When most of us think of The Fall Festival, we think of a pleasant weekend downtown, mingling with friends and relatives and great visual entertainment as a backdrop. But from the artists’ perspective, coming to our festival is a business decision and the Patron|Collector Program is a major factor in that decision. For the festival artists, signing up for an outdoor show represents an opportunity for income – it is how they support themselves and their
passion. But there are many expenses involved – entry fees, space fees, travel expenses, tent and display costs, etc. And there is no shortage of festivals to choose from – on any given weekend during the season, these artists have several options throughout Florida for investing their time and money in hopes of making a profit (not to mention all the festival opportunities outside of our state). This gamble to make a profit comes in three forms – sales, judges’ awards and Patron|Collector support.
Realistically, Deland has never been an outstanding venue for sales – there is a respectable amount of purchases, but there are many other shows with greater sales volume. Our cash awards are also respectable and many artists are attracted for that reason alone. But the awards are only given to a select few, leaving the majority depending on sales, which don’t transpire as often as we would like. So that leaves Patron-Collector support. The artists see this support as a guarantee that if they invest in our festival, we in turn will invest in them. They know, at some point during that weekend, that artwork will be purchased. And here is the critical part – the strength of the Patron|Collector Program is directly related to the number of quality artists we can attract. And obviously, quality begets quality…
It is widely known that our festival enjoys a reputation of quality and caring – the artists say we treat them like royalty. In my mind, there is only one remaining thing that can improve what we have at this point – your support of the Patron|Collector Program!
John Wilton-Cultural Council of Volusia County