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Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts gives art lovers a chance to meet makers

Twice a year, Tempe hosts a Festival of the Arts and the spring edition is happening this weekend. It began decades ago as a way for the merchants of Mill Avenue to bring their wares out onto the streets.

Downtown Tempe Authority President Kate Borders said beyond the economic benefit for artists, merchants and hotel operators, it’s an opportunity for art lovers to engage directly with makers.

“You get to meet the artist who made this painting, or that took this photograph, or made this jewelry and you get to talk to them about their process. If you think about it, this harkens back to the earliest of days when there were markets and you got to meet the person who grew your food," Borders said. 

Speaking on the Tempe this Week podcast, Borders said in addition to the 375 artists represented, there is a free entertainment stage and multiple food vendors.

The festival runs through Sunday.

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.