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La Quinta Arts Festival: #1 Fine Art Festival in the Nation

La Quinta’s stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and a vast selection of outdoor activities have made it a favorite California tourist destination since the 1920’s. The city is one of the foremost locations for golfing in America. In fact, it’s home to more than 28 courses including SilverRock Resort and Golf Club At La Quinta. If you're a fan of farm-to-table cuisine then a visit to Morgan’s in the Desert is a must. James Beard Award-winning Chef Jimmy Schmidt’s diverse menu and locally sourced ingredients attract food enthusiasts from around the world.


La Quinta Arts Festival, the #1 Fine Art Festival and #1 Fine Craft Festival in the nation, has been a staple in the community for more than 35 years. The spectacular showcase of art will take place March 1-4 at the La Quinta Civic Center Campus, minutes from Palm Springs. This year’s event will include 220 of America's top contemporary artists representing 35 states and Canada. Over a third of the participants are first time exhibiting artists making the event one of the leaders in showcasing up-and-coming talent. You will find unique offerings from talented artists in all art mediums including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramic, photography, jewelry, and wearables. Musicians and performance artists will perform live in the amphitheater throughout the event including Oscar Reynolds, Dragon Knights, and more. The event is also ideal for food lovers including everything from Bristol Farms Café’s BBQ to Fishermans’ Market & Grill’s signature fish tacos. The Festival is the primary fundraiser for the La Quinta Arts Foundation which has awarded more than $1.3 million in visual arts scholarships to date. We interviewed President and CEO of the La Quinta Arts Foundation, Christi Salamone, to learn more about this unique showcase of artisans.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

CS: La Quinta Arts Festival has been running annually since 1982.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

CS: Each year, between 20,000 and 25,000 visitors attend La Quinta Arts Festival.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

CS: Held in a magnificent outdoor oasis, nestled in the mountains, La Quinta Arts Festival has justly been dubbed the most stunning festival site in the country by Art Fair SourceBook. The juried art and craft fair features exceptional contemporary fine artists, along with live entertainment, delicious cuisine, and refreshments to complement the cultural experience.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

CS: Start the day with a specialty coffee and fresh pastry at the Island Bar, and peruse your Festival program to get the lay of the land. Interested in a particular art medium, or a specific artist? Your program provides a listing and location for each. Find the entertainment lineup and sites, as well as food and beverage options.


With a game plan in hand, you may wish to visit the booths of La Quinta Arts Festival 2018 Featured Artists: Erin Hanson (San Diego, CA) and Debra Steidel (Wimberley, TX). Impressionist painter Erin Hanson was chosen as the La Quinta Arts Festival 2018 Poster Artist for her vibrant landscape oil painting of the Santa Rosa Mountains. New to La Quinta Arts Festival, Debra Steidel will present her hand-thrown porcelain sculptures, featuring vivid and bold crystalline glazes.


Enjoy lunch from one of many upscale cuisine options. Fisherman’s Market & Grill will serve up Anthony Bourdain’s favorite fish tacos, and Bristol Farms Café will entice your taste buds with delectable BBQ. Discover that perfect art piece as you sip fine wine, a cold beer or other refreshing libations.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

CS: La Quinta Arts Festival is a total sensory experience, and just as you will see every art medium imaginable, you will delight in the variety of live entertainment too! This year’s lineup includes the meditative Bolivian Pan Pipes by master Oscar Reynolds and acoustic guitar and vocals by the versatile Scott Carter. On Friday and Saturday, Dragon Knights will wow the crowds with their amazing and magical stilt theater. Headlining the Amphitheater on Friday is Catte Adams and the Beautiful People, featuring the famous female vocalist who’s toured internationally with music legends such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Patti Labelle. Saturday afternoon will get you singing in harmony with barbershop singers from The Arrangement of The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Talented trio Shaken Not Stirred will get in the groove on Sunday to round out the fun mix of live music.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

CS: Great taste begins at the brand new Bristol Farms Café experience, featuring their delicious BBQ, which will be smoked onsite. Another new vendor is Aspen Mills Bakery & Bread Company, which will offer fresh options at the Island Bar. At Restaurant Row, there will be crisp salads, wraps, and signature fish tacos from Fishermans’ Market & Grill and Shanghai Reds. Stella Artois is the official beer sponsor, served beside fine wines, specialty coffees, and E & E Pels Italian Ice. For a sweet treat, enjoy almond, and coconut dairy-free delights from SO Delicious Dairy Free, or try the signature sweet & salty toffee popcorn from Brandini Toffee.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

CS: A patron preferred accommodations list can be found here and on our website, featuring hotels, boutiques, inns, and luxury resorts.


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up for the event?

CS: Every year, La Quinta Arts Festival sets up lodging specials, with three to five-star luxury Resorts. La Quinta Resort is the official hotel sponsor of La Quinta Arts Festival.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

CS: La Quinta Arts Festival’s success over the years has benefited the community in innumerable ways; enabling the livelihood of thousands of working artists and ensuring the next generation of creatives with $1.3 million awarded in college scholarships. La Quinta Arts Foundation, the festival producer, is grateful to be part of a thriving, creative community in Greater Palm Springs.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

CS: As a destination event, La Quinta Arts Festival drives business to our local economy. More than half of La Quinta Arts Festival patrons stay in a resort, hotel or rental home. Over 90% report patronizing local restaurants, and 45% retail shops during their stay, spending an average of $1,063 above their art purchases, according to a 2013 patron survey.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

CS: Perfect for family outings, friendly gatherings, and daytime dates, La Quinta Arts Festival has something for everyone. While strolling the beautiful grounds, patrons can indulge their senses by taking in amazing artworks, enjoying live entertainment, and savoring upscale cuisine and refreshments. Visitors can make meaningful memories and take home treasures to enjoy year-round.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the La Quinta Arts Festival, please visit the event website.