To the editor:
This is in response to a recent letter to The Gazette editor (“I found this to be embarrassing for the city,” May 20) which was critical of a Delaware Arts Festival Association officer. The writer of the letter claimed to have witnessed a verbal assault on a young girl at this year’s art festival by our president, Ed Nye. The writer’s letter … was misleading and omitted relevant information.
The writer was not a bystander. He was an intruder selling his art from a local business during the festival. He had not applied to be a participating artist and so did not pay the $140 fee that all the juried artists pay to participate.
The ire expressed in the letter was evidently provoked by being told twice during the festival that he was not permitted to sell his art without being connected to the festival. City ordinance 1149.13 governs who can sell from the sidewalk and who cannot. The store owner, if not the artist, should have known the rules regarding sidewalk sales.
An interaction involving the young woman who was with her father simply did not happen, and other points were grossly exaggerated. Many people saw the events to which the letter refers.
We did have complaints from the participating artists about the unauthorized vendors which also included the young woman’s father. The incident could have been avoided if the store owner and the city had abided by and enforced its ordinance regarding sidewalk sales. After looking into the various accusations, it is clear that the writer’s account was either slanted or completely false.
The Delaware Arts Festival is one of the most popular and well-attended events on Delaware’s yearly calendar. We bring new visitors to the downtown shops and restaurants. This year we’ve raised and given back to the community $15,000 in student scholarships, $10,000 to Delaware County art teachers in the form of grants, and $150 to every art teacher in Delaware County, as well as gifts to the Delaware library and the Andrews House among others.
We thank all the people who came out on a cold, damp weekend, who supported the artists and our town. We thank the city and the vast majority of people and businesses who enjoyed and supported the 43rd Delaware Arts Festival.
However, as a small group of dedicated volunteer citizens, and in view of the current controversy, such as we’ve seen in the newspaper and on social media, we will be contemplating a decision over the summer if we will continue to produce this event.
The Delaware Arts
Board of Directors