Locals make holiday crafts to support Sonoma art center

Art Escape’s Holiday Craft Fest welcomed artists of all ages to make wreaths and other festive crafts.|

More than 150 people came out to Sonoma Valley’s Art Escape on a rainy Dec. 11 to get into the holiday spirit at the nonprofit art center’s annual Holiday Craft Fest.

The fest featured crafts for kids and adults, an art demonstration on natural inks and paints from nonprofit co-founder Kate Ortolano, artwork on display at the center’s gallery and a market selling handmade goods.

“It was a really nice combination of activities,” Art Escape operations manager Alma Bastress said.

For a $25 donation, attendees could design and create their own wreaths, made out of all natural materials, with the help of local artists and Art Escape volunteers. All other activities and offerings at the fest were free.

Forty wreaths were created, raising $1,000 for the center, Bastress said.

Money raised will go right back into Art Escape’s scholarship program to help financially strapped locals attend the center’s art classes and programs.

In addition to wreath making, the fest invited budding artists of all ages to paint ornaments. “This year we did little houses, which was a huge success,” Bastress said.

The ornaments and a spread of free food and hot beverages were provided by funding from Community Foundation Sonoma County, which has long supported the nonprofit and sponsors both the craft fest and Art Escape’s annual Dia de los Muertos event, according to Bastress.

“Our two major events are a way to bring everyone together, all the kids, teens and adults who have been to our classes throughout the year,” Bastress said. “It’s also a great way to get new people in here.”

For more information about the center, go to artescapesonoma.com.

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