Blog

Experience Lowell Criteria & Application

The Event:

Celebrating the largest free Folk Festival in the country, this is the first year that Art in the Courtyard and Destination Lowell will combine and expand to a new location under the name Experience Lowell. Located in the Enterprise Bank parking lot at 222 Merrimack Street, this event will feature Lowell artists, makers, and organizations so that festival attendees and Lowell residents can experience everything that Lowell’s arts and culture community has to offer. 

This event is produced by Mosaic Lowell, in collaboration with the Brush Gallery & Studios, and the Lowell Folk Festival. Mosaic Lowell is the arts, culture, and creative economy plan for Lowell. Mosaic supports arts and culture in the city through the key objectives of economic development, youth development, and equity building. Through this work, Mosaic wants to ensure that Lowell is a great place to live, work, create, and play.

The Lowell Folk Festival welcomes over 100,000 visitors during the weekend and is the longest-running, and second-largest, free folk festival in the United States. It is made up of three days of traditional music, dance, craft demonstrations, street parades, dance parties, and ethnic foods. All of this is presented on six outdoor stages throughout the city.

Date and Time for Experience Lowell:

  • Saturday July 29th, 12pm – 7:30pm
  • Sunday July 30th, 12pm – 6pm

*end times subject to change based on festival schedule

Important Dates:

  • Friday June 16: Applications due
  • Jury convenes June 19-23
  • Notification to artists by June 28, 2023
  • Booth Fees due by July 12
  • Deadline to withdraw July 14

Application Criteria 

Permitted items include:

  • Arts and crafts such as: fine arts, pottery, fiber art, jewelry, glasswork, candles, soaps, traditional crafts, etc.
  • Books or publications illustrated by the artist or written by the exhibitor (i.e. poetry, prose, short stories, local author anthologies, etc.)
  • Local author anthologies 
  • Locally made non-perishable pre-packaged culinary items (ex. Bottled hot sauce, honey, etc.) 

Prohibited items include:

  • Commercial items for resale, kits, imported or consigned goods 
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Any visual representations of sexual or violent content
  • Per Folk Festival regulations, apparel (including hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts), recordings or CDs, perishable food and beverage, and mardi-gras beads are not permitted to be sold or given away. Additionally, organizations are not permitted to have a donation “bucket” at their table.

For Artists:

  • Artwork/crafts must be produced by the exhibitor; 3RD party goods and goods for re-sale are not permitted 
  • Experience Lowell will prioritize, but not limit to, Lowell-based makers, and Lowell-based organizations.
  • Galleries or cooperatives may sell work by multiple artists

For Organizations:

  • Must hold 501(c)3 status or operate under a fiscal sponsor
  • Must provide services that benefit within and beyond the Lowell community
  • Lowell-based Arts and Culture Organizations will be prioritized
  • Non-selling Galleries (Galleries who wish to sell member works, please refer to the artist criteria and application)
  • Must be a non-partisan organization
  • Organizations may sell items that relate to their mission (i.e. tickets or memberships), but must not sell anything listed in the prohibited items list above.
  • Organizations may have collateral about their mission and work, including sponsorship opportunities, but may not collect funds on site.

Important Facts for Exhibitors:

  • Exhibitors must be present at their table during all open hours for both days of the event. 
  • Exhibitors cannot set up after the start time or pack up before the end of the event.
  • Please plan for sufficient inventory for the 2 day eve
  • Exhibitor is responsible for handling their own sales
    • It is recommended that exhibitors have the capability to accept virtual payments and/or credit card payments, but this is not required.
  • Exhibitor is responsible for collecting and forwarding Massachusetts sales tax to Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
  • There is no available wifi, so be prepared to use data to process virtual sales
  • Electrical power and water source are not available, so be prepared to operate without an available electric outlet and bring any cleaning supplies you may require.
  • Artwork must be appropriate for all ages
  • Placement within the Experience Lowell area is at the discretion of the planners and non-negotiable.
  • All items must be moved and placed in the festival-provided storage unit by the vendor. 
  • Items must be in secured boxes and clearly labeled for overnight storage. Experience Lowell is not liable for damages to, or theft or loss of any items.
  • Exhibitors have the option of a 10’ x 5’ or a 10’ x 10’ of space within the shared text 
  • Any additional display structures must be provided by the exhibitor, but may not be placed outside your allotted 10’ x 5’ or 10’ x 10’ space.

Festival Provides:

  • One 8 foot table and two chairs
  • All vendors will be placed under 1 of 3 large outdoor tents
  • Volunteers to mind your tent during your breaks
  • A secure nighttime storage area will be provided for Saturday evening. 

Application:

  • Online application for artists is available here.
  • Online application for organizations is available here.

Artist applicants will be required to submit:

  • A website and/or social media page links
  • Up to 5 images of your work including a previous booth set up if available
  • Description of products you plan to sell

Correspondence and notification will be done entirely by e-mail, so please make sure the e-mail address provided is one you check frequently. Artists and organizations will be juried by a panel including Mosaic Lowell staff, Folk Festival staff, and community members.

Applicants under age 18, please contact info@mosaiclowell.org for details

Questions can be directed to info@mosaiclowell.org

Event Timeline

Exhibitors will be assigned a time for load-in and load-out and will be required to adhere to that assigned time. Carts will not be provided but exhibitors are encouraged to bring one.

Detailed load-in and load-out instructions will be provided to vendors closer to the event. Expected load in times will be Saturday morning between 8 and 10:30am, and load out time Sunday evening between 7 and 10pm. This is subject to change.

Event volunteers will be available but vendors should plan on having additional help for load in and load out if possible.

Table Fee:

  • Your table fee is due by July 12, 2023
  • Artist fee for 2 days with a 10’ x 10’ space with one 8’ table and 2 chairs: $180 
  • Artist fee for 2 days with a 10’ x 5’ space with one 8’ table and 1 chair: $90
  • Organization fee for a space with one 8’ table and 2 chairs: $50
  • Scholarships are available for artists and organizations, please inquire at info@mosaiclowell.org
  • Payment information will be sent with your application acceptance.