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Tallman Art and Music Festival canceled

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
July 10, 2009
— If you’ve tucked away money for a special piece of art at this year’s Tallman Art and Music Festival, you’ll have to find another place to spend it.

The 2009 Tallman Art and Music Festival has been canceled, the Rock County Historical Society announced Thursday.


“We don’t know if it is directly related to the current economic situation, but lack of sufficient artists participating in the festival and a downturn in community sponsorship has unfortunately forced us to cancel this year’s event,” Duke Ellingson, board president, wrote in a press release.


Festival organizers had hoped for at least 30 artists, but had commitments from only between 15 and 18, Ellingson said.


“We want to ensure we host quality programs, and with the current situation, we did not feel we could do that for this year’s festival,’’ he said.


For the first time, the event this year was supposed to be two days—Aug. 1 and 2—at the Lincoln-Tallman House grounds, 440 N. Jackson St. The 53rd annual event was to feature artists displaying and selling their wares plus entertainment and food.


But now that won’t happen.


“We are disappointed we have to cancel the festival this year, but we are confident the event will be back bigger and better than ever in 2010,” Ellingson wrote in a press release.


Executive Director Madge Murphy said she supports the board decision.


“It’s the right choice, but I feel bad the community will lose out on such a wonderful event,” she said.


By Thursday afternoon, Murphy had contacted all but one of the event’s sponsors as well as artists who had been juried into the show.


In general, they were supportive and understood it’s better to pull the plug now than not put on a good event, she said.


But Murphy also said the artists were concerned because for some of them the show is part of how they make their living.


In September, historical society board members will start planning for an expanded and improved 2010 festival. Organizing committee members hope to include student artwork in the event and theme, according to the news release.



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