Partnerships for the Festival & Event Industry in Arkansas
It’s not breaking news that many of our state’s great festivals and events have had to cancel or postpone in the wake of COVID-19, many of which represent causes, non-profits, and small businesses that rely on event income to survive.
The Arkansas Festivals & Events Association (AFEA) and Rock City Outfitters out of Conway, Arkansas have teamed up to help create some cash flow for some of these events and businesses during this dry season through a t-shirt fundraiser with specially designed shirts in which the qualifying festivals, events, and businesses receive proceeds from the sales.
Rock City Outfitters, a t-shirt production and retail company founded in 2008, is an Arkansas-based purveyor of locally relevant clothing. Rock City Outfitters’ shirts are printed on high-quality garments and are distributed only through this website, select retailers, festivals and local events throughout the state of Arkansas. When approached by the Arkansas Festivals & Events Association about teaming for this effort, Rock City Outfitters owner Ryan Ritchie said he “absolutely loved the idea”.
Ryan and his design team worked with the events and businesses vetted by the AFEA on creating and designing high quality shirts that represented the heart of each participant, pledging to produce and ship each shirt purchased to purchasers with the event or business represented on the shirt receiving half of the proceeds from the purchase.
Events and businesses represented are:
Arts & The Park- Hot Springs
Hog Wild Events
Heber Springs Springfest
Fordyce on the Cottonbelt
Arkansas Pie Festival- Cherokee Village
Southern Food Festival- Batesville
Arkansas Portable Toilets
All shirts can be viewed and purchased at https://www.rockcityoutfitters.com/collections/fundraiser-tees at the price of $20.00.
The Arkansas Festivals & Events Association is a nonprofit support organization for the festival and event industry that works to support the industry through networking, education, and publicity assistance. You can find more information about the association and its membership at www.arfea.org or contact at the info below.
Please submit any questions or cancelled event information to:
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.