Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Mill Avenue

My mind is a mad jumble of a myriad of marvelous ideas! OH YES! I am totally fired up! I might as well be wearing a pleated mini skirt, letterman's sweater and shaking some pom poms! Are you excited yet?


I am feeling inspired by the letter 'M' today and I want to tell you all about it! Are you ready?


One of my absolute favorite places to go/things to do in Arizona is the Mill Avenue Arts Festival. It comes around twice a year and it takes place in downtown Tempe. I have been going to this festival for about as long as I can remember. Sadly, due to my constantly changing state residence, my visits have been less frequent over the years. When I was in my early 20's I landed a job with the non-profit organization that plans the event, and even though I was a lowly administrative assistant it was one of my favorite places to work. I got to be front and center during the planning and the reviewing of the various artists who had applied for booth space at the event. Over the years the festival has gotten very large and features artists, musicians, fabulous culinary vendors and all kinds of other amazingly talented individuals.

I discovered one of my favorite artists at the festival. Her name is Ora Tamir and over the years I have collected quite a few pieces of her art. I have also given the prints as gifts to family and friends. Here is an example of one of my favorites:

(from Ora's Art website)

I love the fluidity of her work and the colors are so full and rich I feel like I could walk right into her fantasy world.

I was thinking about all the million or more things that I could tell you about the Mill Avenue Arts Festival...and then I thought about a post I wrote a few letters back, which featured a giveaway of an independent folk musician that I enjoy listening to, Michael Salazar. And then it dawned on me, supporting independent artists isn't just about supporting the artists I like, it's about learning about the artists that move you, as well.

You all learn about me on a daily basis, but what opportunity have I made to learn more about you? Not enough I think. Not only will learning about your favorite artists help me to write better for you, but it will increase the audiences of the artists that you support. I have said before we are a community of writers, but we are also a community of readers, listeners, watchers and thinkers. As members of this community we network through each other to get our "stuff" or the "stuff" (highly scientific terminology) of those we admire supported.

And then my brain really started revving up. I thought about my blog friend Sheila at Sheila Scribbles and how she had hosted a "Blog Yard Sale". A brilliant and fun idea! And isn't the A-Z Blog Challenge all about supporting our fellow bloggers and diversifying our experiences? I think yes! How many of my now 50+ followers (still get excited about that) found me through A-Z and how many have I found? The answer is, A-LOT!

And then I had my own stroke of brilliance...what if...I could create my own online Mill Avenue Arts Festival?! And in doing so I could support some of my favorite artists AND yours.

You're still with me right? Because here's where it gets really good!

Here's what it all boils down to, I am changing all of the giveaway rules and beefing up the now named, "Indie Artist Prize Pack"!
What on earth could be in this new brilliant new prize pack you may be asking yourself? Well, that's the beauty of this new game, my hope is that the more people that participate the bigger the prize pack will get! These things are guaranteed to be in the prize pack however;

-Signed copy of 'stories in my head' by Michael Salazar.

-A copy of one of my all time favorite books, The Book of Joby by Mark Ferrari. This book was published by Tor, so it's not "Indie", however, this was Ferrari's first novel and it's such a beautiful story that I think more people should read it!

-A 6.5 X 7.5 lithograph of Aquarius by Ora Tamir.

I have a few other ideas for some bonus prizes and if you would like to promote your own or someone elses work by adding it to the prize pack let me know and we can make the prize pack even more fabulous.

This is how it's going to work:

First, the contest is going to last through the end of April, the last day of the A-Z Blog Challenge will also be the last day to participate in the Mandi's Online Art Festival

Second, you don't have to follow the links of the artists I've mentioned here, that would be nice, and I hope you do, but it's not a giveaway requirement. Since this is about me getting to know you and spreading the word about your favorite artists, authors, bloggers, musicians etc., I want to hear about your faves!

So how do you participate to win this fabulous prize pack?

-Leave me a comment with the name and if you can a link to one of your favorite artists, doesn't matter if they are a musician, author, culinary artist, blogger...whatever, and yes you can promote your own work as well.

That's it.

At the end of the A-Z Challenge I will hold a random drawing of all of the participants Wicked Stepmom style, ie I will make my little steppie draw the name out of a hat. In the blog where the winner is announced I will also compile a list of all of the artists and links to their sites that are mentioned as part of the contest.

And remember...You can't win if you don't play! So leave a comment, and spread the word about Mandi's Online Art Festival and help me give some fun stuff away.




  1. I'm giving out awards for the A-Z challenge participants and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Beautiful Mommy Writer Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.
    PS. I hope you can write a new fairy tale where the stepmother turns out to be the hero!

  2. How exciting! I am going to do some research to find links to my favorite indie artists and come back. In the meantime I'm going to tweet and facebook this. And you are right, Ora's work is amazing!

  3. The blog is very good!

  4. ..."The Book of Joby" has piqued my interest! Can't believe I haven't heard of it until now, being the father of three bookworms.

    Great post & glad I stopped by:)


  5. Ok...I'm gonna do this This is a friends band here in Orlando. Not only are they friends of mine, but they absolutely rock! You know how I love my local rock. :) I don't know how indie they are, and they aren't local (to me)...but I just found them..and I dig them!

    And I think these two bands alone show the diversity in my music love. :)

  6. Well, he's my brother, but I love his stuff anyway. He shows around the Mobile Bay area. Some of his art is ensconced at University of South Alabama. He's been commissioned by the city for a few pieces, and his stuff is environmentally friendly, as it's reclaimed materials most of the time. ~Kendra

  7. My pick is a lady named Rene Reyes. She is an artist with a blog featuring her art, which covers various ethnicities, including mine. Her blog is

  8. I awarded you the Stylish Blogger award. Come stop by....