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Case Mansion library file

The library at the Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center at the Case Mansion in Auburn.

The Finger Lakes Arts Council hopes that a new holiday event will help it give gifts for years.

The council's first Festival of Creative Arts takes place Saturday at the Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center. It'll pair an arts and crafts market with music, readings, hot chocolate and more. 

Council member Sandy Shutter said the nonprofit, which formed in 2016, hopes to fund a few programs with proceeds from events like Saturday's. Those programs include scholarships for performing or visual arts in the Finger Lakes area, artist retreats and an artist residency program at the center, also known as the Case Mansion. Art shows there are another possibility, Shutter said.

The nonprofit formed from the Finger Lakes Art Cooperative, Shutter said, but no longer has a retail space. Nor does it have the money to hire employees; board members work other jobs. One is the Rev. Banu Moore, of neighbor First Presbyterian Church. After the council conceived the festival to bring regional artists together and raise funds, Shutter said, Moore offered use of the center.

The festival will make use of much of it: The arts and crafts market of more than 20 vendors will be located in the ballroom. The vendors include Shutter with her art, Quail Hollow Woodworking, Barbara's Whimsical Art, Glory Felt, Birdscapes, Lylou Designs, Gregory Pavlic photography, Anne Lahr, Stacey Pope, AC Waltz Art, Gallery 607, Sew Surprised, Wombat Parliament, Bouquet of Baskets and I Heart Fingerlakes. The First Presbyterian women's group will also have a pop-up shop with mittens and hats that its members crocheted, Shutter said. 

In the foyer will be entertainment all morning and afternoon from Perform 4 Purpose, Genesee Street Voices, The 4 Seasonings, Mary Anne and the Treble Makers and Meredith Beckley. The library, meanwhile, will host several authors from Clare Songbirds Publishing House, of Auburn, sharing their work, selling books and calendars, and reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

And in the dining room, Shutter said, will be a hot chocolate bar with mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, peppermint and more toppings. Cups are $1 and proceeds support the council.

"There's a need for artists within this area to be able to have a community," Shutter said. "An arts community."

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Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.