Changes Afoot for St. James Court Art Show

by ekramer on October 1, 2009

Several changes are in affect for the 53rd annual St. James Court Art Show that opens tomorrow and runs through Sunday. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Visitors might notice fewer vendors who had independently set up outside the show area in past years. That’s due to an ordinance the Metro Council passed in May. It prohibits them from seeing up booths within 100 feet of a Metro Louisville special permitted event.

Other changes will be imperceptible to visitors but not to art show organizers. Their expenses have gone up due to this economic recession and changes in the Metro budget — so says Margue Esrock, the show’s director.

“The city’s budget has been affected and it just trickles down throughout the community,” Esrock says. “The city is now charging for overtime for the police and the dumpsters and things that we haven’t had to pay for before.”

Esrock says this year extra money from sponsorships and the consortium of neighborhood associations behind the show will cover these expenses.

And while this year’s show will feature nearly 750 exhibitors, as it has in the past, this year’s mix of individual artists will be different.

“The last 10 to 15 years, we’ve drawn artists from New York and California and Florida and Canada,” she says. “And this year, we’re seeing much more regional artists coming to the show —  from Tennessee, Ohio, Kansas.”

The show’s budget tops $300,000. Three years ago the even drew about 325,000, its largest attendance estimated by the city. Esrock says last year’s event drew nearly 225,000 people and that an economic impact study made 11 years ago showed the show brought in $7 million to the state.

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