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LEAF director to speak to National Council of the Arts - October 29

WHAT: National Endowment for the Arts invites Lake Eden Arts Festival’s Executive Director to present at the National Council of the Arts meeting in Washington D.C.
WHEN: TOMORROW - Friday, October 29th 2010

Jennifer Pickering, Executive Director of Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), will present at the National Council of the Arts meeting in Washington D.C. tomorrow. From over 1,400 outdoor arts festival organizations, LEAF | Lake Eden Arts Festival was one of only two organizations selected to speak at this prestigious meeting of the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) advisory body, which meets three times annually. The meeting will be webcasted live from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on the NEA website.

(listen in here:

The 171st meeting of the NEA’s advisory body will highlight the NEA’s latest report, Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals. The report examined 1,413 outdoor arts festivals in the country through surveys and case-studies. The study’s key findings indicate that outdoor arts festivals have diverse art forms and audiences, a commitment to quality programming, low or no-cost admission fees and integrate within their communities. The report also raises an important question for other arts organizations to ask: “What are festivals doing right and how can we replicate it?”

LEAF is a non-profit organization established to build community and enrich lives through the Arts – locally & globally – with festivals, events, mentoring, and educational programs.

Shouldn't we all be listening? I'll be tuned in -- lots to learn here -- how about you?

Does anyone here know anything about LEAF? This is a new organization to me.

Views: 60

Comment by CM Fox on October 29, 2010 at 7:20pm
I've never heard about LEAF. But someone did send me a pdf of what I assume was the report:

I haven't had time to read it....tho' I note that it also includes music festivals, which are a different "breed" with different needs from visual arts festivals. It will be an interesting read.

Thanks Connie for bringing this to our attention.

Comment by Connie Mettler on October 29, 2010 at 8:53pm
I did watch the presentation. Pretty nice, but very bureaucratic. That's fine. It's a bureaucracy! But of the six events they profiled none of them were visual arts festivals. Lots of performance...but our 'big' events have some serious stages.....but the ones featured here were performers that really were diverse, dancers and entertainers from many different cultures. Still! It seems that some of our big fine art festivals need to be on the radar of the NEA. All of these had a wide variety of components -- think of the NO Jazz Fest -- lots of music, different types everywhere, several artisan communities, contemporary arts...
Comment by Leo Charette on October 30, 2010 at 9:30am
I felt the report to be very basic. Certainly some of the points transfer over to Fine Art and Craft Fairs, but I was surprised that not one of the major fine art festivals (Ft. Worth, Cherry Creek, etc. were featured. Here are the five festivals that were featured:

Certainly none of these are considered major Fine Art event. The focus seemed to be more on performing arts but then why an event like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was not considered as a case is beyond me (a solid music and art ranked event). The case selections were done randomly but the absence of a major art festival in their study is concerning, especially considering that 32% of the festivals they looked at considered Arts and Crafts a major component of their event:

The take away point for me is that NEA is now viewing street festivals as a valid event for the promotion of the arts in a community and in that I applaud them. This is a good first effort. As an aside, I found the follow chart to be particularly interesting in light of our discussions on the topic:

These are just a few tidbits from the study. Following Carla's link above, will generate the full report. I love the cover image of the report. Cheers, Leo
Comment by Connie Mettler on October 30, 2010 at 9:50pm
That was great, Leo. Thanks. I found it puzzling also why there wasn't an art festival included. We need to make more noise maybe. What is a little distressing about the chart above is that 36% of the events lost money!

I also felt it was pretty basic. The statistics are certainly important and it is good to have that info at our fingertips.


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