Midwest Art Fairs and Flooding

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Weatherwise it has been an unusually challenging Spring for artists. Extreme heat and heavy wind and unrelenting rain. What next?

The excellent Des Moines Art Festival is next weekend June 27-29 and there was much talk among artists about whether or not it would be cancelled. The latest news is that their fair site is high and dry and expecting you to show up next week to celebrate their “cultural sweets” in visual arts (175 fine artists), music, food and family activities.

Other riverfront communities have also been scrambling. On June 28-29 Quincy, IL’s, Midsummer Art Faire will be ready to roll. Here is a press release from that events coordinator, Maggie Strong:

I have had some anxious artists emailing and calling about our situation, but the faire will continue as planned. We expect a crest this Friday and sandbagging efforts should diminish early next week as the waters recede. So far most of our roads are open so patrons will definitely be able to get to us. Some are concerned that people won’t be buying art because they will be focused on the flood and its aftermath, but I am cautiously optimistic that the faire will be an excuse for people to get back to some normalcy and relax. I am writing a letter to the editor to that effect that you might appreciate. See below.

Kinds regards,
Maggie

Letter to the Quincy Herald-Whig

As we look forward to the 5th annual Midsummer Arts Faire June 27-29 in Quincy’s Washington Park, I invite you to consider the role our event plays in the quality of life in our community.

Quincy has a long history of supporting the arts. We are home to America’s first Arts Council, The Quincy Society of Fine Arts and numerous other arts-related organizations. As evidenced by their support, the citizens of Quincy and the tri-states understand the important role the arts play in a vibrant community.

Thriving economies and thriving arts programs go hand-in-hand. The arts have a significant role to play in creating the environment and quality of life employers and knowledge-based workers are looking for. The kind of grass-roots support of the arts that Quincy is known for might some day convince a company to choose to relocate to our community, or a young entrepreneur to open up shop in our downtown. There are countless organizations, events and people that contribute to the quality of life in Quincy and I’m proud to count the Midsummer Arts Faire among them.

In the wake of our area’s tremendous flood relief efforts, it’s time to celebrate the spirit that makes our community shine. Please join us for a weekend of art and creativity and find out for yourself why life is good in Quincy.

Sincerely,
Maggie Strong
Midsummer Arts Faire Coordinator

There is a strong photo essay on the Quincy, IL, website showing the community hard at work hauling sandbags to save their city.

Having recently returned from China where we viewed many people filling and hauling sandbags by hand it was a contrast to view these images with people hauling sandbags but trucks and forklifts also nearby to help. There essentially was no machinery in China.

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