Marin Arts & Culture MAC_JUNE_upload - Page 15

Their mandate is to raise awareness and lobby for the re-appropriation of medications that are already in the marketplace to have them tweaked a little bit and have them used for people with rare diseases. LO: Tell me about this year’s festival. KM: This year’s theme is the Summer of Love, and came from discussions with the staff. We are usually focused on Italy, but this year when we discovered that it was the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, we just had to do it. The art and the music are going to be off the charts! It will be great for the public and for the baby boomers who have nostalgia for that era and the millennials who are curious about that era because that’s where their parents came out of. I think it’s a great way for us to reach new audiences. LO: Does the organization use a lot of volunteers to make ends meet? KM: This organization is so dependent on volunteers it’s just crazy. The hardest part of the job is just getting enough people, because not only do all the event staff volunteer during the festival, but all the artists and musicians volunteer too. And the idea that they are all down there on the hot pavement in 100-degree weather drawing with chalk for two days—it’s astounding how much passion and commitment the artists have to have to make that happen. LO: Where do the artists come from? KO: They come from Mexico and Italy and throughout the U.S. We try to provide them with some travel stipends and some housing for the out-of-town artists. Some of these modern Madonnari [street painters] participate in 10-12 of these kinds of events all over the world, but San Rafael is one of the David LaFlamme presents the music of It's A Beautiful Day Saturday, at Summer of Love: An Art and Music Experience premier locations and is considered to be a major festival. LO: Why do the artists do this? LO: Do you think the arts have a positive financial impact on the community? KM: The amount of positive economic impact that the arts have on the community is amazing. The arts bring people downtown, and then they patronize other businesses, like going out to dinner. I think the arts are really integral to the health of any community. And it has really developed into a So when 10,000 people come family of people. It is a reunion and downtown for two days to the a circuit but they feel very taken Italian Street Paining Festival, other care of in San Rafael. We try to businesses will benefit. make them comfortable—there’s a couple of big dinners that everyone LO: What is the main source of the revenue? comes to, so it’s a huge social and family reunion every year. And I love KM: Most come from sponsorships. the fact that it’s such a community- A company will purchase a square driven event with a strong history and they get matched up with an and amazing and incredible art. artist, but there is a very strict policy LO: What else does the foundation on not representing the company within the art— there is a banner do? across the top. We do quite a bit KM: We want to do other things to make sure our sponsors are that aren’t part of the festival recognized and acknowledged, and to raise awareness about street many sponsors are repeats. painting and also promote arts education. So one of the things we LO: Are you enjoying putting on the street festival? do is we actually provide grants to other nonprofits in Marin County. KM: Being in Marin and being able We just did a grants ceremony at to do this kind of work and living Artworks Downtown and we gave here too—I love it! about $4,000 in grants out to eight For more information about Italian Street Painting Marin, visit: or nine organizations and last year we gave out about $11,000. KM: You cannot stop artists from producing art. They have tremendous passion and they want to express themselves. This is also a performance art because everything is happening in real time and things kind of evolve out of the street. MARIN ARTS & CULTURE 15