Clawson hosted the first Arts & Authors Festival on Sunday bringing together more than 40 Michigan artisans and authors at
The event featured a wide assortment of creative items including hair accessories, jewelry, scarves, magnets and more. Additionally, the festival entertained guests with live musical performances, kids arts and crafts activities, and author presentations. The event was organized by Clawson residents Matt and Lisa Ball, with assistance from the city.
“Overall, I'm really happy with how everything went today," Lisa Ball said. "It looked like there was a steady group of people passing through the festival. With any first year festival, you're going to get a few mishaps, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was really nice to see the families having fun."
Among the mishaps was the absence of listed food vendor, Jerry's Famous Hot Dogs. Also, the building's air conditioning wasn't able to keep up with Sunday's high temperatures. Event coordinators opened doors and supplied fans to help alleviate vendors. Despite the warm temperatures, most vendors were pleased with the event.
“It was the first year and I think they did a great job organizing everything. There are some really high-quality sellers here,” Mary Kernahan of Silver Sisterhood said. "We understand that it takes some time to get an event like this off the ground."
Kernahan and her friend, Kathryn Ruffin, sold their line of silver jewelry at the festival. The crafty ladies agreed that there could have been more traffic, but overall they were pleased with the event.
"The live music has been really enjoyable. It's great to see that at this type of event," Ruffin said. "Another thing that I really like is the inclusion of books. Having the authors here really put a special spin on it."
One of the authors featured at the festival was Edith Andersen, author and president of Andrea's Children. After her daughter, Andrea, passed away unexpectedly at age 28, Andersen began writing books as a way to donate money to various children's charities. Because Andersen's daughter never fulfilled her dream to have children, Andersen sees the children helped by the books' revenue as “Andrea's Children.”
“I have really enjoyed sharing my books at this event,” Andersen said. “People don't come together anymore like they used to. Clawson has such a strong community and I really wanted to support that by participating in this. I came in with no expectations, but I have been really happy with everything.”
Event coordinators say they hope to host the event at Clawson City Park next year. With an increase in size, the event could host more than 80 vendors. Additionally, Lisa Ball said she would love to see food vendors and more activities for the kids, such as a moon bounce.
"We really want to create a great community event that is affordable for artists and enjoyable for the entire family," she said.