Artomatic for the people

Next month, a free, one-of-a-kind art event debuts in Charles Town

Artomatic@Jefferson is transforming available space into a playground for artistic expression while creating community and expanding economic development.

The all-volunteer effort will bring a month-long celebration of all the arts to Jefferson County starting Oct. 4.

Some 40 visual artists have registered to showcase their creative work in the visual arts, performing arts, music, dance, poetry, fiction and film. The feast of artistic endeavor is free and will be open to the public every weekend in October.

Organizers expect 7,500 visitors to attend Artomatic@Jefferson next month.

The project is being produced in collaboration with the Arts & Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County. It’s funded by artist fees, grants, sponsors and donations.

Artists pay no commission fees to AHA or Artomatic@Jefferson on sales of their work. That’s the structure of an Artomatic event, under the franchise agreement signed by organizers with Artomatic Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Artomatic@Jefferson is an independently organized and licensed Artomatic event. Artomatic has been producing these events since 1999, but only two other cities outside of D.C. have produced an Artomatic® event: Cleveland and Frederick, Md. and ours is the first non-urban event. It will be a more intimate experience than the other massive exhibits.

Artomatic@Jefferson is a catalyst for building institutional and community connections that illustrate the energy, vitality and strength of the arts and its impact on the community.

The community support for this event is proving to the state that Jefferson County’s “Certified Arts Community” designation is accurate!

There are still a number of ways for community members to become involved. Artomatic@Jefferson is seeking sponsorships and donations from community businesses, organizations and individuals. Everyone is invited to volunteer their time in a way that matches their skills.

Businesses can donate in-kind services & goods, such as electric service, custodial service, trash pickup, shuttle service from Shepherd University to Artomatic@Jefferson site, building materials, fencing materials, electrical supplies, lighting, wiring, printing, and billboard and ad space.

Artomatic@Jefferson already has benefitted greatly from the generosity of the community at every level, including:

n The Jefferson County Development Authority, which helped the team find and view available buildings in the county.

n Phil and Becky McDonald, who donated their Rock & Tile building for Artomatic@Jefferson for three months.

n The Chamber of Commerce helped to get the word out to the business community and will feature an Artomatic@Jefferson exhibit at the Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival, Sept. 27 to 29, and will hold its October mixer at Artomatic@Jefferson.

n The Contemporary American Theater Festival advised the Artomatic@Jefferson team on audience development, offered space for the first community meeting this spring and provided space for a promotional exhibit at the Frank Center during the July theater festival.

n Craftworks at Cool Spring opened its doors for a second Artomatic@Jefferson community meeting.

n The Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau is not only represented on our steering committee and leadership team but gave Artomatic@Jefferson a grant to support advertising.

n Jen Rolston of Eden Design is helping to develop Artomatic@Jefferson website and ads.

n Sandy Sponaugle of Platinum PR is also bringing attention to the project.

n Todd Coyle and Earth Vibe Productions & Events are managing the Artomatic@Jefferson performing artist schedule for free.

n Fluent, Nancy McKeithen’s online art magazine, is sponsoring a literary arts series at Artomatic@Jefferson, a first at any Artomatic event.

n The Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts is offering two free workshops at the event.

n Verizon Wireless is donating wi-fi service for the Rock & Tile building during Artomatic@Jefferson.

Other partners include Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative and the Steam at Harpers Ferry art gallery. For more Artomatic history and other information about the arts celebration, visit our website,


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