Fifty Remarkable Years of the Sawdust Art Festival 1

The 50th summer of the Sawdust Art Festival is here. Since 1966, the festival has expanded greatly from a humble dirt lot to a sprawling, three-acre eucalyptus grove in Laguna Canyon. Over time, Sawdust came to organically incorporate many forms of art, education programs and charity efforts. This has allowed the festival to grow, not just its size, but also the unique opportunities it creates for the Laguna community.

The origins of the Sawdust Festival date back to the mid-1960s, in the midst of counter-culture and a community’s increasing interest in arts and crafts. After a few years of modest success, the Sawdust board made the pivotal decision in 1972 to purchase a three-acre property from artisan couple Walter and Dorothy Funk. In effect, the Sawdust board decided to charge admission for the first time. Eventually, by charging a small admission, Sawdust would be able to generate funds for high school art scholarships, public education and other charitable causes.

By 1987, the Artists’ Benevolence Fund emerged. In its mission to assist both Sawdust exhibitors and working artists in the city of Laguna Beach, it has successfully granted more than $100,000 to artists in need. Another group stemmed from the Sawdust Festival–the Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund. Stepping in to educate public schools who lose funds for the arts, providing art therapy programs for homeless individuals and sponsoring local artists to give hands-on art lessons to the public are among its philanthropic accomplishments.

Starting June 24th through August 28th, the Sawdust Art Festival will have its doors open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Two hundred Laguna Beach artists and home-grown eateries will be featured amidst a charming eucalyptus grove. Painters, sculptors, photographers, glassblowers, woodworkers, furniture makers, and fashion designers are just a few of the different artisans who will display their works before an anticipated 200,000 visitors this summer. From live entertainment to art demonstrations, wine tastiness to dance lessons, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.

 From June 24th to August 28th, 200 Laguna Beach artists and home-grown eateries will be featured amidst a charming eucalyptus grove. Painters, sculptors, photographers, glassblowers, woodworkers, furniture makers, and fashion designers are just a few of the different artisans who will display their works before an anticipated 200,000 visitors this summer. From live entertainment to art demonstrations, wine tastings to dance lessons, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.