Citizens of the Week: Festival co-chairs lead with enthusiasm and innovation

While the Creative Arts Guild's annual Festival weekend is the organization's gift to the community, it's also a massive undertaking requiring the efforts of numerous volunteers, and this year's Festival committee co-chairs have led the way with passion, according to Guild staff members.

Kaitlin Kuykendall and Madeline Toelke came to Festival 2021, which is Sept. 17-19, "with fresh ideas, energy and a willingness to make (Festival) a great experience for our artists, guests and volunteers," said Leanne Martin, the Guild's operations and events director and lead coordinator for the Festival. "They each bring a commitment to not just the Creative Arts Guild but to our community to make Dalton a great place to live and grow families."

Kuykendall is relatively new to the Guild, becoming involved during the past few years, and her "fresh perspective and enthusiasm have been invigorating," said Amanda Brown, the Guild's executive director. "We are greatly appreciative (of) this new member of the Guild family."

Her co-chair, Toelke, "is a true leader with constantly innovative ideas," Brown said. "She is incredibly organized and is great at getting others involved."

While the co-chairs have plenty to do, they also coordinate and reach out to volunteers, according to the Guild. For example, Festival committees include the Festival 2021 Preview Party + Taste of Dalton (helping with the ticketed Friday, Sept. 17, event that kicks off the weekend); Multicultural Children’s Hill (especially important are volunteers with knowledge of or close connection with the countries being highlighted); Artist Hospitality (welcoming and assisting artists, booth sitting and more); Gallery Sales Team (volunteers receive special docent and art sales training); Marketing and PR (helping share the word); and Grounds & Event Logistics (setting up prior to and taking down after the event).

More information about these and other volunteer committee opportunities is available at https://bit.ly/FESTIVALvolunteer, and individuals can also sign up to volunteer at that link.

For their efforts to make this year's Festival another truly great event, the Daily Citizen-News names Kaitlin Kuykendall and Madeline Toelke Citizens of the Week.

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