Festival of the Arts discontinued after 17 years

Saturday, March 21, 2009 | 4:44 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs is discontinuing its production of the Festival of the Arts, a weekend-long celebration that has been a part of the community for 17 years.

According to its Web site, the festival was created to provide the community with a visible arts event that would help raise awareness about the Office of Cultural Awareness and its mission: to enhance the vitality of the city and the quality of life for all Columbia citizens by creating an environment wherein artists and cultural organizations can thrive, and fostering opportunities for creative expression and the preservation and celebration of the city's multicultural heritage.

The festival was canceled due to the increasing amount of hard work that it took to plan and implement the event, according to the Web site. There was also declining participation by artists and performers, and the festival weekend was starting to conflict with other related events, lowering revenue.

Although the festival won’t be around anymore, the Office of Cultural Affairs is working with the Commission on Cultural Affairs to figure out if any aspects of the festival could be worked into other programs, the Web site said.

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Charles Dudley Jr March 21, 2009 | 4:59 p.m.

Why not include it into the Heritage Festival by P&R.

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