Tempe Arts Festival

Located in the vibrant city of Tempe, Arizona, the Tempe Festival of the Arts is a beloved community event that has become a must-attend for artists from around the country. With over 350 artists showcasing their original works, this juried art festival offers a fantastic opportunity for artists to connect with a large audience of art-loving visitors.

The festival, which takes place in March and December each year, has a long-standing history of over 50 years and consistently ranks among the nation’s top 100 classic and contemporary craft shows. With its beautiful urban setting on historic Mill Avenue, a wide array of categories to showcase different mediums and a strong emphasis on supporting emerging artists, the Tempe Festival of the Arts is an event that artists don’t want to miss.

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Contact Information

When:In early December and early to mid-March each year.
Email:[email protected]

About the Tempe Arts Festival

The Tempe Festival of the Arts has a history of over 50 years, making it one of the Southwest’s oldest and most prestigious art events. Held in the charming city of Tempe, Arizona, this festival has become a significant point of pride for the local community and a favorite among visitors.

The festival takes place twice a year, in early December and early to mid-March, offering artists and attendees the chance to experience the event in different seasons. The festival showcases over 350 artists from around the country and features various artistic mediums, including ceramics, glass, metalwork, painting, photography, sculpture, and more.

It consistently ranks among the top 100 classic and contemporary craft shows nationwide, receiving recognition for its commitment to promoting original art and providing a platform for established and emerging artists.

Event Statistics (2023)

  • Number of Visitors: Approximately 225,000 visitors throughout a 3-day weekend.
  • Number of Vendors: Around 350 artists from throughout North America.
  • Application Numbers: An average of 650 applications received each year.
  • Acceptance Rate: Around 50% of applicants are selected to participate after a thorough jury process.
  • Emerging Artists: The festival actively supports emerging artists and invites them to apply with a reduced booth fee. These artists are showcased in a designated area and given additional promotions to help kickstart their artistic careers.

With its rich tradition, a diverse range of artists, and a focus on supporting emerging talent, the Tempe Festival of the Arts has become a cherished event for art enthusiasts, attracting visitors from both near and far.

Venue Information

Known for its vibrant arts scene and diverse cultural heritage, Tempe, Arizona is an exciting city that offers many opportunities and inspiration for artists. With its picturesque landscapes, including the stunning Sonoran Desert and the iconic Tempe Town Lake, the city provides a unique backdrop for artists seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.

Beyond the natural wonders, Tempe is also home to a thriving arts community, with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance spaces that showcase a wide range of artistic expressions. In addition, the city’s lively downtown area, with its vibrant street art and bustling nightlife, creates a dynamic atmosphere that fosters creativity and invites artistic exploration.

The Tempe Festival of the Arts is in downtown Tempe, Arizona, renowned for its lively atmosphere and vibrant cultural scene. The festival is set along historic Mill Avenue, a bustling street with charming shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Surrounding the festival venue, artists and attendees can explore the eclectic mix of local businesses, from trendy boutiques to cozy coffee shops, all within walking distance. With its central location in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the festival draws visitors from all over, making it a prime opportunity for artists to showcase their work in a dynamic and visually captivating setting.

selling art

Opportunity for Artists

Participating artists can look forward to a professionally run event that values originality, craftsmanship, and a high-quality display.

Each artist must undergo a jury process, ensuring a well-rounded group of artists at the festival. With diverse categories, including ceramics, jewelry, painting, sculpture, and more, artists can showcase their unique talents and connect with art enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The Tempe Arts Festival presents a valuable opportunity for established and emerging artists to showcase and sell their work. Artists can apply to participate in the festival and set up booths to display their creations to a wide audience of art enthusiasts. This platform allows artists to promote and sell their artwork and provides them with exposure and networking opportunities within the local art community.

How to Participate

Artists interested in participating in the Tempe Arts Festival can submit their applications online for consideration. The festival welcomes diverse artistic talents across 18 categories, including woodwork, photography, ceramics, and wearable art. However, artists are advised to refrain from submitting any explicit or offensive artwork.

The application process involves filling out a simple online form with basic personal information and details about the type of art to be showcased. The festival receives over 650 artist applications each year, with a jury of local art community members carefully selecting the top artisans in each category. Selected artists can exhibit their work in one of the 350 artist booths along Historic Mill Avenue.

The festival follows a jury process, and artists’ applications are scored based on concept, workmanship, presentation, and overall quality. The jury, consisting of experts in the art field, evaluates each submission without knowing the artist’s identity.

Accepted artists are invited to participate, while some may be placed on a waitlist. The timeline for the application process, including specific dates, is typically provided on the festival’s website. It’s essential for artists to thoroughly review the guidelines and application instructions to ensure a successful application submission.

Fees and Costs

Here is a breakdown of the fees payable for artists participating in the Tempe Festival of the Arts:

  1. Application Fee: $35 (2023). This fee covers the administrative costs associated with the jury process.
  2. Booth Fee: The booth fee varies depending on factors such as booth size and location within the festival. The specific amount for each category can be obtained from the festival’s website or application portal.
  3. Corner Booth Fee: If an artist desires a corner booth, there is an additional fee of $100.
  4. Electricity Fee: Artists requiring electricity for their booth may incur an additional fee, typically around $100, to cover the cost of providing electrical access.

In terms of permits, all participating artists must obtain a Transaction Privilege Tax license through the Arizona Department of Revenue, which enables them to collect and remit sales tax. Artists are also responsible for carrying their liability insurance, although it is highly recommended, as it protects them in the event of any unforeseen accidents or damages.

It’s important for artists to thoroughly review the festival’s guidelines and requirements to understand the complete financial obligations associated with participation. Details regarding fees, permits, and insurance can typically be found on the festival’s official website or through the application portal.

Parking and Setup Logistics


Artists at the Tempe Arts Festival have hassle-free access for booth setup and parking. Designated setup times and locations are assigned to artists, ensuring a smooth display of their work. Festival organizers assist with loading and unloading art pieces and supplies. Detailed logistics information is provided for an organized setup process, reducing stress for artists.

Ample parking options include nearby garages and street parking for convenient access. Clear signage and staff support help artists navigate parking and set up areas effortlessly during the festival. This meticulous planning enhances the overall ambiance of the festival, creating a welcoming environment for artists in Tempe.

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