For more than a decade Gwinnett County led the nation in growth and development. A result of this rapid growth was a void in cultural development, leaving a two dimensional environment made up of a robust business community and an outstanding public school system. However, what was truly lacking was the arts, that under-layer of performance and visual art that nurtures the soul and transforms a two-dimensional environment into a rich, three-dimensional living experience.
A dedicated group of business owners, citizens and local government joined forces to create a fine arts event for the exurban communities of Northeast Metro Atlanta. Though there are an abundance of Fall Festivals in the area, we identified that there was a lack of juried fine arts events that focused on fine arts and performance. The date was set and plans were put in motion for the first Barefoot in the Park, Fine Arts Market, Performance and Flavors.
We became a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, our proceeds go to support arts education through scholarships. Since the beginning, Barefoot has granted over $60,000 of grants back into our communites to support and grow the Arts. Recipients included Georgia Gwinnett College, Hudgens Center for the Arts Foundation, Jay Shapiro Foundation for Arts Education, and Gwinnett Ballet Theatre, Aurora Theater, etc. Applications are submitted and scholarships are awarded yearly to non-profit arts organizations offering scholarships to students and adults in both the visual and performing arts.
The over-arching strength of Barefoot is the people who are involved in it. The high caliber of the artists, the passion of our organizing committee, the dedication of the volunteers, the commitment of the board, the strength and support of our partnerships within our communites and the engagement of the visitors is truly astonishing. Without this group of people, the Barefoot In The Park, Inc. could truly not be possible.
This is a volunteer organization with currently no paid positions. We are a community partnership between local government, leading Gwinnett businesses, nonprofit organizations and volunteers, all dedicated to highlighting the importance of art education and expanded arts programs in our communities. We are recognized for partnerships of significant community impact for which we are very proud of.
Barefoot in the Park is a driving force for creating a quality arts environment across our community through advocacy, education, and financial support.
Barefoot in the Park will be a driving force in advocating arts education for all ages, promoting strong cultural development in our communities, and providing financial support for arts education and program development for both the fine and performing arts. The organization’s goal is to support a thriving arts community through a yearly fine arts market and ongoing outreach.