I heard a comment last weekend at the Linn Creek Arts Festival that community support of the arts in Marshalltown is decreasing. That shocked me because my experience at the Linn Creek Art Festival July 19 was without equal.
My perception is the arts in Marshalltown are alive and well due in large part to the Linn Creek Arts Festival. It is easily the best I've been a part of the past two years and I am including well known fairs/festivals in Minnesota: Stillwater, Afton, Eden Prairie, Carver County, Minneapolis etc. Everything they do is focused on making the "Art Fair" happening, pleasurable and memorable for exhibitors and attendees alike.
What sets them apart is the thoughtfulness used in planning combined with the consideration they give exhibitors and attendees. It starts with a complimentary breakfast and valet parking for the artists/exhibitors and continues with the Junior Art Lovers program and kids activities for the attendees.
Every hour to hour and a half a staff member comes by and tells you to "take a break, it's my job to relieve you take as long as you wish." Other fairs talk about doing this, few if any do. They are always thinking about how they can set Linn Creek apart and make themselves different from the rest.
I participated in the Junior Art Lovers Program and was totally blown away with the results. At one point in the afternoon a young woman who had selected my painting came by with her mother and grandmother. It was thrilling to talk with an 11-year-old "art fan" about painting, technique, inspiration and how-to. I understand this is the first year for Junior Art Lovers and it is nothing short of genius (no one else does it).
There was music and entertainment, kids activities, Justin the Artistic Horse, great food, everything one could hope for and more. The group that planned and presented the fair should be complimented and praised; the people who attended should be thanked and appreciated.
Everything was done with warmth, consideration and smiles. All requests heard and acted upon. This was a juried fair so the exhibits were of significant quality adding to the overall ambiance. I hope to get in next year; it was more than worth the trip. Marshalltown has something to be extremely proud of!