By Paul Rozycki
Though this year’s numbers are not all in, the 2019 Flint Art Fair looks to have been a strong success. According to James Draper, one of the organizers of the fair, they hope to net at least $20,000 for the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA).
Most of their income, Draper said, is from ticket sales, artist booth space fees, and food truck space rentals. Artists (this year there were about 150) typically pay $250 for their space and entrance fees were $5 for adult visitors. He estimates the fair generates between $35,000 and $40,000 for the local economy with the services used by the fair.
Tracey Stewart, overall coordinator for the fair, handled artist jurying, artist packets, entertainment and coordination with the FIA staff. Draper, who has chaired or co-chaired the fair three times, handled the physical set up and logistics, such as the fencing, Kearsley Street closing, and security. They both worked closely together to make this year’s fair a success. Working with The Friends of Modern Art (FOMA) they also coordinated the gates, hospitality, food trucks and the silent auction.
Speaking of the importance of the Flint Art Fair, Draper said, “The Flint Art Fair, along with the Crim, and Back to the Bricks, are just a few of the good things that happen each year in Flint that do not generate national news headlines. And that’s just the way we want it.”
After the fair, Stewart said she was gratified to receive an email from glass artist Peter Brown of Northbrook, Illinois, a first-time artist at the Flint event.
Brown said, “Tracey, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank you for a wonderful event. This year was my first time participating in the Flint Art Fair and I was pleased beyond belief. Driving five hours for a show can be risky but I will gladly do it again if juried in for years to come. Your volunteers were cheery and extremely helpful. The food trucks were great and the layout of the booths was perfect. Crowds were good on both days and people were there to buy. For me, an event is not only about money, but about the entire experience. Thanks again to you and your staff for an entirely enjoyable weekend.”
EVM Staff Writer and political commentator Paul Rozycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.