40th Annual College Hill Arts Festival
on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the College Hill Arts Festival. Since 1978, the festival has come a long way. Back then, artists displayed their works of art on the steep slope of College Street. This year, on June 15 and 16, visitors can enjoy the work of artists, musicians and a food court in the shade of the University of Northern Iowa campus at the corner of 23rd and College Streets.
The festival strives to provide a showcase of outstanding and nationally-recognized artists who will offer artwork that is original, creative, inventive, and unique. To do so, this volunteer-run festival begins their preparations for the festival early in the year. Applications and ads targeted to potential artists go to national artist magazines in September. In November, the application process for artists begins and jurying is done in January.
Musical entertainment is also an important part of the festival and both days will be filled with performances by local and regional musicians. On Friday, the talent includes Josia Eden (acoustic folk music), Ally & The Gators (country and pop covers), HMS Marimba Band, Karla Ruth (local singer/songwriter) and Tim & The True Tones. On Saturday, the lineup includes the UNI Suzuki School in the morning followed by The Enablers (a local family band), The Ok Factor (a bluegrass/jazz/pop duo) and Orquesta Alto Maize (salsa band).
New this year, the festival will host the Eulenspiegel Puppets for two performances on Saturday. The theatre company will delight all ages with their puppetry of an international folktale, “Uncle Rabbit’s Adventures,” a delightful story celebrating the victory of a small, clever rabbit.
Also, the festival will be giving away 40, $40 gift certificates to celebrate their anniversary. The gift certificates can be used at any artist’s booth during the 2018 festival. One drawing of 15 gift certificates will take place on Friday at 5:00 pm and a second drawing of 25 gift certificates will take place on Saturday at noon. There will be a tear out form in the 2018 booklet which can be completed and turned in to the Patron Booth or one of the three sales booths on site (one winner per person only). Lucky winners will be notified immediately after the drawings by telephone call.
The College Hill Arts Festival is run completely on a volunteer basis and volunteers are always welcome. Volunteers help in shifts at the three sales tents where Gary Kelley's posters and festival tee shirts are sold. The festival is also looking to find someone interested in fund raising for the Festival which is a 501(c)3 organization and depends on the generous support of local organizations and businesses. Anyone who would be interested in helping should contact Mary-Sue Bartlett at email@example.com or Doug Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, why do visitors come back year after year? Mary-Sue Bartlett said, “I think that the people come back each year because we are a small festival which allows our patrons to interact on a personal level with the artists -- which artists have told me they really appreciate and value as opposed to the larger, more impersonal festivals where they have very little interaction with the public. Plus, we offer some top notch music by our performing artists in a park like setting where they can sit and listen or even better get up and dance!!! And, we have some terrific new food vendors this year so we're excited about that!”
The festival continues to offer our community an exciting opportunity to find wonderful artwork here in Cedar Falls. The event is free to attend and open Friday, June 15, from noon to 8:00 pm and Saturday, June 16, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Be sure to visit their website for more details on artists, their lineup of musicians and food vendors.
Want to find more Things to Do, Places to Eat & Drink and Places to Stay while you’re in Cedar Falls? Visit or call the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 800-845-1955 or at 6510 Hudson Road. The visitor center is open seven days a week.
We’d be happy to help!
And...Many thanks to Mary-Sue Bartlett for her input and information for this blog post.
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