Festival of Arts Makeover Moves Inside, Too


By Jennifer Erickson | LB Indy

Artists rendering of future entrance to the festival of Arts.
Artists rendering of future entrance to the Festival of Arts.

With the demolished main entrance to the Festival of Arts expected to be rebuilt in time for the 2015 festival, the organization is also developing concepts for an interior makeover that could begin next fall, President Fred Sattler said Wednesday at the annual membership meeting.

“The design is still a work in progress and there will be a lot of fine tuning over the next several months,” said Sattler, including obtaining city approvals.

The working concept centers on the creation of about five or six pavilions, accommodating 15 to 35 artists each, with roofs that let in more natural light, said Sattler, who estimated the interior renovation at $6 million.

The meeting provided members with a preview of the works anticipated for the 2015 Pageant of the Masters and its theme, “The Pursuit of Happiness” as well as a recap of the 2014 results for the art festival and Pageant production.

No election of board members took place because the three incumbents were unopposed. Wayne Baglin, Kathy Jones and Bob Moffett were all reinstated to serve new three-year terms.

The board did vote on this year’s officers, who each serve for one year. David Perry took over as treasurer from Anita Mangels, Jones assumed Perry’s spot as vice president, Pat Kollenda retained her post as secretary and Sattler stayed on as president.

Kollenda, who also chairs a scholarship committee, said that 19 new scholarships were awarded to high school seniors this year, in addition to continuing the scholarships for 29 returning recipients. In all, the festival awarded $88,200 in scholarships this year, compared to $81,600 last year. She described her joy at interviewing the scholarship candidates.

In her treasurer’s report, Mangels announced the Festival rang up $9.2 million in revenue this year, 78 percent of which comes from Pageant ticket sales, 10 percent from membership dues, and the rest from miscellaneous income such as lease revenue and souvenir sales, she said. Revenues declined compared to last year’s $9.5 million due to two fewer days of pageant production, an increase in California’s minimum wage and higher insurance premiums, she said.

The Festival’s net assets of $13.3 million, beyond general operation costs, will be translated into renovations of the Festival’s grounds, she said.

The annual powwow also puts a spotlight on some of the Festival’s devoted volunteers and employees.

Each year, 15-year volunteers are granted lifetime membership awards. This year Tony Navarro, Nadine Levin and Cindy Grett from the make up department and cast member Anthony Loesch, who has played Jesus Christ in “The Last Supper,” received recognition.

Sattler presented staff service awards to Sharbie Higuchi for her 16 years leading the marketing, public relations department, and Nancy Martin, who has been the casting director since 1984.

Higuchi’s recent marketing coups include a feature article on the Pageant in the Culture issue of the New York Times Sunday magazine section in September, and a segment on CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” with Mike Rowe. That show, with Rowe interviewing Pageant staff and members and getting made up to sit as Bartholomew in “The Last Supper” one night, coincidentally aired Wednesday night.


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