The Park Record editorial, August 1, 2009 |

The Park Record editorial, August 1, 2009

Park City Kimball Arts Fest morphs into citywide celebration

The differences may seem subtle to casual art festival attendees but, to Main Street-area merchants, the Kimball Art Center’s renewed emphasis on local partnerships is a big deal. And fortunately, the idea is catching on among nonprofit organizations all over Park City.

Kimball Art Center Director Robin Rankin is encouraging art festival guests to stay a while longer, to get acquainted with some of Main Street’s year-round shops and galleries, dine in one of the city’s many restaurants and then dance the night away at a Park City nightclub or at a concert under the stars at Deer Valley. In past years the art festival has drawn people who seemed intent on taking a quick gander at the artists’ booths, grabbing a quick kabob from the food court and heading home.

This year, merchants displaying the Kimball Arts Festival logo are offering art festival-weekend specials. Conversely, visitors wearing concert wristbands will be given discounts on their admission to the art festival.

There are other partnerships going on behind the scenes too. The Kimball has contracted with Mountain Town Music to program the festival stages, and artwork from several local students was included in the annual festival auction.

The efforts seem to be indicative of a new era in Park City, one in which nonprofits and other organizations are pooling their resources for the benefit of all.

The offices for The Park City Jazz Foundation, the Youth WinterSports Alliance, Arts-Kids and Mountain Town Stages at the nonprofit center on Kearns Boulevard are another example of nonprofits setting aside their competitiveness to reduce overhead. And the Park City Foundation’s coalition of environmental groups to work on a broad-based green campaign this fall is another.

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Over the last 20 years, Park City has seen an explosion of nonprofit groups supporting a wide variety of causes from the arts to health care. And local residents are justifiably proud of the town’s reputation for generosity. But the economic slowdown has taken a toll on both charitable organizations and the businesses that support them. This new cooperative effort allows contributors to stretch their donations so they have the greatest impact possible.

This year, the Kimball’s mainstay event and biggest revenue source promises to be more than a street fest. It has truly become a citywide celebration.

So, buy an art festival wristband, eat drink and be merry you’ll also be supporting a whole slew of community causes.