Old Deerfield summer crafts fair remains on hiatus

DEERFIELD — The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Old Deerfield Summer Crafts Fair will once again be on hiatus this year.

According to Executive Director Tim Neumann, neighboring Deerfield Academy has been renting out rooms that are usually needed during the fair. The prep school is using the space for art classrooms while its arts building is being renovated.

Last year, the fair was cancelled for similar reasons, as well as due to a scheduling conflict with the academy’s alumni weekend.

“They’re going to be having their arts camp again, and they’ll need the space,” said Neumann.

A new direction

According to Neumann, the fair may be transformed into a Native American marketplace event next year, which will host exhibits on Native American beadwork on loan from around New England, an idea that he said was inspired by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

“That will make it a smaller, more focused marketplace that would feature recognized Native American artists,” Neumann said. “It’s still in the planning phases, but it will be a way to keep a presence in the crafts during the summer.”

He noted that having four fairs each year can sometimes lead to competition with other New England craft fairs for recruiting craftspeople to populate the booths.

Neumann said the organization will still host the other three craft fairs, one of which is held in Deerfield in the fall.

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