Festival Fever

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Sedona Arts Festival

Since its first event back in 1989, not only has the Sedona Arts Festival raised $250,000 for scholarships and arts education, it has also grown to be much more than an arts-and-crafts fair. Over the past four years, the nonprofit organization has worked hard to attract fine art to the festival, which takes place Oct. 8-9 on the baseball field at Sedona Red Rock High School. “The majority of our artists are fine artists,” says Lori Reinhart, executive director. “That being said, we do encourage all of the artists to bring a variety of price points to the show.”

Approximately 150 artists from across the U.S. will exhibit and sell their work to 4,500 attendees during the two-day event. This is a juried show; an average of 300 artists submit applications January through April. In May, a group of professional Sedona artists rate the applicants and the festival artists are chosen. Mediums represented include ceramics, mixed media, fiber art, glass, photography, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, wood, metal and painting.

In addition to shopping, the festival includes KidZone, sponsored by the Verde Food Council. With its theme of “healthy eating,” children will have the chance to paint a mural reflecting healthy habits, create T-shirts, and enjoy balloon art, face painting and a yo-yo demo.

Last year, the arts festival debuted its Gourmet Gallery, spotlighting locally produced and packaged foods. The gallery has expanded this year and will include a dozen vendors selling items such as honey, olive oil, pasta and sauces. Food and drink vendors will be on hand to keep shoppers satiated. You will also have the opportunity to purchase $5 raffle tickets. The proceeds directly benefit SAF’s scholarship fund.

General admission to the festival is $10 for adults and $9 for seniors at the gate (children 12 and younger are free). If you purchase your ticket online, admission is $8 for adults and seniors. Organizers have also brought back the popular smART shoppers program. For $99, shoppers receive early festival admission on Saturday; unlimited entry on both days; $50 in art dollars to spend at the festival; $15 in food dollars; premium restrooms; preferred parking; a shaded tent for relaxing; and complimentary water.

So why does it cost money to gain entry to shop for art? “The Sedona Arts Festival is a 501(c)3 organization, and this is our only fundraiser of the year,” says Lori. “Last year, we raised $20,000 for scholarships and grants given to art programs.”

Early holiday shopping, anyone?

Sedona Arts Festival, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (preview shopping for smART shoppers begins at 9 a.m.), and Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. @ the baseball field at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Admission is $10 for adults and $9 for seniors at the gate. No admission for children 12 and younger. Advance tickets can be purchased online for $8. SmART shopper tickets are $99. For more info, call 928-204-9456 or visit www.sedonaartsfestival.org.

Sedona Book Festival

Rumors of the demise of the book have been greatly exaggerated. Just ask Joe Neri, co-owner of The Well Red Coyote bookstore and founder of the Sedona Book Festival, which celebrates its third year Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Joe estimates 70 to 75 authors from across Arizona will attend this year’s festival. The writers (both self-published and traditionally published) represent a wide range of genres including children’s, young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction; spirituality; memoir; history; and regional topics. The festival once again takes place at Yavapai College: Sedona Center for Arts & Technology, and there are no entrance fees.

“The Well Red Coyote just moved to a new, nicer space, and we’re hosting our third annual festival,” says Joe. “I wouldn’t be doing that and putting my livelihood on the line if I didn’t have faith that the physical book is alive, well and here to stay. People aren’t coming to the book festival to download books.”

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