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By Monica Oss, Vice-Chair, Gettysburg Festival Board of Trustees

Monica Oss, left, and husband Jay Mackie, right, with jazz singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli, 2010 Gettysburg Festival

“As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.”
-John Lubbock

What does “art” mean to your life?  The simple fact is, whether or not you realize it, art is around you every day, inspiring you, influencing you, touching everything from the furniture you sit upon to the music playing in your car.  Here in Gettysburg, as we are surrounded by the Gettysburg Battlefield, we also experience art in the form of beautifully-constructed monuments to our nation’s Civil War history.  Often referred to as a town “at the crossroads of history,” Gettysburg presents a new crossroads every June, intersecting American history with arts and culture in new and dynamic ways.

Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Gettysburg Festival, June 2008, photo credit: Carol Pratt

Every June, we think of Gettysburg Festival as an extravaganza of American art, culture and cuisine–set against the backdrop of historic Gettysburg.  The Festival is the premier cultural event for our region – and one of the only festivals across the nation focused entirely on spotlighting American arts.

Gettysburg Festival is also unique in its celebration of Americana in that it brings together the many unique genres that make the American cultural scene so energetic – from many types of music, to visual arts, to dance, culinary artisans, film and theater. Our patrons’ ten-day artistic experience is enhanced with our unique “Festivals within the Festival” format that includes:

  • The All-American Brass Picnic – “best of the best” mid-Atlantic brass bands
  • History Meets the Arts – bringing together America’s most renown historical artists
  • The Children’s Arts Fair – inspiring a love and appreciation of the arts in children
  • The Gettysburg Art Market – spotlighting regional musicians, demonstrating artists/artisans
  • The Fringe Festival – a celebration of community artists and events
  • The  Artist Colony – a plein air artist-in-residence program
  • A MidAtlantic Farm-to-Table Culinary Program – designed by former White House Chef Walter Scheib

Gettysburg and its residents are fortunate to be the home of Gettysburg Festival.  In its fifth year, the Festival was the brainchild of visionary residents and the beneficiary of initial state funding.  But, the Festival now operates with limited government support (less than 5% in 2012) and is built on the commitment and generosity of a small staff, an energetic board of directors, and a great, growing number of community contributors.  It is this commitment and generosity that are the foundation for our current and future success.

I urge you to support Gettysburg Festival as we embark upon the annual Friends of the Festival campaign, securing support for the upcoming 2012 season and building upon much success in our formative first four years.  Click here to explore the various levels of support and become a Friend of the Festival today.

What role does art play in your life?  Why should you support Gettysburg Festival?  Because something special happened here —and keeps on happening…

Historic Scenes:  The Festival’s Artist Colony captures Gettysburg Battlefield scenes on canvas