Park Point Community Club
The Park Point Community Club (PPCC) exists to improve the community and the welfare of its residents. Its efforts provide public access to natural and cultural resources, environmental preservation, civic engagement and more—driven through service projects that benefit the wider population of Duluth and its visitors. The Park Point Art Fair is it’s signature event and has been for over forty years. The last weekend in June brings thousands of visitors to our island community for a celebration of art and place. Located just across Duluth’s iconic Ariel Lift Bridge, the 6-mile-long Minnesota Point peninsula (also called Park Point) is one of the jewels of the state. Home to a close-knit community—1,282 people in 692 housing units—that resides on the world’s longest freshwater sandbar, it’s a place consistently recognized for pristine beaches, plentiful parkland and natural beauty on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake. These attributes, along with a close proximity to the Duluth metro area, consistently provide visitors from across the state, Midwest and Canada a truly unique experience as they explore Minnesota’s Arrowhead region.
The Park Point Art Fair (Art Fair) annually showcases professionally juried artists in a stunning outdoor environment on the shores of Lake Superior. For over forty years, as PPCC’s signature event and as an original festival of its kind for northeastern Minnesota, the Art Fair has embodied the club’s mission by serving the local and regional community—culturally, economically and socially.
For 40 years the Park Point Community Club has hosted The Park Point Art Fair at the Park Point Recreation Area on the last weekend in June. The Art Fair has grown from a handful of artists offering their work on tables and blankets to 120 artists from across the region and nation who award-winning exhibit work in a premiere setting.
A commitment to the arts
The Park Point Community Club provides an appreciation dinner for the artists and the community volunteers. The Club hosted dinner gives community volunteers and artists the opportunity to socialize and catch up from year to year. The Saturday dinner has served to foster lasting relationships between artists and the community giving the whole event the feeling of a family reunion.
Artists are awarded for excellence based on the annual review of the field by art professionals. The Club awards a total of $1,300—along with ‘art work awards’ produced by one of the participating artists—to artists in seven categories as well as a Best of Show.
The appreciation for the awards and the meal abound. The event would not be the same in quality and ambiance without the clubs efforts to welcome and recognize the excellence and commitment the artists have shown. Some veteran artists have exhibited for 38 years, while excellent young artists are still drawn to the event for its prestige and importance to the Duluth arts community.
The art fair has broadened its focus in recent years to provide fair goers and families with an experience in the arts. The Community Club sponsors entertainment and activities. The young and the young at heART can create their own art work. Families are entertained by different performance artists; musicians, storytellers , puppeteers and jugglers have all found a place at the fair.
Community service projects:
The art fair serves a greater good. The Community Club’s art fair proceeds support youth programs, environmental projects and a community newspaper—service projects that benefit the Park Point Community also serve the wider population of Duluth inhabitants. These projects have fostered a unity of purpose among volunteers, artists and fair goers alike. Some examples:
- The Park Point Summer Youth program. The Community Club funds and administers a youth program for Duluth children ages 5-13. Kids enjoy the beach, play baseball and tennis, kayak, do arts and crafts projects and go on field trips.
- Boardwalks. The Club has also built numerous boardwalks, including projects in conjunction with Rotary volunteers. Each boardwalk helps to prevent beach erosion and provide handicapped access to the beauty of the Park Point beach.
- Annual tree planting. Community Club members engage school children in planting trees to help stop beach erosion and to prevent sand from blowing onto walkways and public parking areas
- Community news. The Park Point Breeze, a community newspaper with a 32-year history, the Breeze informs readers and provides a forum for discussion about important issues—part of the glue that keeps our community together.
- Giving more. The Club and its members donate volunteer time and funding to various local charities that seek assistance.
Although these monetary figures represent a substantial investment back into Duluth, they do not reflect the value associated with the thousands of hours volunteered by Park Point residents and friends who make these projects possible.