Art Guild prepares for annual festival

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 
 
The Five Hills Art Guild hit the ground running with the turn of the new year and is full speed ahead in planning and promoting its second annual art festival.
 
The Five Hills Art Festival, “Art in the Park”, is set for Saturday, March 25, from noon to 6 p.m at Copperas Cove City Park. The free event is open to the public.
 
Per the guild’s press release, vendors from around Texas will display and sell handcrafted wares of glass, metal art, painting, photography, art in all genres, as well as homemade gift items such as candles, needle work and more.
 
In addition to live entertainment by bands Rare Dog and The Storm’s I, as well as Austin musician and vocalist Katy Starr, there will be dance presentations by the Central Texas Belly dancing Association and GymKix at the Fester’s House stage area. One new element for this year will be food trucks at the park.
 
Along with continuing to line up vendors, the guild seeks local sponsors to come on board to support the festival.
 
The guild is offering one corporate sponsor spot for $1,500, three music sponsors at $750 each, directional sign sponsorship for $350, parking lot sponsorship for $250, and “Friend of the Festival” sponsorships for $100. 
 
In addition to a new venue—last year’s event was held in the parking lot of Cove Terrace Shopping Center—the guild has a new backer, the City of Copperas Cove.
 
“Although the Five Hills Art Festival is solely a project of the guild, we are proud to announce that the festival is a City of Copperas Cove sponsored and recognized event,” festival chair Azeita Taylor announced in a press release on Tuesday. “The guild is a local art organization created to build an association of artists and art enthusiasts to share knowledge and experience, to promote visual arts within our local communities, and to help beautify the City of Copperas Cove. Our work can be seen throughout the community, from murals prominently displayed on local real estate to art functions and more.”
 
Last fall, the guild made a pitch to the Copperas Cove city council for hotel occupancy tax funds and was approved. The guild has budgeted for paid advertising to help promote not only the festival and the guild, but the city as well in an effort to draw visitors to the community. 
 
“This year since we partnered with the city and we have a budget for advertisement, I’m excited that our audience will be much broader,” said guild president Linda Lapierre.
 
With an informal poll taken of 219 non-vendor festival attendees at the inaugural festival, 107 were from Killeen, 51 from Fort Hood, and 61 from other areas.
 
The Five Hills Art Festival was announced on Jan. 31 by the Copperas Cove Leader-Press newspaper as the “Best Community Event” in its annual Best of Cove contest, voted on by readers who submitted written paper ballots throughout the months of November and December 2016. 
 
According to the guild’s press release, the Cove Banner newspaper readers named the Five Hills Art Festival the Best Community Event as well. The Banner’s publisher, Larry Hauk, said the newspaper ran a ballot a few months ago, tabulated the winners and is in the process of notifying winners and presenting certificates, with list of winners to be announced in a future publication.
 
Lapierre was delighted with the response from the local community about last year’s festival. 
 
“I’m so happy that the readers of the Copperas Cove Leader Press and the Cove Banner have chosen our Festival as the best community event,” Lapierre said. “That is certainly something we need to live up to.”
 
The guild is currently accepting vendor applications, with a fee of $25 for a 10 x 10 space. Downloadable forms as well as sponsorship details are available on the guild’s website, fivehillsartguild.com, which was launched in January. 
 
“Now that we have a website for sharing information, audiences should be much easier to reach,” Lapierre added. “I see only great things for the future of the Five Hills Art Guild!”
 

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