Home Local News Smithsonian Center offers festival planning advice in Richmond County

Smithsonian Center offers festival planning advice in Richmond County

Halle Butvin, director of Special Projects for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, talks about fundraising during a festival workshop at Cole Auditorium on Aug. 14. Photo by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Festival organizers from across the region got a few tips to help with their events Monday at Cole Auditorium.

The workshop, featuring guest speakers from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, was hosted by Richmond County Tourism Director Meghann Lambeth and sponsored by Uplift, a program funded by the American Rescue Plan to help tourism in rural communities.

The final section of the workshop focused on financial models and fundraising.

Halle Butvin, director of Special Programs for the Smithsonian Center, used her experience with organizing a cultural festival in Armenia as an example.

Butvin said the event was given the green light — with no funding — and she had six months to raise $1.2 million.

In addition to soliciting funds from government and corporate entities and foundations, Butvin emphasized the importance of in-kind resources.

Earlier topics for the workshop included:

  • Finding purpose
  • Event and festival design
  • Engaging local community
  • Marketing and promotion

Attendees included: representatives from the Seaboard Festival; Sharon Nichols, who has organized several downtown Rockingham events, including Affair on the Square; Jessica Mora, co-founder of EncounterQuest; and Jennifer Michelle Everett of Culture Queens.

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The Seaboard Festival, now in its 41st year, is scheduled for the final weekend in October in downtown Hamlet.

EncounterQuest, a conference for Bigfoot and UFO enthusiasts, will return to Cole Auditorium on April 13, 2024 for its second year.

Click here to read about last year’s EncounterQuest.

NOTE: This story has been modified to identify the host as the tourism director, not the Tourism Development Authority. 12:09 a.m. 8-15-23.