Funding has come from the sponsorship of local businesses and industries. This year’s budget is $20,000, and Hammonds thinks organizers can come in under budget.
“Our goal is to break even but we’ll be delighted to be in the black,” she noted. “But we’ll be happy to break even, too.”
“(The festival) is under the umbrella of Harrodsburg First right now, but I envision it becoming a 501c3 event. ... I think once it is a 501c3, it’ll be eligible for grants from the Kentucky Humanities Council, the Kentucky Arts Council, etc.”
Hammonds said more than 50 vendors, artists and authors, most of whom are from the commonwealth, will be at the event, showing, selling and signing their arts and books. She added the event is intended to be an interactive festival where attendees get to talk to the people who make the art.
Authors such as Ed McClanahan and Alonzo Fugate as well as children’s literature illustrator Mark Wayne Adams will be in attendance. The KaBoom Writers will have their volume for sale and will talk about the process of binding the tome. Normandie Ellis also is set to be in attendance at the festival, as is artist Dreama Tolle Perry.
“Of the 60-plus vendors (who will be at the festival), 50 are authors,” Hammonds noted. Most will be on Main or Poplar streets, although some will be at the Episcopal church and a few other places.
The post office in Harrodsburg will be open during the festival. Inside is a pioneer-themed mural that was painted through Roosevelt’s New Deal Project, Hammonds said.
A children’s activity area will be set up, where Matthew Rodgers, who created the Great American Brass Band Festival 2010 poster design, will present his books and kids will be able to illustrate it. A public art project also will be set up, and the local humane society will have a place set up where festival-goers can adopt a pet. Food vendors will have edibles for purchase. Downtown Harrodsburg shops and restaurants will be open, too.
The crown jewel, Hammonds said, will be the stage at Main and Poplar streets, where authors will be presenting their material and interacting with the crowd. Three award-winning Nashville songwriters will perform after the festival closes, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Hammonds said there are several layers to the goals she has for the Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts.
“I want to introduce people back to Main Street. ... I want to develop Harrodsburg into becoming a cultural-arts-book city, where there are lots of activities that go on in the town,” she explained.
Ultimately, she hopes the event will expand into a two-day or weekend event, where attendees spend the night in the area, thus spending more time and money.
“It hopefully will make an economic impact on the community,” Hammonds noted.
“For it to have started out as a tiny little seed, it has taken on a life of its own. ... It has just taken on an incredibly positive vibe.”
She added the community has shown a devoted commitment to presenting such a quality event.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, log on to http://www.harrodsburgfirst.com.
IF YOU GO
Harrodsburg Festival of Books and Arts
A one-day event featuring all facets of the arts, sponsored by Harrodsburg First
10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday
Main Street, Harrodsburg
Information: (859) 734-6811 or firstname.lastname@example.org