In 2012, the members of our arts guild noticed something: the town of Stratford hosted festivals, music events, craft fairs or carnivals.
But it was lacking in one important thing:
An arts festival.
The guild volunteers, under the guidance of organizer Anne Mulligan, began planning for a modest art fair, to be held in the center of town on Paradise Green. They decided to include the fine artists crafters whose handiwork is synonymous with the hardworking, historic nature of New England. So the name became: Artists and Artisans in Paradise.
When the guild started planning this event, they had a few goals:
- To offer handmade, local and regionally made craft and art to people of Stratford and this area.
- To connect the artists with people who loved art, face-to-face!
- To offer town members a chance to buy something real, and handmade, at a good price
- To offer a venue for performing and literary arts, which the guild also promotes
- To keep working to further our mission,which is to promote the arts in Stratford
- To give area businesses (as sponsors) the chance to support the arts too
- To have a great day and enjoy our town!
In August 2013, the first Artists & Artisans in Paradise was held. It was a great success! That success came in sales, but also in the conversations that people had about the event. Artists said they felt welcomed, supported through the volunteer Boy Scouts, and they had a successful day.
Visitors said they enjoyed the vibrancy of the event, the interactive art, talking to the wonderful artists, and feeling proud of their town.
Now in our 4th year, we hope to achieve this same feeling, and to add more to the event, with more live music, great food, and poetry readings.
And, of course, the wonderful work of our artists.