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The Bella Vista Advertising and Promotion Commission, Discover Bella Vista, approved advertising funding for the Arts and Crafts festival and discussed forming a grants committee during its Thursday, Aug. 2, meeting.

Festival director Elaine Reinke requested $1,500 to advertise the festival across multiple channels, including print and television news and a rolling advertisement at the Embassy Suites in Bentonville.

"I can get the exhibitors; I need to get the shoppers for the exhibitors," she said.

Some of the funds will also help to facilitate a family tent, she said, where kids can be watched and remain occupied while parents and grandparents explore the festival.

Reinke also said she would have volunteers out with clipboards to gather ZIP codes from people entering the festival to get a clearer idea of where people are coming from. She's also agreed to collect the advertising and promotion tax from food vendors.

People come to Northwest Arkansas for craft fairs and many people make a vacation of it, she said, and this festival is essential to the Village Art Club and Wishing Spring Gallery.

"We make enough money at the festival to keep that club running," Reinke said. "If it weren't for the festival, the gallery wouldn't exist."

Economic development manager Travis Stephens said he encouraged Reinke to apply because he believes the festival is an important event for Bella Vista.

"This is their 50th year, so this is a really big milestone," he said.

Commission and city council member Doug Fowler said that Bella Vista is known for its high-quality craft fair and this was an easy grant to vote for. Moreover, he said, it sounds like Reinke is planning to spend the money in ways that line up with the commission's goals.

Fowler said he's open to providing more funding if this does not prove adequate.

"It sounds to me like you really have your act together," he said.

The commission voted unanimously in favor of granting the funds.

The commission also discussed a grants committee, part of the strategic plan prepared by Jim Fram.

Stephens explained that the committee would consist of three people who meet four times per year -- on months the commission will not meet -- to look at grant applications and prepare a recommendation for the rest of the commission.

Tom Judson and Doug Fowler volunteered for the committee.

Fowler suggested Richard Siker or Ben Biesenthal, or possibly splitting responsibilities between them, though neither was present. Fowler said it could help to have a restaurant's perspective on the committee.

General News on 08/08/2018

Print Headline: Advertising commission provides craft fair funding

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