AthFest 2012 Report

Note: This post first went up on July 4th, 2012. Before it had been public 12 hours, it completely disappeared from my blog, without even my draft remaining online. I don’t know what happened, but I do know this: My silence will not protect me. Thus, I am re-posting the story of AthFest, 2012.
People Circling 9 by Beth Thompson

People Circling 9 by Beth Thompson

So I am sure you are all wondering how I did with my recent art festival, AthFest.

The positives…

• I made back the booth fee, plus a little more

• Lots and lots of people were exposed to my art

• I handed out every business card I brought with me

• I had one or two serious lookers at my large, fiber-based prints and gliclee canvas print.

• I determined which photo products sold the best at that event, puzzles and onesies.

•My friends told me not only did I look and act professional, but that people had looks of awe and wonder when viewing my art.

AthFest 2012 Booth 33 by Beth Thompson

AthFest 2012 Booth 33 by Beth Thompson

The negatives…

• The heat was like an entity, and totally and utterly draining.

• None of my friends came to help me set up or break down. A volunteer helped me set up, and a neighbor helped me break down the tent, otherwise, it was just me and the heat.

• I got a bruise as big as a tennis ball on my shoulder breaking down the tent, which still hasn’t completely healed.

• It has taken me about 10 days to fully recover from a weekend in that heat.

Beth Thompson and Red Fall Oconee Gliclee Canvas

Beth Thompson and Red Fall Oconee Gliclee Canvas

The food for thought….

AthFest had fundamentalist Christian protesters. Apparently, our music and dancing was a sin, paving the road to hell, and the artists were simply out to make a buck, and we needed to repent our materialistic ways.

Fundamentalist Protesters' Signs by Beth Thompson

Fundamentalist Protesters’ Signs by Beth Thompson

•  The following link goes to an article in the local paper about the protesters.

• The protesters were not from Athens, but from Kentucky.

• I counter-protested them chanting: Creativity is a gift from God, Using my creativity is my gift back to God.

• My friend Eric, who visited the week after, also pointed out that Not using my creativity is an insult to God. However, I think He/She is a compassionate Divinity of Love, and is not capable of ever being offended and insulted by us.

Eric at his Urban Farm in Charleston by Beth Thompson

Eric at his Urban Farm in Charleston by Beth Thompson

• I was so pumped from counter-protesting them, I made a sale to the next person who stopped by my booth.

• I have been reading the Sultana series, by Jean Sasson, which highlights the dangers of fundamentalist Muslim sects. I think there are also dangers with fundamentalist Christian sects.

• The protesters claimed their rights were violated because the ACC police made them leave the festival area. In my opinion, the ACC police prevented the festival-goers from violating their rights even more. (It was turning into a mob-like situation).

• I do have to thank The PinPoint Ministry, because by exercising their right to Freedom of Speech, they also protect my right to Freedom of Speech. In addition, they have given me the opportunity to express myself, and exercise my Freedom of Press as well.

Code Pink March DC Kaleidoscope Photo by Beth Thompson

Code Pink March DC Kaleidoscope Photo by Beth Thompson, A march in DC where I exercised my First Amendment Rights.

• When I left on Saturday, I drove by their protest, and felt delight that a local was playing a saxophone in counter protest to their bullhorn.

I love my hometown, Athens, GA!

Live Music Kaleidoscope by Beth Thompson (The Randall Bramlett Band, whose music I heard Saturday of AthFest!)

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