Spring festival returns to Art District

Keisha Wright

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Jenny Mitchell started knitting 11 years ago as a way to give a more personalized gift to friends and family.

Soon after, she started to receive calls from people asking to buy items or wanting to place special orders.

She now crochets a variety of items, from hair accessories to hats, scarves, wraps and cowls for her business Ant Jenny’s Knits, which caters to men, women, children and babies.

Her crafts can be found, along with many others from homemade soaps and scrubs, to jewelry and hand drawn note cards at the 12th semi-annual Funk in the City from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27. at Haynie’s Corner in downtown Evansville.

The event will feature more than 100 vendors showing off and selling various styles of art, such as paintings, ceramics, leatherwork and yard art, as well as local food vendors like Kirby’s Food and  Acropolis, Evansville’s local Greek restaurant. Live entertainment will also be provided.

“Funk in the City is the first official event I ever participated in 10 years ago and it is one I always look forward to,” Mitchell said.

The spring art festival is her favorite charitable event, she said.

“It is so well run, so supportive of our community and the arts, and features some fantastic talent from our area,” she said. “Funk in the City has consistently been one of those events that people want to be a part of, whether it’s as a vendor, volunteer or attendee. It has become a great way to bring all different types of people together in our community and I am always so grateful to be part if it.”

Partnered with Alhambra Theatre Inc., Funk in the City aims to bring the community of Evansville together.

Ashley Vezzoso, a volunteer for Funk in the City, said the event takes a percentage of the money raised and donates it to the not-for-profit organization, Alhambra Theatre Inc., which helps support the historic theater’s restoration.

“Funk in the City really focuses on giving back to the community,” Vezzoso said.

The goal of the festival is to give local artists the recognition they deserve, as well as help put money in their pockets, she said. Funk in the City helps get the artists’ names out, and a lot of the time, many of the artists return for the spring festival.

“This gives local artists the chance to have a place to display their artwork. It even helps some of them gain an income and gives them the ability to make a livelihood,” Vezzoso said.

The number of attendees varies annually.

“Depending on how the weather is, anywhere from 1,500 to 3,500 people arrive each year,” she said. “On a good day, it can be up to 5,000 people.”

Vezzoso said volunteering for Funk in the City is a rewarding experience.

“My favorite part of Funk in the City, for me, is seeing people,” she said. “It makes it worth it when people are there at the festival even though it’s raining. It shows that what the festival does is worth it.” Funk in the City costs $5 for adults and children 12 and under get in free. Haynie’s Corner is located at the intersection of  2nd Street and Adams Avenue.