As I stood around a group of students, putting parrot to paper with borrowed paints, I began to dream. I dreamt of an opportunity to come together as Catholics to delight, learn and engage in our shared Catholic culture. I dreamt of ways to highlight those local Catholic artists, makers and entrepreneurs who seemed to go it alone in the Central Valley of California, finding their way through non-denominational Christian or secular avenues because the infrastructure was lacking for a Catholic market in our area.
Two projects came out of this dream:
The Hildegard Arts Cooperative
The Loreto Market
The Hildegard Arts Cooperative brings educational and communal opportunities to local students and their families with music, visual arts and literature utilizing traditional, skill-based techniques and Catholic cultural traditions.
How have we done this? Basically, with a lot of parties.
Blessed with an outdoor space that can accommodate a spaced out crowd in 2021 we have hosted a St. Valentine’s Day parties for children, a St. Patrick’s Day Fest for the whole family, opera in the afternoon watching a streamed production by Opera Modesto through their Festival @ Home program, and a Mardi Gras Speakeasy. Upcoming events include The Loreto Market, Midsummer Night Shakespeare Festival, Hot August Nights (an outdoor speakeasy) and so much more. It is our goal to make these events free. We do this through donations and vendor fees paid by our amazing vendors at the Loreto Market.
On May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., we’ll host our second Loreto Market. The first Loreto Market took place on December 5, 2020, and was a wonderful success. 16 Catholic artists, makers and entrepreneurs came together (along with a gaggle of kids) to showcase their work and sell their products just in time for St. Nicholas Day.
Now, just in time for May crownings, Spring Sacraments, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations and the wedding season, the Loreto Market will bring together no less than 16 Catholic vendors to do it again.
We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, May 1, for the Loreto Market. Between now and then, I’ll share some handy gift guides to give you an idea what you’ll be able to purchase that day and some of the incredible vendors we’re featuring.
If you’d like to receive future emails regarding the Loreto Market and the Hildegard Arts Cooperative, or are a Catholic artist, maker or entrepreneur and would like to know more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .