The Art Festival Newsletter
March 2020
presented by:
Tips for Taxes
by Robin Markowitz

As an artist there are many deductions you can take to reduce your taxable income for the year. A self-employed artist may deduct any expense that is  directly related to the art activity.

Common deductions by artists include the following...

Last Chance to APPLY:  Click logo for more information!

Haddonfield, NJ
Application Closes: 3/13/20

Morgan Hill, CA
Earyl Bird Deadline: 4/1/20 

Jefferson County, WV
Application Closes: 3/13/20

Charlotte, NC
Application Closes: 3/15/20

Click HERE to view more Calls to Artists:


Covid-19 Impact on the Artist Community

The impact in 2020 from Covid-19 on the artist community is looming large. As artists, we are decision makers and problem solvers but this is a scenario out of our control. This is rapidly evolving with a lot of unknowns, especially how this will play out for events. 

As you consider your show schedule and travel plans - keep in mind that shows and festivals are also wrestling with how to best address public safety , fairness, and finances. Please contact th e show directly if you are concerned or have questions. There is no generic cancellation policy in place for this type of event. T he financial strain that this pandemic threatens affects both artists and shows.

A few proactive things you can do are:
  • Get your online shops and social media pages updated
  • Make sure your website contact information is available to all the show you particpate in
  • If you have a database of past clients, email them a thank you and let them know what's happening with your show schedule
  • Have a sylus for signing credit card purchases on your phone
  • Have appropriate cleaning supplies for your booth
Proceed with common sense not panic!! 
Precautions are the answer - FEAR IS NOT!
This Issue's Quote: "Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don't see a different purpose for it now." ~ Dorothea Tanning
Spotlight on Show: Waterford Fair

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Kirkman, Director of the 76th Annual Waterford Fair in National Historic Landmark of Waterford, VA. 

In terms of curation, how do your shows differ from others art festivals? 
The National Historic Landmark of Waterford, Virginia, is a pristine example of an early 19th century rural American village, and the Fair is known for showcasing
  Demonstrating Artisans who produce fine,  traditional and contemporary  goods, crafted using materials and tools traditionally used in America in the 18th and 19th centuries, or who use those tools in a new, creative way. We juried with high expectations for fine craftsmanship, artistry and the artisan's knowledge of the art form, and do not accept resellers. One uncommon application requirement we have is to require a photo of artisan working in their studio or make space. This photo is "worth more than a 1,000 words", and has become very important in our selection process. As part of our education and preservation mission, we invite Fairgoers to connect with artisans and enjoy the artisan's process as much as the product. We look to creating a partnership with the artisans who participate at Waterford. Our success is linked to the artisans' success and we want artisans who truly enjoy sharing their passion and love of what they create.
What is your favorite aspect of running this show? 
This is my 5th year managing the Waterford Fair, which is in its 76th year. My favorite aspect of running the Fair is collaborating with everyone -- our artisans, volunteers, community service providers and village residents. I enjoy working with the artisans and volunteers who have been a part of the Fair for over 30 years as well as introducing "newbies" to the event. The air in the village is charged with excitement the weeks leading up to the Fair. We truly create a magical experience for attendees while providing a connection point for artisans and those who love and appreciate handmade items and the artistry involved in the make process. I love being a part of this tradition!
The festival was built on the foundation of supporting artists. What are some of the reasons artists keep returning to the festival?  
We survey our artisan after each Fair and common threads that appear year after year are that they return for the customers, the atmosphere and the ability to share their art. We have a loyal pool of buyers with 87% of our attendees return yearly. Unique to Waterford, we do require artisans to demonstrate their art or craft 50% of the time and encourage them to connect with customers through conversation and education, sharing their personal story and make process. Setting up in a preserve village, whether under a tent or in one of the Foundation's historic buildings is refreshing in the age of convention center shows.
Two unique offerings we have are the Waterford Landmark Artisan Program and Home Stays. Artisans who have juried in for a minimum of three years and meet several other criteria, are invited to participate without jurying. This helps us because we have these artisans' commitments early and the artisans get us on their calendar without going through the jury process. We also offer artisans the opportunity to stay with villagers, instead of at hotels, if they wish. This has created many lasting friendships and community connections otherwise not available.  
When you look at the next decade, what do you see for this industry?
In 2030, I would love to look back on the past 15-20 years and see a thriving art festival industry that has survived the massive shift to online sales  venues, losing retiring artisans and the "walmart-ing" of America. I believe we can look to the "maker" generation, as not just a fad or pha se but as a returning to our roots, with a full appreciation of high quality, handmade products. We, as an industry, need to be proactive in helping these new artisans by developing emerging artisan programs and fostering a deeper appreciation for their work in the general public.

One step the Foundation, has taken towards this end is creating the Waterford Craft School. Going into its 4th season, the Craft School brings many of our distinguished Fair artisans back to the village to teach classes ranging from ½ day to 5 days. Our goal is to have students come away with a beautiful item, new skills and a greater appreciation for the art and skills our artisan instructors bring to their work. If even a few of the students decide to go beyond the basics and become full time artisans, we all win!

The 76th Annual Waterford Fair takes place October 2-4, 2020. Applications are open on Zapp until 4/16/20. If you are interested in more information about this premier event click HERE .
Woman's History Month: 
Celebrating Six Contemporary Female Artists

March is Women's History Month and I thought we should celebrate the genius of women artists. Historically overlooked female artists are currently a hot topic in museums, galleries and the art market. Many are just gaining recognition now. 

Building a more inclusive art world begins with recognizing female artists who are captivating the art world with dazzling and provocative work. Therefore, I will focus on 6 amazing, contemporary female artists whose work you should see in person.
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The Art Festival Newsletter /  /  
Robin Markowitz, Executive Director
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