The festival has been a model for igniting local culture and economy since its inception. It is a celebration for all ages where attendees purchase directly from local artists, farmers, and food producers, thus keeping money in our region. This all volunteer driven, grassroots effort is pleased to spread these values year round, by supporting other North Quabbin groups in cultivating the arts, agriculture, energy conservation, wellness, and community building through a community grants program.
The Garlic and Arts Festival success and sustainability is made possible through a fully volunteer organizing committee who collectively contribute thousands of hours year round to bring the festival to fruition, plus 200 additional volunteers the weekend of the event. Each exhibitor also contributes 3-4 hours of time to help with an aspect of the festival, from press to set up, to feeding work crews, to sorting compost after the event. No one is paid for their organizing efforts, and while the budget has expanded significantly from the original $100 in 1999, the festival is committed to keeping admission accessible at $5 per adult, and free for children. A non-profit event under the fiscal umbrella of Seeds of Solidarity Education Center Inc, proceeds from the festival ensure that it continues from year to year. Thanks to the commitment of those who attend, vend, perform, and volunteer year after year, the festival can now also support other projects that reflect and spread the festival goal of community building in the North Quabbin region.
From 2010-2013, 18 grants ranging from $100 to over $1000 were awarded to local groups, as well as a contributions to the North Quabbin Food-A-Thon, totaling over $13,000 in community grants made to support community building and projects in the arts, agriculture/food, energy conservation, and wellness.