September means the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in Madison, Ind., and plans are under way to provide another excellent showing of exhibitors, musicians and entertainers along the Ohio Riverfront come Sept. 27-28.
Show director Georgie Kelly says this year’s show is shaping up to be a big one, with more than 225 exhibitors lining the streets of Broadway, Vaughn Drive, Vine and Elm. The two-day show also provides a food court and live music at the Lanier Mansion’s North Lawn, plus five other locations within the show grounds. In addition, several strolling entertainers will perform. Show times are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Last year’s addition of artisan food exhibitors was a big hit, Kelly said, so she has expanded the number from three to five this year. The original three are returning, along with two new exhibitors. All products must be one-of-a-kind food creations by the exhibiting artisan.
For the first time in many years, there will be no Chautauqua-sponsored Saturday night concert at the Broadway Fountain. In recent years, the Chautauqua committee teamed with the Madison Main Street Program and local corporate sponsors to produce the show. The Doctors Band, based in Madison, had been a perennial favorite for many years. Last year, the New York-based group Big Leg Emma performed.
Kelly said pulling off the show with a limited number of volunteers, plus the fact they are up against many other events going on around town, contributed to the committee’s decision not to have a concert this year.
Artist Eric Phagan’s second
in a series of three Madison Chautauqua posters
was unveiled Aug. 28.
“It was in mutual agreement (with the Madison Main Street Program) to move the Music in the Park concert back in line with the series, which falls on the second Friday of the month throughout the summer,” Kelly explained. “It has gotten very hard to get volunteers to work the concert the weekend of the Chautauqua because so much is going on in town. Moving the concert off of this weekend and onto a weekend where not so many things are happening was a good decision. It offers something to do on another weekend and opens up the volunteer pool.”
In another move, Kelly has moved the Kids Tent from the gazebo area of the riverfront to the west side of Vine Street and across from the three high-school staffed booths. The Chautauqua annually offers booths to art students from the local schools – Madison Consolidated, Southwestern and Shawe Memorial.
Meantime, the restrooms previously located at First and Vine streets outside the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center will be moved to the parking lot directly south of the Visitors Center. The two air conditioned restroom trailers will remain in their usual spots – along Vaughn Drive at Vine Street and on Vaughn Drive directly east of Broadway.
Entering its 44th year, the show is produced under the auspices of VisitMadison Inc., the city’s tourism bureau. Several hundred volunteers work at the annual juried art show, which is planned by a committee headed by Kelly.
Each year, the committee selects an artist to paint the Chautauqua art-print poster. This year’s poster was created by Madison artist Eric Phagan, a painter and sculptor who sells his work at his own Gallery 115 on Madison’s Main Street.
Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout.
Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email: Don@RoundAbout.bz.