by Joanie Fraver
This article was first published in the April 2017 Corn Hill Gazette.
While the weather is trying to figure out what season it is, I’ve been thinking about July and the Corn Hill Arts Festival. The 49th Corn Hill Arts Festival is scheduled for the weekend of July 8 and 9 and will be here before you know it!
The first volunteering my husband and I did when we moved into the neighbor-hood 6 years ago was for the Festival street manager job. We really didn’t know what it was we were getting into, but we fully embraced our duties and had a ball! We met the most amazing people and loved being the “face” of the Festival to our visiting artists and the thousands of people we helped with directions and information. My husband Pete even created his own unique spin on the street manager position and has served as the “map guy” at the corner of South Fitzhugh and Adams Street ever since! I’ve been involved in many Festival responsibilities, but I feel that being a street manager is the best job of the weekend.
We’ll need volunteers again for this most important Festival job. Street man-agers are the first and often only Festival official the artists meet. Artists rely on them to answer questions about Festival procedures, site location, where to eat, to spot them for bathroom breaks and just for friendly conversation about the area and the neighborhood. 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.
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 p.m. (earlier Friday afternoon for those who are available) through about 7 p.m., when street managers greet the artists as they arrive, deliver important information-al packets, help them locate their sites and answer any questions.
This effort continues Saturday morning beginning about 7 a.m., when the rest of the artists arrive. Periodically during the day, street managers check with their art-ists 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 p.m., street managers help direct traffic and keep order on their street. This activity is usually concluded by 7 p.m.
The process repeats itself on Sunday, although since the booths are already A committe has been formed to plan for permanent and performance art for our neighborhood.If you have ideas that you’d like considered or would like to attend an upcoming public art committee meeting, please email Joe Arena at [email protected] look forward to hearing your ideas!Have an idea about public art in Corn Hill?Join the conversation!These are examples of public art from around the world photographed by Dean Ekberg. What are your ideas?set up, street managers are only needed in their assigned areas from 8 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 p.m., and street managers again help keep order on their streets while the artists pack up.
Every street manager receives training, wears special “Street Manager” Festival shirts and carries a two-way radio for easy contact with any member of the Festival Management Team.
Previous street managers confirm what a great job this is. It’s such a unique opportunity to become an indispensable part of the weekend, get to know your neighbors, and meet the artists up close. It is well worth the required effort. You will be busy, but you will still have time to enjoy the Festival. If you are interested in becoming a street manager, please contact Joanie Fraver at 943-1634, via email at [email protected], or call the CHNA office at 262-3412.