Monday, January 30, 2017

Renaissance seeks artists, volunteers and sponsors for Francisco's Farm festival, members for board

Midway Renaissance is still seeking artists for its annual Francisco's Farm Arts Festival, to be held at Midway University May 20 and 21.

Tuesday is the deadline for artists to apply, but it may have to be extended because not enough have applied, Treasurer Leslie Penn said after the group's annual membership meeting.

The chili cook-off preceded the Midway Renaissance meeting.
The festival is also looking for volunteers and sponsors, Midway University Vice President Ellen Gregory told the crowd at the meeting, bolstered by the annual chili cook-off at Midway Christian Church.

"If you can make it here tonight at eat chili, you can be a volunteer for the Francisco's Farm Arts Festival," Gregory said. "You really get to know your neighbors and become lifelong friends."

Also, "We are always looking for sponsors," she said. "Any way you wish to serve, we appreciate it."

Midway Renaissance is also looking for board members to serve three-year terms; it has 10 and can have up to 18, Board Member Debra Shockley told the crowd.

The board meets once a month. Its next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Midway branch library. Officers for the year will be elected.

Shockley said Renaissance will keep City Hall and its restrooms open Saturday, Feb. 11, for the merchants' annual Chocolate Stroll, and will again sponsor Midsummer Nights in Midway in June, July and August.

Shockley began the meeting by recounting the history of Renaissance, which formed to seek grants from the state's Renaissance Kentucky Program in 2001. The largest grant reworked Main Street and financed the purchase of the Rau Building for City Hall.

Funding decreased under Gov. Ernie Fletcher in 2003-07, and Renaissance left the program in 2011 because it no longer had funds to employ a Main Street manager as required by the state. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said in March 2016 that there was potential to re-create the position in the next three years, perhaps in the capacity of a tourism and economic development director for the city.

The Living History Committee of Renaissance got the street markets for the Midway Historic District last year, and other Renaissance committees have evolved into the group that supports Walter Bradley Park, and the Nursing Home Task Force that led to building of The Homeplace at Midway, Shockley said.

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