The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) has hosted its annual auction featuring one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments created by local artists since the early years of the council in the 1970s. The event will return again this year on Thursday, December 7, at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
“The idea was to highlight local visual artists as one of the many elements that helped define Oxford as an arts community,” said YAC Director Wayne Andrews. The signature event connects residents to artists while raising funds to support programs that range from free family concerts in The Grove to live theatre and educational programs for all ages.
The signature event brings artists and local art lovers together while raising funds to support programs that range from free family concerts in The Grove to live theatre and educational programs for all ages.
“We need our artists,” Andrews said. “This tradition has helped to connect residents to artists and support a community organization focused on programs that ensure the arts are at the cornerstone of our community.”
Each year the Arts Council reaches out to artists to ask for a donation of their talent. Any artist can create an ornament for the auction, which strives to showcase the depth of talent in the community. The donation of ornaments helps to drive the economic impact the arts bring to the community.
“The ornament auction is one of our biggest events and one of our largest motivators for people to join,” Andrews noted. “The event is free to anyone with a membership, which starts at just $35. We view it as a celebration honoring local artists.”
The power of a $35 membership was reflected in 2016 as the YAC was selected by Americans for the Arts to take part in a year-long study that tracked the economic impact of the Arts in Lafayette County. The recently released results showed that over 222,000 people attended arts events in Lafayette County in 2016, with 30 percent being out-of-town visitors, creating an economic impact of $11 million dollars in the community. Those dollars are spent in restaurants, hotels, shops, taxis and tickets, Andrews said.
For their donation of ornaments, artists are thanked with a membership in the Arts Council and take part in the annual celebration. Local restaurants sponsor tasting stations during the auction, while live music from Mississippi musicians fills the Powerhouse.
“Our goal is to reach out to every artist,” Andrews said. “If you are an artist, I hope you will consider this an invitation to be part of the event, even if you have not yet been contacted by one of our volunteer committee members.”
Ornaments should be turned in by December 1, as the volunteers photograph the ornament and feature them online.
Special to HottyToddy.com.
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