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hill country treasures

Texas b y

E r i n

Arts & CraftsFAIR

L o h d e n ,

E x e c u t i v e

D i r e c t o r

a n d

M a r k

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H a u f le r ,

P r e s i d e n t

o f

t h e

B o a r d

In 1970, the Texas Tourist Development Agency (TTDA) began the search for a perfect place to hold an Arts & Crafts Fair. Kerrville was chosen and plans were soon underway for the first Fair to be held during the 1972 Memorial Day Weekend. Schreiner College (now Schreiner University) in Kerrville agreed to let the Fair be held on their campus annually. This turned out to be a good location, where attendees could easily park in close proximity to the fairgrounds.


he Texas Tourist Development Agency, under the direction of a TTDA manager, Phil Davis, ran the Fair for three years. After this period, a committee headed by Kerrville’s Gene Lehmann, a well-known businessman and local volunteer, was formed to work with and observe Fair operations. In 1975, after three very successful years, the directorship was turned over to the newly formed sixteen-member Board of Directors and the event was renamed the Texas Arts & Crafts Foundation.


As a non-profit foundation, the Fair is committed to offering educational programs in the arts and to sustain its financial responsibility to operate the Fair. Being solely a State of Texas project, only Texas artists are selected to exhibit and market their original hand-crafted work at the Fair. In 1995, the Texas Legislature elevated the status of the Fair to the Official Arts & Crafts Fair for the State of Texas. Representing our state as an officially authorized state project has opened the Fair to statewide marketing possibilities and greatly broadened the opportunities to build an even greater Fair. A major step took place in 2002. The Foundation entered a forty-year lease agreement with Kerr County

for 7.5 acres of land adjacent to Flat Rock Lake Park on the Guadalupe River. This gave the Fair a highly suitable permanent home with plenty of acreage available for parking and peripheral events. The property itself was named River Star Arts & Event Park and was made available as rental property during the year. In 2002, the Emerging Texas Artist Scholarship Program was introduced with the intention of awarding scholarships to university level students to help further their art education.

Following the decision in 2002 to move the Fair from Schreiner University to a new location, a local foundation gave a 2003 grant in the amount of $198,643 for initial infrastructure and facilities at the park. A Small Business Association loan funded the move to the new property plus the handicap-approved, air conditioned rest rooms, office buildings, roads, utilities installations, pads for large tents, and fencing the property. In 2003, the first Fair was held at the new location at 4000 Riverside Drive.

Lifestyle April/May 2013  

LIFESTYLE - THE MAGAZINE OF THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY is the Texas Hill Country’s premier luxury and lifestyle magazine. Residents in the Hill...