The Dillingham high school gym was packed Saturday with people there to buy and sell all kinds of art and hand crafts.
Saturday was the Dillingham Arts Council Christmas Bazaar. More than 100 vendors crowded into the high school gym, selling furs, traditional native crafts and all kinds of art and handmade goods.
“The bazaar was absolutely fantastic and beyond our expectations,” said Lynn Van Vactor, a volunteer coordinator with the Dillingham Arts Council. “Historically, the resources from the bazaar are a tremendous economic engine for our community. Vendors on average earn over $1000 for a day, and it can really range up to multiple thousands.”
Last year the Arts Council experimented with spreading the event over two days. This year it was back to a one day affair at the request of vendors. Van Vactor said that most vendors last year took in the same amount of money over two days as they previously had in one day.
The Christmas Bazaar is the event that raises the majority of the Dillingham Arts Council’s funds. There is not an official tally yet on how much money was raised for the council on Saturday.
The fundraising goes toward sponsoring high schoolers to attend arts camps and funds various events throughout the year. For 2018, the council is hoping to host the annual Coffee House open mic in the spring as well as another musical event later in the year. They want to restart Bayside Chats, evenings where a guest hosts a conversation about a remarkable experience, such as running a marathon above the Arctic Circle. They also hope to support the United Tribes of Bristol Bay in bringing native dance groups through area communities.
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