New leaders taking helm at SAP Arts Festival

By Sarah CR Clark

This summer the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival will mark its 54th year, with three new co-chairs leading the event.

Neighbors and friends Anna Gaseitsiwe, (owner of The Makery), Ericha Gudmastad (marketing strategist) and Natalie Georgieff (structural engineer) are sharing the work of directing the festival.

Asked why she decided to take on leadership of the SAP Arts Festival, Gaseitsiwe said, “It felt like an exciting opportunity and a way to engage with my own neighborhood in a way that felt real to me.”

The all-day 2023 SAP Arts Festival will happen on Saturday, June 3, along Como and Carter Avenues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the event’s website (sapfest.org) this year’s event will again feature 70-plus juried artists, a plant sale, “one of the best used book sales in the metro area,” art activities for families, good food and great music.

This year’s festival will also feature some new activities as it expands across Luther Seminary’s lawn at the northwest corner of Como Avenue and Luther Place. This expanded area will include: a Dual Citizen beer garden, live music, a painted-while-you-watch graffiti wall as well as expanded activities for children like a bouncy house, face painting and an arts and crafts tent.

Gudmastad said she is particularly looking forward to this expanded area’s new activities. “The festival has always been a family friendly festival, but I think this will really drive that home,” she said.

Georgieff said she is particularly excited about the festival’s music lineup, with two covered, electrified stages (one by the library and one on the Luther Seminary lawn).

“In the coming weeks I’ll be working closely with SAP Arts Festival Committee members to round out our lineup and coordinate final details for our stage setups. We’ll be announcing our final lineup on our website in May, so stay tuned!”

Also new this year: The Creative Enterprise Zone will partner with the SAP Arts Festival by sponsoring the graffiti wall and by coordinating Chroma Zone mural tours by bus from the festival.

Co-chairs of recent Arts Festivals, Deanna Seppanen and Tanya Anderson (2019, virtual festival in 2020 and 2022) offered best wishes to this year’s new co-chairs. “Have fun together — that was the best part for me,” Anderson encouraged.

 Seppanen agreed, saying, “I want to thank the new leadership team for the countless hours of planning and wish them the best as they add new ideas to the mix!”

Leading up to June 3, neighbors will have chances to begin building excitement and support for the SAP Arts Festival at a series of events in May, such as Yoga in the Park and a Movie on the Lawn. 

Sarah CR Clark lives in St. Anthony Park and is a regular contributor to the Bugle.

Photo cutline: From left to right: Anna Gaseitsiwe, Ericha Gudmastad and Natalie Georgieff. Photo courtesy of Anna Gaseitsiwe.

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