Meet the Eureka Street Art Festival Team
It all started with local businesswoman Michelle Cartledge. As a member of the Eureka Economic Development Commission, she was seeking a way to involve the community and make it social. Murals were already happening in Eureka. The Rural Burl Mural Bureau, a group of locals as colorful as their organization's name, had sponsored a program for youth that involved painting murals after school. This effort, coordinated by Humboldt County artist Dwane Flatmo, created many of the murals that have existed for 20 years or more. In recent years, Flatmo has been involved in repainting murals impacted by years of exposure to weather. In recent years, Flatmo and others have refreshed a mural located at the intersection of H and 6th streets and another titled “Animals Are People Too" on the Courthouse Market.
As with events worldwide, the Eureka Street Art Festival was impacted by the pandemic the past two years. ESAF organizers maintained the momentum by offering virtual tours and live streaming. For 2022, celebrating the artist's work on the final day returns as an important event component. "For many attendees, the Block Party is the primary way to engage," Jenna Catsos said. "It's the classic type of festival people expect but enhanced by artists displaying their craft." More than 100 vendors, including a variety of food offerings, will be available, as will live music. "It's hard to compare to previous years because our world has changed," Catsos said. "The first year we had close to 10,000 people attend, and the second year, downtown, they numbered around 15,000." For those who can't attend the festival, the lasting nature of public art makes the murals a year-round attraction. "We love seeing more interest in the existing murals," she said. "Most visitors come to see the redwoods and don't know about the murals. The artwork is another part of Eureka to explore."