10th annual Festival of the Arts showcases artists on campus

The Mesa Community College Art Department held its 10th annual Festival of the Arts to highlight student and community artists on campus on Thursday.

The festival took place at the Theatre lawn on MCC’s Southern and Dobson campus, and was free and open to the public. The event was created as an opportunity for student and community artists to display and sell their art.

“It’s an opportunity for students to really be able to show off their talents and their passions and what they’re striving for, and it’s a great opportunity that allows students to actually start making profits and proceeds because a lot of students, especially in the art fields, struggle financially,” said Logan Farmer, MCC Student Life and Leadership Student Ambassador.

The event showcased MCC’s DJ Program, live performances from student bands, food trucks and more than 50 artists selling a variety of art pieces ranging from pottery to jewelry.

MCC art student Derek Loertscher, at the 10th annual festival of the arts hosted on Mesa Community College’s Southern and Dobson campus, March 21, 2024. (Photo by Ryan Hifler/ The Mesa Legend)

For MCC student Cecily Muir, vending is a way for her to get her name out to the community and sell her art. This was her first year participating in MCC’s Festival of the Arts, but she is a frequent vendor at events around the Valley.

“I’ve been vending for almost a year now at different markets around the valley, I’m in Phoenix quite often for like First Friday and stuff like that,” said Muir. “This was going to be my first one last year, but I couldn’t make it. This is my first time here, I’m really excited,” added 

While most students were selling their handmade art pieces, the band Mountain Heights took to the stage and gave a performance of a few of their songs. The band, made up of four MCC students, started as a duo who performed at last year’s Festival of the Arts and grew this past year to include two new members.

MCC band startup Mountain Heights performing at the 10th annual festival of the arts hosted on Mesa Community College’s Southern and Dobson campus, March 21, 2024. (Photo by Ryan Hifler/ The Mesa Legend)

This year, the festival included an evening session to provide more opportunity to students and members of the community who work during the day.

“We have a lot of students on campus, and quite honestly a lot of us have either full-time jobs or other expenses,” stated Farmer. “Trying to accommodate just for daytime didn’t seem like I was giving students a lot of options, I wanted to go ahead and give that wonderful opportunity and open it up to students like me who have full-time jobs.”

Another new addition to this year’s festival included a silent auction. Vendors contributed pieces to be auctioned off, and the funds that were raised through the silent auction were put into the Student Support Foundation.

The MCC Student Support Foundation provides funding to students who are involved in philanthropy on campus, but funds are also used to provide financial support to students in need to help with school expenses such as textbooks and supplies.

The funds from the silent auction and the vendor fees were donated to the foundation. According to Farmer, the festival provided around $300 to $500 for the foundation.

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