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March 2003, Volume 14, Number 3
Festival Raises the Profile of Lawrence
More than 1000 people attended this year’s Lawrence Summer Arts Festival, suggesting that the group behind the event has the formula just about right...
“We had four days of good weather and that was great,” says Lawrence Art Group president Elaine Crawford. “We also had excellent guest artists.
“The festival has sort of grown in the last four years.
“We changed the venue and then we changed the time of the year and now it is really working well. With each year, we’ve learnt something. This year it was about delegating. The committee organising the event was tremendously enthusiastic and put in an enormous amount of work. There was also excellent sales of guest artists’ work.
“The four-day event offers the opportunity for local artists to display their work alongside well known artists.
“Over the four days of the festival, many visitors come into the district to participate and enjoy the atmosphere. This year local artists sold work beyond their expectations.”
The spin-offs for local businesses were immense. “Local business people had record sales, with numerous food outlets selling out and real estate sales resulting from having visitors in the town. The festival, organised under the umbrella of the Tuapeka Community Company, also raised the profile of Lawrence as an arts and crafts centre of excellence.”
A scarecrow competition elicited numerous entries and much interest, as did craftspeople at work during the festival.
CEG fieldworker Nikki Cunningham, who provided support and advice, says the festival increased the opportunity for economic sustainability for local artists, as well as showcasing the town.
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