Chautauqua Festival of Art
of the city's largest event
are preparing for another big year
in the Park added to this year's agenda
MADISON, Ind. (September 2007) Plans
for the 37th annual Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art are
on schedule for another big year, according to festival coordinator
Georgie Kelly. The two-day event, Madison's largest festival
at an estimated 50,000 people, is scheduled for Sept 29-30,
a week later this year because of the longer September calendar.
by Don Ward
stroll the exhibitor
booths during last year's festival.
The show annually features
more than 270 booths.
Booths will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both
days and include a riverfront food fest, children's activity
tent, live entertainment, roving entertainers and a Saturday
night "Music in the Park" at the Broadway Fountain.
The Chautauqua has partnered with the Madison Main Street
Program this year presenting Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett,
from Indianapolis, with a 7 p.m. performance of acoustic,
Americana folk music.
Other performers this year include the ever-popular classical
guitarist Russell Donnellon, Rob Houze Quartet, James White
& Deer Creek, Glorybound, Kentucky Rain, Soundz Like Dixieland
and the North United Methodist Church Praise Band. Hanover
College's theater group, ITC, also will perform, plus
several strolling entertainers.
All 275 exhibitor booths are filled, according to Kelly. Any
late cancellations are quickly filled from a waiting list.
Last year's Chautauqua exhibitors were offered a $25 discount
if they re-signed at the termination of last year's festival.
"It's good to have returning exhibitors because many
people like to collect items from certain artists or to see
their favorite exhibitors each year," she said.
Kelly, who is paid $24,500 to organize and run the festival,
also works to secure about $9,000 in local business sponsorships.
The money helps the committee offset its cost to run the show.
The Chautauqua committee operates under the supervision of
the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is the
largest single event of the year for the tourism bureau and
requires the help of about 300 local volunteers on Chautauqua
"We could not do it without our volunteers," said
Linda Lytle, the tourism board's executive director.
Local artist Nancy Jo Randall of Deputy, Ind., has designed
the poster, which coordinates with the T-shirt design. A poster
signing is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7
at Madison City Hall. Only 250 limited edition posters are
produced each year, selling for $40 each.
The Chautauqua scholarship program, which provides money from
an endowment fund to high school seniors studying the arts,
typically provides two scholarships of $650 and $500 each.
This year, the committee has provided $750 toward the scholarship
award. Combined with money from its savings account, the Chautauqua
committee last spring awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Madison
Consolidated High School student Samantha Lee, who plans to
become an art teacher.
The committee established its endowment fund in 1994 with
only $1,000. Today, the endowment is valued at more than $21,800,
The committee has earned from $4,000 to $10,000 in profit
on the sale of T-shirts, posters and related products in past
years. The committee raises money from business sponsorships
and from the $225 each exhibitor pays to participate. The
committee operates the festival on an $94,382 budget. It earned
a net profit of $4,755 last year, a bit less than normal because
of $3,200 in unforseen expenses it had to cover.
Each year, the Madison Chautauqua coincides with the annual
Fall Old Court Days, a flea market and arts and crafts fair
organized by the nonprofit Pilot Club of Madison. That event
takes place around the Jefferson County Courthouse and extends
to the city parking lot on Second and Jefferson streets. Old
Court Days is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
The annual Book Sale at the Madison-Jefferson County Public
Library also takes place that weekend at 420 W. Main St. Sponsored
by the Friends of the Library group, the event is a fundraiser
for library projects and features books, magazines, videotapes,
CDs and other literature for sale, some new and some used.
A fourth event held that weekend in downtown Madison is Lanthier
Winery's Harvest Celebration, held on the grounds of the winery
at 123 Mill St. Various other churches, fire departments and
nonprofit organizations hold bakes sales, fish fries and yard
sales during Chautauqua weekend to take advantage of the large
crowd visiting downtown Madison.
Both the Madison Trolley and the city's Catch-A-Ride van transportation
service operate throughout the weekend, ferrying visitors
to and from these events, the city campground, marinas and
the Chautauqua designated parking lot on the hilltop at the
Madison Consolidated High School.