Best of Shows: MAIN ST. Festival Sweeps Texas Awards

FORT WORTH–MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival (MAIN ST.), one of the nation’s best of shows, swept this year’s Texas Festivals and Events Association awards for marketing, receiving the Zenith—or best event honors—in its category and a glittering collection of gold and silver awards.

“MAIN ST. is simply the best of shows in its class, and these awards echo the experience of everyone who is a part of the event,” said Richard Ruddell, president and executive director of the T as well as festival and events committee chair for MAIN ST. producer Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc.

The awards are presented by the Texas Festivals and Events Association, an official affiliate of the International Festivals & Events Association and professional trade association for Texas-based festival and event planners, volunteers and suppliers.

Since its debut in 1986, MAIN ST. has grown in stature to rank among the top U.S. fine art fairs, making it only fitting that festival marketing campaigns be created under the direction of Gladys Pinkerton, a classically trained artist as well as award-winning advertising creative director and principal at Pinkerton Design.

The fine arts might have won out in her own choice of careers, Pinkerton said, had Texas and its communities offered 30 years ago the kind of support that events and programs like MAIN ST. and its outreach efforts provide artists today.

“Fine artists face the facts of life like everyone else,” Pinkerton said. “We can starve just so long. Without the level of support artists receive from MAIN ST. and its programs, talented people in every generation would make the decision to go another route. That makes it a real pleasure to be a part of MAIN ST. and know that this show and the underwriters who support it make it possible for young people to choose fine arts as a career,” she said.

Pinkerton praised MAIN ST.’s award-winning education and outreach programs, which include the Emerging Artist initiative that offers those with limited art fair experience a place at MAIN ST.; the Young People’s Art Fair presented by XTO Energy, in which artists ages 7 to 17 show and sell their own original art; and Art on Tour, a traveling exhibit of work by MAIN ST. artists that is collected and curated by Fort Worth district art students. Art on Tour was launched by Chesapeake Energy and festival organizers to drill down fine arts education at the high school level, and the program equips young artists with practical skills needed for a career as fine artists.

The festival’s TFEA trophies, including 14 gold awards, were received for advertising and event collateral created by Pinkerton in cooperation with Concussion, a Fort Worth advertising and marketing agency, and provide a fitting overture for the 25th annual MAIN ST. festival, scheduled April 8-11, 2010.

MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival packs downtown Fort Worth each spring with a celebration of fine arts and crafts, music, film and food stretching from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center. More than 200 juried artists line brick-paved Main Street, joined by musicians and dancers on three stages. Performance artists and food and drink vendors complete the scene.

MAIN ST. is presented by Coors Light and produced by Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. Jay Downie, CFEE, is festival director.

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