The New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival will return in 2019 under the direction of a new team led by The New Hope Chamber of Commerce.
Details were announced recently by Terry Meehan, the new president of the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, and Alexander Fraser, producing director of Bucks County Playhouse, which has been stewarding and presenting the festival since 2014.
For many years, The New Hope Chamber produced the festival, but in 2014 the group was unable to continue due to organizational challenges. At the same time, the Borough of New Hope and Bucks County Playhouse agreed the theater would step in to take over operation of the then-defunct New Hope Visitors Center.
With a volunteer committee continuing to manage the Arts and Crafts Festival, the proceeds could in turn pay for the Visitors Center operations. Now that the New Hope Chamber is seeing a resurgence and is reorganizing under Meehan, it is eager to take the reins of the festival once again.
“When the borough came to us in 2014 asking us to keep the festival going, we happily agreed,” said Fraser. “We understood how important both the festival and the Visitors Center are to New Hope and were happy to step up. We are pleased the New Hope Chamber will resume its place as festival organizer, and we look forward to supporting their efforts in organizing the 2019 festival.”
Meehan said, “The New Hope Chamber is grateful to the Playhouse for everything it did to keep this important event going. The volunteer committee, led by Sharon Flanagan and Linda Rowe, did a remarkable job the last four years — making the festival a highlight of a busy season in our beautiful community.
“We look forward to continuing the tradition and are ready to roll up our sleeves and work to create another memorable festival in 2019,” she added.
Entering its 26th year, the annual New Hope Juried Arts and Crafts Festival is held every September and features more than 160 local and national artists and craftspeople. The event features an artists’ market, family-friendly activities, food and music.
The New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival has traditionally attracted artisans from states along the east coast, as well as thousands of visitors. The past four years, proceeds have benefited the New Hope Visitors Center.
The volunteer leadership committee for the past four years of the festival has included Flanagan and Rowe, along with New Hope residents Kate McCann, Stephanie Nagy, Gayle Goodman, Vicki Duffy and Connie Gering.