By Mary Hladky
Our 32nd annual PeaceWorks KC Local Art Fair, in Theis Park, was inundated with rain on Saturday, Sept. 23, keeping patrons away. Sunday, Sept. 24, was a perfectly glorious day with robust sales. But even with Sunday’s strong sales, we were unable to reach last year’s total sales. No matter! Our diverse group of artists and customers enjoyed the fair and its many offerings. Artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields summed it up: “undampened spirits!”
Theis Park provides a beautiful setting for people to enjoy a peaceful time perusing the overflowing creativity of art from 70+ artists. Fairgoers enjoyed a multitude of paintings, pottery, handcrafted jewelry, watercolor gift cards, marbles and wood bowls.
MoPeace Street Theatre Thespians performed a skit with quite a bit of humor, addressing the serious topics of war, its weapons and the suffering in Ukraine. Our attendees also got to speak with nonprofit organization leaders who tabled to inform us of the good work being done in the Kansas City area. Richard Mabion spoke about his work to counter the climate crisis and noted government funds available to create “green” jobs providing meaningful, good-paying jobs for inner-city residents. Other speakers included Steve Kellog of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Theodore John of Veterans for Peace, and representatives of Citizens for Justice in the Middle East. Rachel MacNair from Better Ballot KC stressed how important it is to adopt ranked choice voting because RCV is more democratic.
PeaceWorks believes our local art fair is an important event for the community. The fair not only financially supports the artists but PeaceWorks activities throughout the year. We believe art is a form of sharing. Art can challenge us, make us think and feel. Art can bring people together, build community, educate and change attitudes. That’s work we believe in.
So many people commented that they really enjoyed the fair and are looking forward to next year. And that’s the best indicator of success!!
—Mary Hladky is a vice chair of PeaceWorks KC. Jim Hannah took the photos in the slide show.