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55 Years of Art on the Green

Experience the arts at Coeur d’Alene’s local art festival

By Taylor Shillam

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This August marks 55 years of Art on the Green, the original Coeur d’Alene arts festival supporting artists, arts education and community projects. Art on the Green has taken to the grounds of North Idaho College (NIC) every summer for decades, in celebration of local art in all of its forms, including musical performances and handcrafted goods.


“There is something at Art on the Green for everyone. We have over 120 artist booths, which includes the 12 youth booths,” shared Diane Solomon, president of the Citizens’ Council of the Arts (CCA). “This festival is a great opportunity for friends, family and neighbors to gather and enjoy a great outdoor event!”


A nonprofit organization, CCA presents the volunteer-led Art on the Green each summer. All proceeds from the festival and food court are used to donate art supplies to local schools and provide three days of free entertainment for all ages.


“This year, we're excited to present more kid-focused entertainment in the early parts of all three days on our South Stage,” Diane said. “The Sorensen Elementary drummers will open the festival on Friday, August 4, on the Main Stage and also present an interactive performance on the South Stage where kids can join in.”


That Saturday, the North Idaho Rock Band will perform and offer a workshop, followed by performances throughout the day by the Coeur d’Alene Music Conservatory. On Sunday, Highland Dancers will perform and present an interactive workshop where kids can participate and learn how to dance along with them.


“This year, for the first time, Citizens Council for the Arts has sponsored a Student Juried Art Show open to local high school students,” Diane said. “The accepted art will be on display adjacent to our long-running Juried Art Show.”


While Art on the Green takes place just three days a year, its preparation is a year-round affair.


“CCA volunteers work all year to plan this long-running art festival," shared Diane. "We have a group of about 35 who do the majority of the planning. During the week of the festival, over 350 volunteers support all of the food, children’s art garden area, juried shows, our information booth, entertainment team, grounds crews, and the beer and wine garden."

All profits from these offerings are used to support CCA community projects like offering grants to local art teachers for supplies, art for a local school each year (this year, Lakeland High School), and to support the festival for the next year.


“These types of events are great opportunities for local people to get out and experience all of the arts the surrounding area has to offer,” Diane said. “There will be all kinds of handmade art for sale. Most of our entertainment on two stages will be performed by local artists who many people in our community would not often have the opportunity to see or hear.”


Diane added that the CCA is excited to talk to all who might be interested in volunteering to become part of the Art on the Green Community and assist in presenting a great long-running community event in its 55th year. As the sponsor of Art on the Green, CCA will have a booth where anyone interested can visit to chat about joining the team.


Art on the Green will return to North Idaho College on August 4 through 6 to provide free family friendly entertainment. For more information, visit ArtontheGreenCdA.com.


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