The Main Street Redevelopment Association is under a little bit of pressure this year to deliver a widely successful event in the fall, and by all accounts the group appears to be on track to do just that.
The First Annual Forest Park Art Fest has hitched its wagon to the reputation of an Elmhurst woman who, for the last 10 years, has been bringing artists together in that community. According to the organizers of the Forest Park event, this first year is pivotal in establishing our festival as a reputable one. In order to attract high caliber artisans, Main Street must prove its commitment by providing as much advertising exposure as possible and weeding out those artists whose work doesn’t meet whatever standard is set by the jury panel.
Roz Long of RGL Marketing in Elmhurst said it best in explaining you can’t expect to sell $1,000 paintings alongside $2 needlepoint. The 11th annual Elmhurst art festival, of which Long is the founder, takes place this weekend.
Aside from establishing some credibility among working artists, Main Street should also expect that community members will be thinking back on the eight years of trick-or-treating on Madison Street as they browse through the two-day festival. Several months ago the organization’s president acknowledged that it was a poorly managed decision to cancel the candy grab last year, especially just weeks before it was scheduled to take place. Hopefully, that apology paired with an effort to bring a bigger, more well-rounded event to Forest park is enough to smooth whatever feathers may have been ruffled.
Trick-or-treating is fun and generations of Americans have fond memories of donning their Halloween costume, but this is a neighborhood activity that can thrive without the support of an organization focused on economic redevelopment.
One of the goals in organizing an art fair in Forest Park is to bring new faces–and new money–to the community. By drawing some 75 artists from the near suburbs, the city and beyond into Forest Park, businesses and sales tax coffers will see a spike. Taking the long view, festival goers may discover that Forest Park offers a nice weekend retreat from their daily grind. This effort falls directly in line with advertising efforts by M2, a collaborative group of entrepreneurs, to attract outside money to the community.
Forest Park is fortunate to have three business organizations-Main Street, the Chamber and M2-which work collaboratively and with entrepreneurial zeal to boost their businesses and our community. This energy is the envy of other towns.