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Editor's Note: Where art though?

It has been a few years since the city of Shafter has been the site of the Colours Festival, which had been an annual event for a few years before that. The event, which started out very small, had grown to draw attendees and artists throughout the county and beyond, drawing nationally renowned artists to some of the events.

Well, I just loved attending the events at the festival, from the art gallery, the coffee house music, the Shafter Symphony – all of the events were great.

I don’t think that a lot of people realize what a talented community that we have when it comes to the fine arts. There are plenty of artists in a variety of mediums, and it is a shame that this event has not been held in years. We all know that fine arts is in bad enough shape on a school level, with budgets being cut. I don’t think many schools even have an orchestra any more. These outlets allow kids to express themselves, as well as giving them something that they love.

With no outlets for their passions, some people may just stop painting, or singing, or acting, whatever their specific talent is.

The people who were in charge of the festival have either moved away, or just decided that they were not interested in continuing their role. One big problem is that there were no younger residents ready to step in to fill their shoes. Some people I talked to would love to go to the festival, but they are not interested in working to hold it.

I was talking to local artist Charlotte White recently at the Tin Cup. She has a few new pieces on display there. She mentioned that she really enjoyed being a part of the festival, with a variety of her work on display at the art gallery at the festival. “I would always look forward to that festival. It as a lot of fun,” said White. “I would be willing to help get artists to the festival, having a lot of connections in the area.”

She suggested – and I agree with her – that we should return this festival to the city by starting out small and local. We could attract the artists that we have in the area, making a weekend of it with different activities for a great number of people.

Maybe we could have just a weekend event, with a spaghetti dinner, which was always a part of the festival, with also the Colours Fun Run, which always drew a huge crowd. We could also have an Art Gallery, the Coffee House Music event, and a play at the Ford Theater. This would be more than enough for a weekend of fun.

If you are missing the opportunity to watch a play, or hear a symphony or just look at some beautiful art, make some noise around town and the city. Let your voice be heard as we go once again without one of the most important events in our city.

Jamie Stewart is editor of The Shafter Press. The opinions expressed in this column are his own, and do not necessarily represent this newspaper or its management.


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