Cumberland to host arts fair

CUMBERLAND — It seems like an obvious partnership — a weekly Saturday morning farmers market and an arts fair. Attendees can enjoy both this weekend at Cumberland Arts Goes to Market.

Today marks the seventh year for the market. Danielle Hartman, program chairman for Cumberland Arts Goes to Market, has been with the event since it began. She remembers the early 2000s when Cumberland Arts conducted small art fairs on the grounds of the Cumberland Baptist Church. However, in 2009, representatives from the Farmers Market approached Cumberland Arts with the idea of a collaborative project combining the events. The rest is history.

Since then, the growth of this event has been great, Hartman said. Cumberland Arts Goes to Market started with just 35 vendors and a few hundred in attendance. It has now grown to around 100 vendors and approximately 3,000 attendees for this annual third Saturday in August festival.

The area for the event, conducted between U.S. 40 and the Pennsy Trail, wraps around the Cumberland Town Hall, and runs down Saturn Street towards Muncie Street.

Both Hartman and event chairman Sarah Bowers say they are selective about the vendors. Jewelry, pottery, woodcraft and specialty items are among the items available for sale at the market.

“Everything sold is handmade,” Hartman said. “There’s no Tupperware or Mary Kay. Everything has artistic value.”

Both Hartman and Bowers work to improve the Market each year. Hartman cites feedback from participants as well as the vendors as a key component to a well-run event.

“We play special attention to our vendors,” Hartman said. “If they’re happy, then we know we have a well-organized event.”

Brian Smith of New Palestine, who goes by the moniker of “Wood Pen Guy,” has sold his hand-crafted wooden pens at the Cumberland Arts Market for the past three years. He enjoys doing events that feature only handcrafted items and always looks forward to the Cumberland show. He enjoys visiting with the other artists and sharing his work with the fair attendees, some of whom come back every year.

“I’m challenged to bring new items every year that might interest people,” Smith said.

Smith also lauds the location of the event.

“It’s a perfect location for an art fair,” Smith said. “We can draw people from Indy, Greenfield and New Pal.”

The art fair also offers all-day entertainment. The schedule of performers includes the Warren Central High School Choir at 9 a.m., the Indianapolis Liederkranz Brass Band at 10 a.m., Wild Mercy at 11 a.m., Haley Jonay at noon, AngiCat from Silly Safaris at 1 p.m., the Irish Airs at 2 p.m. and the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus at 3 p.m. Greenfield’s Hearts Ablaze Cloggers will also be performing on Saturn Street at the east festival entrance at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Among the food offered will be traditional fair food like tenderloins, funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups, but there will also be Thai food, barbecue, Mexican and Cajun food from Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Food Truck.

According to Hartman, one area of the market that has improved and grown this year is the kids’ area. The interactive, hands-on activities include an instrument petting zoo and a variety of artistic mediums to experiment with.

Hartman is proud of the event and how much it has grown over the years.

“This is a big deal,” Hartman said. “There is nothing like it on the east side.”

Cumberland Arts Goes to Market runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays at 154 S. Muessing St. in Cumberland. Admission and parking are free.

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Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or