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It means, "get out your wallets 'cause some great artists are celebrating the holidays."

The North Idaho Arts Center (NIAC) is having a Holiday Extraordinaire Arts and Crafts Faire. They are calling it Chrisolhanzadanterlucia. That name brought my spell check to its knees - and my spell check gets a lot of exercise.

The faire is Saturday the 14th of Dec. at NIAC, located at 1201 Michigan St.

You may be wondering where the name came from. NIAC president Ellen Weismann explained, “It is the combination of Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Winter and St. Lucia.” The name started over 30 years ago when Ellen was still in High School. “I was raised in the Jewish faith,” she said, “but I had a lot of Christian friends so we started a winter tradition called Christhona. Over the years we have kept adding new holidays from various faiths and traditions.”

Ellen teaches English as a second language for North Idaho College in Sandpoint. Through her contacts with students she is learning about Christmas and winter holidays around the world.

That’s most of the story of this extraordinary name; now about the faire.

At last count before press time there were 16 arts and crafts vendors for the event.

They include: Mary Day, bronze sculptures. Beth Swan’s paintings, and Zabrielle Whittom glass sculptures. Paintings by Patrick Yesh will be available as will Sumi art by Andrew Horwitz. There will be artwork by Mary Shakelford and Betty Billups. Sylvia Terry’s quilts and art by Holland Walker. Kristofer Yamada will be selling and playing his didgeridoos. Jenn VanVolinburg will sell holiday cards. Photographers Warren Carlson and Janice Jarzabek will be sell their respective works. Alex Oakwright will sell cards etc. and Lizzy Hughes will have her tables at the center for sale. Joyce Jowdy is selling her unique handmade cards. All the artists will be selling their works and faire-goers may get a chance to watch some of them doing their crafts.

For the enjoyment of the patrons, music and treats are being planned.

NIAC is supported by about 150 members, various fairs and fundraisers during the year, and grants from Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2003 they are adding a Gala event to be held in March at the Panida Theater. The plan is a take-a-table auction as well as an art and silent auction. They’re hoping artists will build artistic tables to be auctioned off. The event will be on the 21st, and a St Patrick day theme may be designed into each table. This is the “first annual,” and the plan is for a big show that will run in the spring of each year.

The three-year-old organization sees itself as a forum for performing, visual and living arts, as well as an educational  resource for people of all ages - from preschool to seniors.

At this time Patrick Yesh is teaching an art process workshop at Lake Pend Oreille High School, sponsored by a grant from ICA.

NIAC and POAC together have received a grant from ICA that will put special projects art teachers in schools. The grant is for several organizations to work together for a common cause.

Pre-registration is now open at the center for a pre school art class taught by Debra Huff. The class is starting in January.

The Faire, with the most politically correct name in the area, will be for one day only on Saturday the 14 from 10 am to 5 pm.


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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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