Florida church marks 30+ years of support for artists and makers

Participants enjoy the arts and crafts at the St. Stephen’s Art Show and Makersfest. Photo/St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, in the Miami suburb of Coconut Grove, has scheduled its annual arts festival, to be held Feb. 18-20, 2023 on the church’s campus.

The arts have been an integral part of the 112-year-old parish, including the current St. Stephen’s Art Show and Makersfest.

“What began as a hot dog and refreshment stand on St. Stephen’s property during the weekend of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival has blossomed into a top ranked outdoor arts and fine crafts festival in its own right. Ranked as high as 8th in the country in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s ‘Best 200 Fine Art Shows,’ the St. Stephen’s [show] plays an important role in the South Florida art scene,” the church posted on its website.

St. Stephen’s posted this video, illustrating the history of the arts fair.

The church “has proudly given artists, craftspeople, artisans, and musicians a venue for sharing their art with the wider community for over 30 years. Our commitment to the arts is strong and passionate. We believe that, being created in God’s image, when we create we are living into the image of the Creator,” said the rector, the Rev. Willie Allen-Faiella, in a statement on the church’s art show website.

St. Stephen’s also announced that its parishioners have donated to allow free admission to the arts fair, subsidizing the usual $3.00 admission fee. “Despite our own struggles as a not-for-profit in this time, we are proud to pay it forward. Any time the community can gather outdoors and support local artisans, it is important,” Allen-Faiella said.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Stephen’s continued to present its arts show, occasionally scaled down, outdoors with COVID restrictions such as social distancing and masking in place.

The church, on its website, said it “continues to act out its vision” by “offering a variety of cultural, spiritual, entertainment and public service programming to the community.”

The call for artists for the 2023 show noted that fine artists apply for the art show area; makers of music, food, original goods and find craft apply for the MakersFest area. Musicians apply to perform on the festival’s center stage.

More information is on the art show’s Facebook page.

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