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Arts Festival could be best yet

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record Staff

Pam Crowe-Weisberg’s reign as the director of the Park City Arts Festival has brought the gala from good to great in the last few years.

"We’ve tried to elevate everything. The Park City Arts Festival is elevated in terms of food, music, and especially art. The staff has just been phenomenal," says Crowe-Weisberg on the eve of the 37th Park City Arts Festival.

When Crowe-Weisberg took over the position at the Kimball, exactly two and a half years ago, she identified flaws in the way the festival was run and has concentrated on fixing them.

"I think it’s more streamlined now," she said on Wednesday. "To be very honest with you, it was not very well run in the past for many reasons. Chris Cowley our operations directors is the best in terms of ops. It’s very well organized it takes up the entire year. Our staff works 60 percent of the time on the Arts Festival. It’s quite amazing; it’s a real team effort."

Today and tomorrow, spectators will have a chance to see 220 artists, an improved and enlarged Kids Corner and 30 bands on three stages play during the two-day fest.

"It’s one of the longest, oldest, most successful arts festivals in the West," Crow-Weisberg said. "We have a tremendous demand for artists; everybody has a really positive feeling about it. There will be something here for everyone. There will be great food, great music, and an incredible kids’ area. There’s something for everybody even if you’re not into the arts. It’s a nice place to spend the weekend."

In addition, there will be three beer gardens, 15 food booths, and one winner of a new luxury car presented by Ken Garff Automotive Group. There will be dozens of arts and crafts with face painting at the Kimball Kids’ Corner.

"We will offer every kind of music for every ear," Crowe-Weisberg said. "If you like rock, if you like jazz, we try to have a variety. We really want to give everybody a chance to enjoy it."

The staff at the Kimball Art Center had to sift through more than 800 applicants to choose the artists.

"I think the caliber of the art gets better and better every year. We get more selective, the art at the Kimball is phenomenal. We have the best art in Utah available," Crowe-Weisberg said.

The venue for this event is also what makes this festival superior, according to Crowe-Weisberg.

"I’ve traveled around the West to arts festivals," she said. "This one is very, very unique in terms of, we take up the whole Main Street. A lot of the others in Jackson Hole and other places, have their’s in a field somewhere, this one is really Park City, it showcases Park City. I don’t think a lot of the arts festivals do that. I think it’s a key to the festival."

The Arts Festival is the Kimball Art Center’s major fundraiser of the year.

"The money we make at the festival gives us the opportunity to run classes and free exhibits. The money we make helps us do all these great things. All of our galleries are free," Crowe-Weisberg said.

Crowe-Weisberg has a few suggestions for visitors.

"Just come with pockets full of money," she said. "It’s hard to resist not buying stuff here. We have great transportation, it’s all very well signed, and there are shuttle busses that will bring you downtown. Bring sun block and comfortable shoes. There’s a lot to do."

The Park City Kimball Arts Festival will run Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 a day or $8 for two days. Children 12 and under are free. Sunday at 6 p.m. the Kimball Art Center will give away a high-end luxury car, courtesy of Ken Garff Automotive, to those who purchase a membership at the Kimball Art Center. New members will also receive benefits. Among them is one free night in an all-seasons Park City resort, free massages, pedicure or manicure and discounts to stores and classes at the Kimball.


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