By Lydia Glen
For the past 10 years, St. Joseph has been home to the Millstream Arts Festival, an art show that began on the grounds of CSB, moved to St. Cloud and is now back in St. Joseph. The Millstream Arts Festival draws attendees from the neighboring communities and artists from as far as the Twin Cities.
The smell of Indian food, fuzed with the smell of gyro meat and fresh bread permeates the air as jazz music mingles with the bustle of the crowd. This year, the festival featured booths of 43 local artists from pottery to photography to metal work. The art festival also featured an old car show, sidewalk chalk art and an interactive percussion group, where festival attendees were encouraged to learn how to play paint bucket drums.
Another portion of the festival is the book section. People attending the festival were encouraged to take as many free books as they could carry, but also to buy a book of one of the several featured Minnesotan authors. This is the only art fair that also features poetry and creative writing as an art and encourages creativity in all forms.
Jenny Weber is a potter located in Minneapolis and the winner of the Jim Loso Legacy Award, an award that made her travels to the Millstream Art Festival possible.
“Winning this award allowed me to feature my art in a community I would never otherwise have found, and St. Joseph seems to be a great place,” Weber said.
Jazz ensembles from CSB/SJU were involved in the festival in a different way.
Students played jazz for festival goers as they traveled from booth to booth.
“Playing for the festival was a lot of fun, and it was a great way to bring the arts together in Central Minnesota, particularly tying in CSB/SJU with the
surrounding area,” junior trombonist Kevin Lamb said.
Several hundred people attended the art fair to enjoy the art, music and sunny weather.
Betty Schmit-Olson said, “The festival is a great way to take time away from the routine of everyday life and bring the community together for a display of the arts.”
The festival is a great way to celebrate local artists and musicians and bring a greater sense of community to Central Minnesota.
“The Millstream Arts Festival is vital to the businesses of St. Joseph because it puts the town on the map and brings people to the established business of downtown St. Joseph,” said Mary Niedenfuer, the Department Coordinator of the Hispanic Studies Program at CSB/SJU, as well as an organizer of the Millstream Arts Festival since its move to St. Joseph. “This is a very unique event, and we would love to see more student involvement and attendance,
especially since the festival began at CSB.”
If you missed this year’s festival, next year’s festival will be held on Sept. 20, 2018.