OK, so now that Artisan Knitworks is in its new home in Farmington, MI, it's time to focus attention on the fabulous Third Coast Fiber Arts Festival, to be held October 18-19 at Wayne State University. Let me be blunt: Some of you probably have noticed (who could miss it?) the very bad publicity about Detroit that has flooded the airways and newspaper front pages. Bankruptcy indeed has happened. Detroit indeed has some abandoned buildings. But, sadly, the media has focused on bad stuff -- and not paid any attention to the really wonderful places in Detroit, the great recovery that has occurred over the past while. As last year, but more pointedly, I am hearing things about how unsafe Detroit is, how difficult it would be to attend a festival in midtown, etc.
It's important to be respectful. I don't want to suggest that people shouldn't believe what they believe if they want to. But I DO know this: Wayne State University is situated within a BOOMING local economy. Midtown Detroit is not falling down. Midtown is an economic success and has been for the past several years. Wayne State has 32,000 wonderful students and a huge staff. It also has a large public safety department. Recently, we learned that we have THE safest campus of any of the public universities in Michigan. Please read that sentence over again. The festival takes place in a glass and marble palace designed by the famed architect Yamasaki.
Most important -- even if facts don't about midtown don't do the trick -- I hope that people will consider who is coming.
Barry Klein! Laura Bryant! Lily Chin! Candace Eisner Strick! Judy Pascale! Jill Bigelow Suttell! Sarah Peasley! and a wide array of local talent. Costs are almost half of what these people command at other festivals -- we're trying to make things available to people in a city hard-hit by recession.
We have better enrollment than last year in our workshops, which is GOOD. Four of them (including one of Chin's) are apt to fill completely within the next week. So, if you want to work with these amazing people, click on our website (www.thirdcoastfiber.com) and make selections. Parking is a half-block from the McGregor Center, and it's of course guarded (always has been). If you haven't been to Midtown in the past few years, it's fair to say you will be astonished.
We are very pleased with enrollments thus far in the workshops. We still have room on the above-ground vendor floors for makers and other artisans, so if you know somebody who spins or dyes, etc., put them onto the festival. We might have missed somebody.