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Brandywine Festival of the Arts - 2010 E-mail

 

SHOWBRANDYWINE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS (Wilmington, DE)

DATES: September 11-12, 2010

ART/CRAFT EXHIBITORS: 210

EST. ATTENDANCE: 12,000 (BFA)

BOOTH COST (10x10): $335

 

CLICK FOR SHOW SURVEY RESULTS and COMMENTS

CLICK FOR PICTURES OF THE SHOW

 

brandywine1A few years ago the Brandywine Arts Festival began a sad decline in both attendance and quality of the work exhibited at the show. The BAF came to an end last year when the then producer cancelled the show at the last minute, pocketing what exhibitor booth fees had been received and basically disappeared.

 


This created a hole in the schedule of those artists that relied upon the show for income and for those art/craft shoppers who relied upon the show to add to their collection or purchase gifts.


 

 

Luckily for many of those art/craft enthusiasts who felt the pain of no show, the hole was filled by a local promoter who took on the task of designing a festival that people would want to come back to, as well as rebuilding relationships with artists that were slighted by the previous regime. This was even more challenging because there were no previous attendee or exhibitor lists available to the producer.


Since this was basically a new show, the first order of change was to rename the show the brandywine2Brandywine Festival of the Arts.


In an instance, as I drove to the show on the Saturday that I attended, I knew the show was an attendance success – probably record attendance. The only available spaces nearest to the show were about 10 blocks away. Since it was a beautiful afternoon – which is a must to make an outdoor show a success – the walk to Brandywine Park was pleasant.


One of the things that was evident from the get-go was that this show was much more of an event than the previous incarnation.  The addition of entertainment (specifically more and better music), an area for kids and wine and craft beer for adults, helped make the show a destination for some who might not have attended had it been strictly an art/craft show.


For those that were there to shop, the festival had a wide range of work available at a wide range of prices. There was a nearly 50/50 split between crafts and fine art.


My only concern in regards to the exhibitor list at the festival was that there were a fair number of brandywine3artists whose craftsmanship was wanting. I know one of the producer’s goals for this show was to boost the quality of the work at the show. I think there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly in the craft sections, to increase the overall quality of exhibitors for next year’s show.


In fact, there was at least one exhibitor I know was selling imports and a few others I suspected were buy/sell.


With the numbers of attendees likely to stay the same - provided the producers work as hard as they did this year to make the show a success - more accomplished craft artists will want to apply.


If you are an artist considering applying to next year’s Brandywine Festival of the Arts, the success of this year’s show should give you a lot of confidence to risk the very affordable booth cost.


It was obvious the producers of the festival spent a lot of money advertising the show in the Wilmington/Philadelphia area. Not only did I see plenty of newspaper and magazine stories about the show, but it seemed everywhere I turned there was an ad or billboard promoting the festival.


This hard work was rewarded with a really well attended event.


I’ve attended the previous show for many years and was bothered by the lack of a show last year, not just for the reputation I was afraid it would give the Delaware arts/crafts community, but there aren’t many shows in the state and this was the best of the lot.


I’m looking forward to en even better show in 2011

 

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