Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival a no-go?

KINGSTON — The Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival has supported young artists for 50 years.

Festival 51 is a question mark.

Organizers say slumping volunteer support has made them question whether to carry on planning the 2010 event.

“We have a lot of people saying they support us,” Festival President Evy Halvorsen Holstein said. “But they’re not showing up physically.”

Halvorsen hopes to see supporters at a Feb. 10 meeting in Kingston, where the decision on the 2010 festival will be made. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the North Kitsap Fire and Rescue Station, 26642 Miller Bay Road NE. The festival is scheduled for July 30, 31, and Aug. 1 at Kola Kole Park.

The festival raises scholarship money for young artists to continue their education. Halvorsen said her organization gave out about $14,000 in scholarships last year.

The 2009 event attracted several hundred art show entries and 100 vendors.

It takes about 40 volunteers to run the festival, but Halvorsen said the group is also looking for planning help.

Corinne Miller has served on the festival’s board and volunteered for six years. Though not an artist herself, Miller said she believes in the mission of the festival.

“The benefit of the festival is to support education, which is important to me,” Miller said. “It’s so worthwhile because you see all the children and young adults who earn scholarships.”

The decline of arts programs at some public schools has added importance to the festival, she added.

“That’s why we fight to keep this one going.”

Find out more about the Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival at