Imagination thrives at second annual Huss Future Festival

Categories:Events, People, Space
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma
Arts & crafts

In 2010, the day of the first annual Huss Future Festival dawned with a downpour, but this year, a warm, orange glow greeted our waking and last-minute preparations on Saturday morning. While Adam put up the art tent, Kate got the coffee on. Artists from Three Rivers to South Africa set up their wares while Deborah and Christina put out the street signs, Emily did some last-minute stitching, Julie got volunteers to their assigned destinations and Kelly sorted more donations for the clothing sale.
The clear morning did not lie: Future Festival 2011 was a great success, thanks in large part to our wonderful committee members and interns who each picked up pieces of the collaborative event. While we’re already talking about things we might do differently next year, we’re still basking in the glow of an event that brought delighted smiles to about 300 faces.
New this year was a full slate of intergenerational activities that included art and craft projects, a community mural, lawn games and bike tune-ups. Twelve-year-old Alex led the kickball game and Kelly took a break from the clothing sale to become the star pitcher (she’s no belly itcher). In the meantime, Alex’s dad Doug worked on people’s bikes and his mom Julianna coordinated the Triple Ripple Community Garden’s sale of baked goods, produce and locally made sausages. It was a family affair for the Saubers!
In addition to the deliciously fresh goodies from the garden group, the Three Rivers Area Faith Community organized a fish fry to benefit the annual Back to School Celebration, a family event that provides 650 backpacks with school supplies to local children. Rounding the parking lot next to the fish fry was our neighbor David and his amazing homemade apple barrel train. We heard from more than one parent that their kiddos loved the train ride so much, they didn’t want to leave!
Another new feature this year was the Imagining Space photo booth, which featured a hand-painted cloud backdrop and hand-sewn cloud pillows, along with a number of props. Keeping tabs on the photo booth were our featured artists, as well as the coordinators of the upcoming Culture Make Sale, an online sale of goods and services to benefit the preservation and renovation of Huss School as a creative community space.
Live music floated down the hallway all day from the coffee house room, where an array of amazing, donated baked goods joined fair trade coffee and tea in perfect synergy…in addition to a huge cooler full of fresh basil from Bluebird Farm! Bluegrass, folk, rock, indie–there was quite a variety of music and a ton of talent. Folks who wanted a quieter experience could wander the self-guided tour on the second floor, viewing displays like a sample apartment and service group photos, while contributing their own ideas for Huss School and Three Rivers.
While we didn’t do a gigantic rummage sale again this year, we did hold a used clothing sale and we invited the Three Rivers Artists Guild to take over the gym where they sold their own garage sale items and deeply discounted original artwork. Some of the shirts from the clothing sale made their way out onto the side patio to be spray painted with a special handmade Huss Future Festival 2011 design.
As you can tell, some of the themes that grew out of this year’s event were participation and creativity. People from across a wide range of ages, colors, backgrounds and abilities came together to play, create, listen, talk and contribute. It feels really good to see that, even though the Huss School property is waiting on a lot of resources in order to be fully developed (heated, even), it’s still possible to live into the vision for a space where all are welcome and challenged to use their imaginations in all sorts of ways. Thank you to ALL of the people who made this wonderful event possible, from those who had official roles to those who simply wandered in because they saw a sign on the corner. If this festival represents the school’s future, I’m so glad you’ll be there with us!