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City to sponsor San Bernardino Arts Fest 2018 at San Manuel Stadium

By in Press Enterprise on October 24, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

Artists near and far, young and old, will converge at San Manuel Stadium in March for the third annual San Bernardino Arts Fest.

The City Council last week voted to sponsor the growing festival, which community members, fine arts commissioners and elected officials believe bring vitality to the area.

“There is ample evidence that the arts help stimulate community redevelopment,” Councilman Henry Nickel said from the dais. “I’ve seen it in other parts of the country, how the arts can reinvigorate a community through very artful arts districts.

“Distressed communities can come back in a major way, in an innovative and enlightening and desirable way.”

The city will pay $25,000 for such expenses as stage rentals, welcome banners and event flags, newspaper and radio advertisements and after-event clean-up.

The first two festivals were held downtown and featured music and theater performances, poetry readings, dance sessions and art displays.

Cal State San Bernardino, San Bernardino Valley College, San Bernardino City Unified School District and the Arts Connection have thrown their support behind the event.

“The arts are important,” said Danielle Wallis, executive director of the Arts Connection. “They’re something to be valued, something to be celebrated. This community needs the positive arts. It needs that respite from all the other stuff going on.”

Next year’s Arts Fest will be on March 24 at San Manuel Stadium. The city will staff the festival with employees and volunteers, but may need to pay up to $5,600 for stadium personnel, officials said.

While some council members questioned relocating the event, Mark Persico, community development director, said the change of venue will provide better security for prized artwork. The event could return to downtown, he added, but “for the next couple of years, the stadium is the logical location.”

The expected crowd of 7,000 can enjoy performance art, pop-up art booths and several food trucks.

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