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Chamber features Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival artists

By Staff | Aug 21, 2020

This holiday Santa was a featured piece by M.Kay Designs at a previous Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival. Similar pieces will be available at the artist's online show on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. Toni Milbourne

CHARLES TOWN – The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, like so many organizations, canceled their annual Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, scheduled for Sept. 25-27. The festival, which has never been canceled before, would have celebrated its 45th season this year.

To assist the artisans and crafters who were selected through the jurying process to participate in the festival this year, the JCCC has highlighted their work via social media.

“We started in mid-July showcasing our artists by asking them to fill out a questionnaire with information and three photos,” said Heather McIntyre, executive director for the Chamber. “We also asked them to include whether they would be participating in any other shows this year.”

From the information gathered, the JCCC staff has shared it via Facebook and Instagram.

“So far we have showcased 40 of our artists and hope to get more to share,” McIntyre said this week. “We also plan to do a second wave later this year to encourage people to show for Christmas on their websites.”

Shepherdstown’s Mary Kay Anderson, owner of M.Kay Designs, is an annual participant in the annual festival and was recently one of the featured artists on the social media platform. Anderson has scheduled an online virtual show for Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Facebook @mkayartistetreasures.

Harpers Ferry’s KMH Creations was also a featured artist. Featuring infant wraps, crafter Kathleen Hintz shared that KMH Creations has been manufacturing and selling their own unique creation since 2006. A repeat festival artisan, KMH Creations offers free shipping throughout the United States. More information can be found at www.kmhcreations.com.

Additional crafters featured in the online showcase indicate a variety of shows that are still scheduled throughout the fall. Several vendors will be featured at the Shaker in the Woods Festival in Columbiana, Ohio, which began last weekend and runs Aug. 15-16 and 22-23.

The loss of the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival was a blow to the artisans and to the JCCC as well, as the event is its largest yearly fundraiser.

“The final decision was made to preserve the integrity of festivals to come, and to protect the health and safety of the festival participants, festival attendees, staff, volunteers and Jefferson County,” Chamber officials said when announcing the cancelation of the event earlier this summer.

“It’s almost like we are letting our artists and crafters down,” McIntyre said. “It hurts. They are like family and they have had no other income this year. But, we can’t risk their safety.”

“The artists greatly appreciate us showcasing their wares and have reported that they have made some sales from the posts,” McIntyre said. “We feel so badly that we cannot have a festival this year and want to support them in every way we can. We hope that in September 2021, we will all be back.”