News and Tribune

June 10, 2013

THE ART OF COMMUNITY: New Albany festival brings back familiar faces, raises money for causes



Marvin Schnoll could have sold his wares at a trendy Louisville festival Saturday. He even admitted he probably would have garnered more business at an event on the other side of the Ohio River. 

But Schnoll — owner and craftsman behind Louisville-based Red Oaks Crafts — said he always feels at home at the Art on the Parish Green festival in New Albany. 

“I’d rather be here because I love the people,” Schnoll said. “They take great care of their artists here.” 

It is a sense of community that drives Art on the Parish Green, which was held for the seventh year over the weekend on the lawn of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 

Schnoll — who along with his wife has set up a booth at all but one of the Art on the Parish Green festivals — said the outdoor Sunday Mass that kicks off activities for the day is especially endearing. 

Several of the artists attend the mass, and it speaks to the togetherness the festival permeates, he said. 

“The best part is the bartering,” said Schnoll, as he added he’s traded his wood products for creations from other artists at the event. 

Exchanging items shows respect for someone else’s craftsmanship. However, the donations of businesses and volunteers to the festival proved Art on the Parish Green is revered in the community. All of the proceeds netted by the church for this year’s event will be used to purchase backpacks for area school children and to fund St. Paul’s Shepherd’s Kitchen. The ministry provides hot meals for up to 100 people every Friday evening. 

The River City Winery and New Albanian Brewing Co. donated wine and beer to the festival this year and the money from the sales went to the causes. 

“They have been so generous,” said Fran Fach, a St. Paul’s member and one of the organizers of the festival. 

There were carriage rides, a kids art booth sponsored by the YMCA of Southern Indiana and more than 60 artists on hand for this year’s Art on the Parish Green. St. Paul’s sold all the booth space it had available, though Fach said they may be able to squeeze in a few more vendors next year. 

The musical entertainment was well received, she said, especially the performance by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz quartet. 

Fach said the festival received media spotlights from several outlets, which helped spread word about the event and increase its patronage. 

“This has been getting some really great attention,” she said