists sell out of merchandise, though. But it makes us very happy when our artists tell us after the festival that they received a large commission from participating in the festival or that they’ll be exhibiting in a few new galleries all because they attended our show!”

The Sedona Arts Festival has historically drawn large audiences - about 5,000 people over each of the past several years. In 2000, though, that number increased by 20%!

“The reason for our substantial growth is an extensive local marketing campaign combined with a new focus on attracting art buyers from the Valley of the Sun and from other states in the Southwest.” While the festival has always had lots of fun activities for families and children, the festival board wanted to expand its effort - to, in essence, match up fine art with fine art collectors.

The Sedona Arts Festival still has plenty of opportunities for people of all interests and ages. The very popular Madeleine’s KidZone and KidZ-Only Shop are scheduled again, with plenty of art projects for children and youth ages 12 and under. Magical Michael Steele is always a great hit, and he’ll be performing his magic and doing demonstrations of his yo-yo talents on both Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Kidzone.

The 2001 entertainment line-up is looking good. Both young and old can enjoy some of Sedona’s favorite entertainers - and new additions to the main stage. On Saturday, come hear Lyra (Allan and Maryanne Kremer-Ames), see selections from Oak Creek Theatre Company’s opening theatrical presentation, and dance to Danny Rhodes and the Messengers.

On Sunday the 14th, listen to Sedona’s own Lynn Lynton, Joe Palmer’s Young Jazz Musicians of Northern Arizona, and put on your party shoes for the Sammy Davis Band. New to the Festival this year is Dance Spirit, led by Danielle Claire.

The Sedona Arts Festival is open to the public from 10 am - 5 pm, on both Saturday and Sunday, October 13 & 14. Ample free parking is available across the street from the festival site at the Sedona Cultural Park. A two-minute free shuttle service is available.

Admission is $6/adult, and kids under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. All proceeds from the festival support arts programs in our schools. Since its inception, the Sedona Arts Festival has donated more than $75,000 to arts and cultural programs within the community.

They’ve bought art supplies, upgraded the lighting in the High School auditorium, purchased musical instruments for our middle school students, and have given countless other art supplies to the youth in the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Unified School District.

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