The Plain Dealer recently featured the upcoming Festival of the Arts event at St. John Medical Center, which is a 50/50 partnership between the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals.
The following story appeared in the newspaper June 21, 2012:
WESTLAKE, Ohio – One of the "must attend" events of the summer takes place July 6-8 as the St. John Medical Center Festival of the Arts celebrates its 19th anniversary.
More than 200 artists and craft makers from across the country will showcase their creations during the festival on the hospital grounds. A diverse representation of mixed media will include jewelry, wearable art, stained glass, basketry, ceramics, watercolors, oils, photography and more. The Festival of the Arts is a juried show and prize money is awarded to winners in several categories.
As in the past, admission to the festival is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items which will be donated to local food banks.
In addition to the items on display, St. John Medical Center's Community Outreach will offer free health screenings from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. July 7-8. The free screenings include blood pressure, cholesterol, skin and glucose. The LifeShare Community Blood Services will be on campus for anyone wishing to donate blood.
The 2012 Festival of the Arts also features a variety of food stations, inflatable bounce houses, and hands-on children's craft activities. Each year the event grows in number of vendors and festival-goers as new vendors are selected and different media is showcased.
"We never want the show to become routine or standard," Director of St. John Medical Center Marketing and Public Relations Patrick J. Garmone said. "Those in charge make it a point to rotate vendors to keep it fresh and new. Of course, some of the most popular artisans will be back to share their works of art."
The caliber of artists has grown over the years and the bar was set high 19 years ago when Judy Burke and Ruth Hopkins organized the first event. And since that time the festival has grown into one of the premier arts and crafts event in Northeast Ohio. For the past several years, Ardis Radak and Camille Anter have taken the event reins.
"It's amazing how the event has grown over the years," St. John Medical Center President and CEO William A. Young Jr. said. "The weekend would not be possible without the tremendous support received by our sponsors, the community as well as wonderful artists and their creative spirit."
This year the Medical Center will also host a community open house of its new UH Seidman Cancer Center satellite location on hospital grounds. On July 7 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. the community open house will include tours, refreshments, children's activities and health screenings. In addition, there will be a teddy bear clinic for younger children, and educational materials to take home, as well as an opportunity to meet Seidman physicians and staff.
"The community is fortunate to have this service available to them so close to home," Young said.
The addition of UH Seidman Cancer Center to St. John Medical Center's service offerings is a part of its $100-million growth strategy that began a few years ago. Further modernization plans are on the horizon.
"As a Catholic hospital, we have made it a tradition to offer a public outdoor Mass on July 8 at 9 a.m.," Young said. "We have had several hundred area residents attend the Mass and each year attendance grows."
To assist with parking issues, a shuttle bus service will drop off and pick up festival-goers at the Church on the Rise (directly across the street from the hospital on Crocker Road). There will be ample parking, close to the event, and a small fee for parking.
"St. John Medical Center is a perfect location to host this type of venue," Young said. "This event affords us an opportunity in which to thank the community for its ongoing support."