True Con­fes­sions of a Fes­ti­val Di­rec­tor


Times of the Islands - - Departments -

Like many events, it started small. ArtFest Fort My­ers to­day is a huge at­trac­tion draw­ing thou­sands of vis­i­tors and more than 200 artists to the event that runs in the down­town River Dis­trict from Feb. 3-5. The fes­ti­val’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Sharon McAl­lis­ter, shared thoughts on gear­ing up for such a ma­jor func­tion.

“The pro­duc­tion of an out­door fine art fes­ti­val is a year- long la­bor of love that be­gan for me 17 years ago. I never imag­ined, th­ese many years later, we would have cre­ated a na­tion­ally ranked fine art fes­ti­val show­cas­ing 200- plus fab­u­lous artists and win­ning awards statewide and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

“How does that old say­ing go? ‘Those that can, do. Those that can’t, pro­duce an art fes­ti­val.’ Well, I was not given the gift of be­ing able to cre­ate art. Nonethe­less, art touches my soul. And artists are the most gen­er­ous, heart­felt, wacky and won­der­ful peo­ple you will ever have the good for­tune to meet. How lucky I am to spend my year work­ing to bring GREAT art to the com­mu­nity I love!”

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