To the Editor,
For months leading up to the Summer Arts & Music Festival, preparations for the event dominate the workload of staff and board at the Mateel Community Center. Planning meetings; talent committee meetings; coordinator meetings; negotiations; contracting performers; soliciting volunteers; applying for permits; writing publicity and getting it out; advertising sales for the program guides and festival sponsorships; writing and directing layout of the programs; program distribution; equipment maintenance, acquisitions, and preparation and set-up of the festival grounds ... the list is seemingly endless and the closer it gets to the festival date, the more work-intensive it becomes and the more volunteers are involved. So when Saturday morning, that first weekend of June finally arrives, ready or not, the Summer Arts & Music Festival begins.
This year, the 36th for the festival, was our busiest and most well-attended ever. Southern Humboldt was blessed by beautiful June weather and the community came out in record numbers, as did visitors from all over the tri-county area and beyond. A huge thank-you to everyone who attended and who shared our pride and love of this annual community gathering.
Many thanks go out to all our sponsors including Aurora Innovations/RootsOrganics, Dazey’s Supply, Frey Vineyards, KHUM Radio, KMUD Radio, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Magnetic Memories, New Harris General Store, North Coast Knittery, North Coast Mercantile, Redwood Curtain Brewing Company, The Security Store, Trim Scene Solutions and Wildberries Marketplace. Advertisers and sponsors provide us with the financial backing to produce our two biggest fundraisers, the Summer Arts & Music Festival and Reggae on the River.
The festival proceeds allow us to run the center providing arts and social programs and events for children, youth and adults and to make the hall available for meetings, conferences, workshops, classes, celebrations, memorials and more.
The arts, craft and food vendors reported record sales this year, with some of the food vendors even running out of food before 6 p.m. both days. Thank you for your participation and the quality products.
A huge thank you to all of the fantastic volunteers of Summer Arts. Coordinators and their volunteer crews, many of whom have been helping put on this festival for many years, form the backbone of Summer Arts. We appreciate your gracious good will and hard work. Your work is vital to the success of this festival.
We’d also like to thank the Southern Humboldt Unified School District whose improved shuttle services this year made commuting from town and campsites more convenient than ever for festival attendees. The Mateel is happy to support the schools and appreciate the school district’s support as well.
Thank you to the Benbow Hotel & Resort and all the residents of lower Benbow for accepting the temporary influx of traffic the festival brings to your neighborhood on Summer Arts weekend. Also, thanks to Charles and Jan Benbow and Chris Anderson for the use of your properties for parking.
Thank you to all the people who loaned us equipment, including Ken Willis whose two large generators powered the main stage and power needs for food vendors.
Lastly, we want to extend a big thank-you to California State Parks and particularly the State Park employees who helped with security at the festival. We are grateful that the Benbow site will be available for the Summer Arts & Music Festival for many years to come, and encourage everyone to join us in supporting the State Parks that enhance our environment, economy and quality of life here on the North Coast
On behalf of the Mateel Community Center, thank you to our community, one and all.
Mateel Community Center