ARToberFest is a Juried Fine Arts Festival presented by
The Grand 1894 Opera House
Galveston Island, TX
Located in Galveston’s Historic Downtown Cultural Art District
Proceeds benefit The 1894 Grand Opera House’s Education
and Community Outreach Programs
Celebrating 26 Years of ARToberFEST
The idea of ARToberFEST began in 1997 when the Postoffice Street merchants were approached by Fred Wichlep of the Downtown Partnership, with funding for a special event (of their choosing). It was a natural fit for the "Arts and Entertainment District" to produce an art festival. The initial committee consisted of area artists and business owners; including Deborah and Terry Conrad, Sallie Anderson, Susan Henry, Bobby Boyd, Jeff Johnston, Gary Jones, Bill Schleisner, Cindy Hillman, Sue and Kevin Tigert, and Kathy Modzelewski.
As businesses flourished, changed hands, or members moved on, the "committee" had dwindled over the years to just Kathy Modzelewski. Kathy had been coordinating ARToberFEST for several years with the assistance of the good friends and neighbors of the Postoffice Street community.
After 15 years, Kathy decided that it was time for new energy for ARToberFEST. As she contemplated her "retirement," she couldn't imagine any organization more qualified to produce ARToberFEST than The Grand 1894 Opera House. She felt very protective of the festival and its artists and didn’t think that any organization would be as committed to continuing what she and the initial committee had created.
In 2013 The Grand staff took over the production of ARToberFEST. Kathy trusted in the ability of The Grand to continue ARToberFEST by carrying on its mission and tradition. For the past ten years, The Grand has been pleased to produce this event that adds to cultural tourism in the downtown cultural arts district and Galveston Island. It is with great pride The Grand celebrates the Festivals originator Kathy Modzelewski and twenty-five years of success.
Founding ARToberFEST Coordinator