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Calling all Street Managers!

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-by Joanie Fraver

corn hill arts festival street managerAlthough winter seems to linger forever in Rochester, rest assured that summer and the 50th Annual Corn Hill Arts Festival is only months away! One of the best and most important roles during festival weekend – July 13-14-15 – is that of Street Manager. This festival position is a unique way to participate in this historic anniversary event.

Although many of you have already committed to return as Street Managers, we do still need some additional volunteers for this most rewarding festival function. Street managers are the first and often only Festival Official the artists meet. Artists rely on these people to answer questions about Festival procedures, site location, where to eat, etc., to spot them for bathroom breaks and just for friendly conversation about the area and the neighborhood. Street Managers also often interact with our many visitors, answering questions and giving directions.

Artists repeatedly cite our street managers as a feature that makes our Festival so unique. Sunshine Artist magazine has consistently rated the Corn Hill Arts Festival among the top 200 shows in the country, and we receive high marks from artists for the assistance our street managers provide. City Newspaper ranked the Corn Hill Arts Festival as the top festival in Rochester in 2017. Our Street Managers certainly contributed to this notable accolade.

Working in pairs, each street manager team is assigned to one street section of approximately 30-40 artists. The street managers’ job starts Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. (earlier Friday afternoon for those who are available) through about 7:00 p.m., when street managers greet the artists as they arrive, deliver important informational packets, help them locate their sites and answer any questions.

This effort continues Saturday morning beginning about 7:00 a.m., when the rest of the artists arrive. Periodically during the day, street managers check with their artists to see if they need any help, bathroom breaks, or have any questions or concerns. Street managers also act as the “eyes” and “ears” of the weekend, helping to keep the event fun and safe for everyone. When the Festival closes at 6:00 p.m., street managers help direct traffic and keep order on their street. This activity is usually concluded by 7:00 p.m.

The process repeats itself on Sunday, although since the booths are already set up, street managers are only needed in their assigned areas from 8:00 a.m. until about 9:30 a.m. Most volunteers continue to work the better part of the day because they enjoy it and derive real pleasure from the assistance they give. The Festival closes on Sunday at 5:00 p.m., and street managers again help keep order on their streets while the artists pack up.

Every street manager receives training, wears a special “Street Manager” Festival shirt with the Festival map printed on the back and has a two-way radio for easy contact with any member of the Festival Management Team to get questions answered or assistance in resolving any problems.

Previous street managers confirm what a great job it is. It’s such a unique opportunity to become an indispensable part of the weekend, get to know your neighbors better, and meet the artists up close. It is well worth the required effort. And you don’t want to miss out on being part of Corn Hill history as a participant in the 50th Corn Hill Arts Festival!

You can volunteer as an individual or a team. If you are interested in becoming a Street Manager or learning more about this position, please contact Joanie Fraver at 943-1634, via email at [email protected], or call the CHNA office at 262-3412.