El Sol, Jupiter’s neighborhood resource center, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by hosting the biggest weekend event in its history. El Sol Fest will take place October 22 and 23, and will feature artists, vendors, music, food, entertainment and activities for kids.
Known as ArtFest in previous years, El Sol’s signature festival and fundraiser has been rebranded to spotlight the center’s journey since it opened its doors in 2006.
Over the last ten years, El Sol has successfully fought to improve the lives of residents of Northern Palm Beach County by offering services to those in need, especially day laborers and their families.
“I mean look at us now, “ said Jocelyn Skolnik, executive director. “Jupiter is a very positive place to live in for everyone. It is very inclusive. This celebration will help us recognize how people in this town came together to resolve a problem that continues to baffle communities across the country.”
To stay true to the event’s roots, a committee made up of staff and volunteers is working to recruit a diverse collection of artists. Last year, ArtFest drew more than 1,000 attendees.
“We’re making El Sol Fest bigger and better,” said Denise Mariani, El Sol Fest committee chairwoman. “We began planning for 2016 as soon as the 2015 festival ended. This year we’ll be having more Latin food booths, an expanded area for children’s activities, and additional music and entertainment.”
A ticketed cocktail reception and festival preview will be held Saturday, October 22, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.
The festival will be held on Sunday, October 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Both events will be at 106 Military Trail in Jupiter.
Proceeds from the weekend will be used to support the center’s 22 programs. El Sol is located at a building leased through the Town of Jupiter. It also benefits from in-kind funding through residents who volunteer at the center and donate their time and talent.
“But the meals we serve, the summer camp we host, the materials we need for our English classes, maintenance for our computer lab and garden, all of our programs require money, not just in-kind support,” Skolnik said. “What we raise from El Sol Fest will help us keep going.”
El Sol offers a safe, organized way for people to look for work in a dignified way. In 2015, its labor center fulfilled more than 16,000 job requests, the most in its history. By comparison, fewer than 9,000 job requests were filled in 2008.
El Sol staff and volunteers have also raised the quality of life of workers by directing them to the center’s education, health and legal programs.
Tito Perez, who claims to have been the first person to fulfill a job request through El Sol, continues his relationship with the center. He said he remembers the early days, when only about four or five people who showed up to work found gigs. In June, 25 people were hired per day on average.
“El Sol has provided us a means for getting ahead in life,” Perez said. “It has given us the opportunity to grow as individuals and I’m very thankful. Everything I have, it is because of El Sol.”
Call for artists:
We are looking for painters, sculptors, photographers and other artists across mediums to showcase their work at El Sol Fest. Attendance at this year’s festival is expected to be the biggest ever, and vendors will have the opportunity to reach a diverse audience of art lovers, but space is limited. Early bird registration is $40 through Sept 23.
For more information, call El Sol communications coordinator Andres Lopez at 561-537-9310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.