Westport’s Fine Arts Festival is the leading mid-summer arts and culture event on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Drawing 10,000 visitors and recently ranking 34th in the nation for Fine Arts Fairs, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association presents a packed event perfect for sponsors and quality commercial vendors to reach a broad and sophisticated demographic from the tri-state region and beyond.
Please contact Jacqui Bidgood at Events1@WestportDMA.com for more information
The Westport Downtown Merchants Association
The Westport Downtown Merchants Association is a 50 year 501 (c6) non-profit supporting Westport’s downtown area and currently in application for 501C(3) charitable status. Westport’s DMA maintains strong ties with Town government, landlords and property owners as well as constant contact with merchants and store managers. Additionally the DMA has distinguished itself as presenter of marquis events such as the Fine Arts Festival and the craft beer event, Westoberfest. In addition to managing certain town services, the DMA is proud to have been leaders in the path to improve the beautification of the downtown shopping area.
WDMA is closely aligned to the Westport Public Library and other long standing non profit agencies in town such as:
Wakeman Town Farm,
Westport Historical Society,
Westport Art Center,
The Artist Collective of Westport,
Chamber of Commerce
Many arts based non-profit organizations.
These close liaisons extend the DMA’s reach well beyond its focal merchant constituency
Fine Arts Festival: An Elite Juried Event
In 2017 when our festival achieved its highest ranking of 34th in the nation, it came as no surprise to those who know the care and vision WDMA had invested. Moving back to Main Street, engaging a regionally acclaimed Artist Director in Sue Brown Gordon, and planning a new footprint that melds patrons with art, food, music, sponsors and merchants.
Developing the best for this festival remains WDMA’s highest priority and in 2019 will be introducing new exhibits for Emerging Artists, a high-lighted collection of local artisans from cooperative Artist Collective of Westport and a specialized docent tour for designers with top notch clients seeking quality art to present in refined beach homes.
Within the 12 classic categories of art there will be a fresh emphasis on sculpture, textiles and digital/mixed media - WDMA will receive hundreds of artist applications and only 175 will be selected by judges of highest qualification.
Additionally expert on site judges will award prizes to categories and best in show at an exciting awards party, open to public and where sponsors can enjoy a relaxing evening for a full appreciation of the art, culture and region they support.
Fine Arts Festival Demographics
The 2019 Fine Arts Festival and Westport Library Annual Book Sale will draw more than 10,000 guests to its weekend cultural destination from Westport, the surrounding Fairfield County area, New York Metro and beyond.
This sophisticated and affluent suburb is part of Connecticut’s “Gold Coast”, also known for its unrivalled Longshore beach and golf amenities, nationally ranked school system and close proximity to Manhattan. It is a base to over 110 high end national and independent retailers, and calls itself home to many figureheads of commerce, entertainment and the arts.
Westport’s downtown private investment includes the high class residential and retail of Bedford Square plus other new mixed use developments underway on Elm Street and Belden Place on Main street. The Town of Westport is developing a new wayfinding and signage plan along with improving downtown aesthetics. Paving the way for more people to live downtown and increase recreational opportunities, Westport is embracing how people choose to use downtowns as gathering spaces as well as to shop.
Westport: 26,400 Fairfield County: 950,000
Westport: $185k Fairfield County: $110k
Westport Downtown Merchants Association: Local Leaders in Branding and Exposure
Now in his third year as President of WDMA, Randy Herbertson is a nationally recognized leader and educator in market and branding strategy, and the Principal of his Westport based 25-person creative studio.
Randy has led the WDMA team to develop best exposure programs for both artists and supporting sponsors using social media, partner agency programs such as the far reach Westport Mom’s community franchise plus the reach of our other non-profit partners. Print, radio and editorial features are placed with the best proven sources regionally.
Carefully planned local media exposure and local signage by both WDMA and Westport Public library ensures many thousands of attendees will be at the event, often for both days to take advantage of all there is to see and do.
Highest commercial level art and graphics produced for consistent branding quality of signage and media.
Relationships are strengthened with local eateries as weekend menu features are promoted and top class on-site food vending is offered by leading local restaurants.
International drink brands sponsor bars and draw patrons to relax and refresh.
Mellow live professional music is interspersed through the festival, ensuring a welcome atmosphere where ever patrons wander.
EVents Done Right - Producing High Level Patron Engagement
ALL SPONSORS RECEIVE RECOGNITION
Social media and on-site sponsor board, recognition at event website.
COMMERCIAL BOOTH SPONSORS
Largely grouped to festival entry points to maximize foot traffic, commercial sponsors operate from their own branded booths to develop client relationships or sample new product entering our market.
ARTS AND ACTIVITY SPONSORS
Benefit from prime exposure around kids zones, food or music, by underwriting festival attractions.
Your brand shares major on-site exposure as a title supporter and can benefit from extensive reach from print advertising, radio and editorial.
Available to just one exclusive corporate brand with strong ties to our local region.
2019 Festival Layout
New Layout Benefits
Re-aligned flow of artist booths gives less density on Main Street so patrons can have more room to wander between booths and better sight lines to stores.
A new shaded courtyard for top quality fresh food vending and patron seating next to Vineyard Vines store.
More booths on Elm Street and Church Lane complete a leisurely walking loop of the entire downtown festival.
Interactive and approachable art projects by Artist Collective of Westport form the bridge to Westport Library’s Annual Book Sale.