Why the Saint Louis Art Fair Attends the Arts Festival Conference

Author: ZAPP Team
Date: July 2, 2013

Cindy Lerick, president and executive director of Cultural Festivals, Inc. — the producers of the Saint Louis Art Fair — was very first to register for the 2013 Arts Festival Conference when registration went live in May. Recently the ZAPP® team spoke with Lerick by phone to ask her thoughts on this annual professional and business development event created for artists and administrators in the arts festival field.


ZAPP: What made you register for the conference, especially so many months out?

Lerick: I didn’t want to forget! [Laughs] But really, there’s a couple things. One, I always learn something from someone and two, I think we need professional development. We need to interact with other people and learn from other creatives in intellectually stimulating areas. What’s new? What’s different? Who’s having issues and what are they? That’s the only way I can get better at what I do. There’s always lots of interaction with people [who attend] before, during, and after. I get something from the sessions and from the people who go.

ZAPP: What are you most looking forward to?

Lerick: Getting all of us together, relaxing in Louisville, and not having to be in charge. [Laughs] It’s not my event; I’m not responsible or in charge so I get to enjoy it in a different way.

ZAPP: What advice do you have for others on getting the most out of the conference?

Lerick: Have an open mind. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy each other. Talk to other people, don’t just hang with your buddies. Get invested. Don’t sit in the back row. If you’re going to go, own it and have a good time. You may think you don’t have time to go to happy hour, but go to happy hour. Don’t know anyone at the table? Sit at the table. Get to know them. Open yourself up. Be honest: share the good and the bad and take the same in return. Don’t be a know-it-all. Is working in festivals [as an artist or administrator] a job for you or a career? If it’s a career you’re going to learn. Take the info in and apply it your world when you get home.