Crafticopia reaches second year, supports community
Crafticopia has reached its second annual year and will offer the community a myriad of local and regional handcrafted items, ranging from simple beaded jewelry to carved wooden bowls. Crafticopia will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 900 Brilowski Road, Stevens Point.
The event is free and open to the public. Last year attendance reached more than 600, a number that may grow in the event’s second year.
The idea for Crafticopia sprang from several church members planning a craft show, an idea which soon developed into an event that would be open to the entire community and help support Redeemer’s various community partners.
Redeemer uses the event to not only to showcase area crafters, but also to help boost awareness of their community partners, such as Shama Inc., the Mobile Pantry and Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners.
“It’s a really great day for them,” said Annie Edison-Albright, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran. “They get volunteer interest, donations, and really make some connections during that day that are really positive.”
The event takes nearly a year to plan, said Ann Kiefer, Crafticopia’s director. Including all the volunteer work and crafters nearly 200 people help to put on Crafticopia.
“We are going to go really big and use every single space in and outside our building to lift up our community partners to really just get every person in our congregation involved,” said Edison-Albright. “It’s a chance for us as a congregation to show the community who we are and what we are about.”
Redeemer will give its partners booth space at Crafticopia to enable them to gain exposure to the public and to fundraise through food and craft sales. Redeemer also gives these organizations space in its building throughout the year to help support their work.
Shama Inc. will sell Indian food and will have several henna artists present to design temporary henna tattoos.
“Our church building is a place that we come together, we grow in faith and then we go out into the community to make a difference in people’s lives,” Edison-Albright said. “We feel very called by our faith in Jesus to help people who are hungry, sick who are in need of help. That is the way we want to live our lives.”
Proceeds from aspects of Crafticopia such as the bake sale go back into the event and also into projects that will help Redeemers partners or benefit the community in some way.
“Our members are always going out and helping others whether it’s serving Salvation Army meals, Make a Difference Day, regularly volunteering at (Operation) Bootstrap and other places,” said Edison-Albright.
Crafticopia will have more than 45 vendors this year, and crafts will range from small items for just a dollar or two to high quality pieces crafted by lifelong artists.
Homemade pesto has quickly become a part of Crafticopia’s tradition, and this year Redeemer members made more than 230 homemade jars of pesto to sell. Last year’s pesto sold out in less than a few hours, and this year’s is also expected to go quickly.
Volunteers grow the basil from seeds, more than 200 plants this year, and use local products such as olive oil from Diversi-Tea to make the pesto.
“The pesto tradition is part of the idea of bringing young and old together. People who otherwise may barely know each other but might create a real bond working side by side together,” said Edison-Albright. “It’s a powerful experience when you have old and young working together.”
Beyond the long list of crafts that will be available, the day will also offer several lunch options, children’s activities, live music and a silent auction. The silent auction will include items such as a Packer signed football, a 32-inch TV, a couple of handmade quilts, an airplane ride sponsored by a Redeemer member and a gift certificate from Smith Studios for a photo sitting.