This year, the Quetzal Art Fest almost didn’t happen. Due to incredibly busy schedules, people being out of state and other mishaps, we thought QFest would have to be postponed until next year. But the Quetzal turned into our Phoenix for this event.
In a month, after pitching the idea to The Miracle Center we were off and running again. Luckily for us, we had interested, dedicated artists who were willing to put in the work. Over a month and a half had passed since our initial date for the event, but it didn’t bother us. We saw this as a benefit for three reasons.
- EXPO Collective is not limited to the south side of Chicago, however we were birthed in Pilsen and do a lot of events there. This was an opportunity to work alongside The Miracle Center again and in a larger capacity.
- EXPO Collective was able to reach a new audience and work with artists who lived right around the corner! Since we don’t limit who we work with, some of our artists live on the north side which made it a bit easier for them to get to the location.
- Since obtaining the space the organization is currently in, The Miracle Center is proud to call their space an arts incubator– a place for all arts to thrive!
The line up was too perfect to not try and resurrect the almost lifeless Quetzal. With banners, a location, sponsorship by Capital One and volunteers, we were off and running.
From creating our own t-shirts the night before, to setting up tables, chairs and planning the day, we were definitely excited for the opportunity to make Quetzal Art Fest a yearly adventure of beautifying the city on our own terms and in our own way. This year, The Miracle Center, Nixon Elementary and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights received beautiful pieces for their spaces. Additionally, Manuel MATR Macias with help from his family, created a beautiful Chicago flag in TMC’s conference room. See the elapsed time video of him below!
Throughout the day, we saw about 300 people walk through the doors, had four workshops for families and children to enjoy, including t-shirt making and piñata making. Thanks to Aurelio Rodriguez for documenting our day in photos and videos. We could not have done this without all of our artists and their dedication.