Tired of spending endless hours of searching for events, artist Kathleen Johnson and volunteer Shay Raphael have compiled a comprehensive list of virtually every market, festival and art show within 250 miles of Biloxi.
- Story by Lisa Monti
Johnson came up with the idea about five years ago and began collecting information in earnest a year ago. She figures she spent about 800 hours gathering details on some 400 events featuring arts and crafts including farmers’ markets.
Shay Raffael working with Kathleen Johnson on the Southern Events List Data Base. Shay, not an artist herself, recognized the enormous impact this list could make to the art community and stepped up to offer her expertise to incorporate the data into an Excel spread sheet - an enormous task as the list is 100 pages at this point.
Shay Raphael signed on to help with the project and has input all the information into a 100-page spreadsheet. The list can be sorted by event name, date, miles from Biloxi, cost to participate, contact information and any deadlines that may apply.
Johnson said the smaller Beta version is available for $15 and the final version will be available Oct. 1 at no charge. Updates to the Excel Spreadsheet 2013 version built for Windows 10 will be available for $5.
The beta release is just in time for the holidays, the most lucrative season of all for artists and crafters. “We pulled everything we could together to meet the Christmas rush,” she said. “I don’t care as long as it’s a market serving the creative economy. It goes on the list.”
To make the list as accessible as possible, Johnson said she’ll meet with anyone who needs help for a lesson in how to use the spreadsheet. She’ll even print out the list for anyone who needs a paper copy.
For more information, go to the Southern Event List Facebook page.