BetterArts Raises Funds for Charities at Irish Fest

In its first year running the first-floor children's room at the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival in Watertown, Redwood-based nonprofit betterArts hosted a successful fundraiser for various charities at the event. 

Arts 'n' crafts and seed-planting projects in the children's room were available free-of-charge, but tickets were sold for all games and face-painting. Proceeds from those sales benefit “Project Children North”, which brings kids from Ireland to the United States, where they stay for 6 weeks with host families. Proceeds from the festival also go to scholarships and other charities such as Wounded Warrior, USO, Credo Foundation, Urban Mission and food pantries within the tri-county area.

The cover of Watertown Daily Times' Northern New York Section March 17, 2013.

Here's what the children saw upon entering the room:

And here are some photos of the event in full swing:

Here's a closer look at all the activities betterArts offered Saturday and Sunday:

 ...A "Plant the Seed" station, where children merged art and sustainability by planting organic seeds into biodegradable pots, then using water-soluble paint to decorate said pots:

...A table where kids of all ages could make leprechaun ears:

...A jewelry-making station:


...A "Make Your Own Insect" table where children used egg cartons to create ladybugs, bumblebees, and caterpillars (or anything else they could dream up):

...A build-your-own planter station utilizing strips of newspaper:

Cornhole and bean-bag toss:

...A fishing game:

A million thank you's are in order for the entire betterArts family (in particular marketing director Holly Boname for organizing the event and programming director AmberLee Clement for coordinating volunteers), all the amazing volunteers throughout the weekend, the support of all the children and parents who stopped in to play and be creative with us, and of course the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival for welcoming betterArts into the fold for the festivities. We've signed on to bring all the fun back again in 2014—in the meantime, please be sure to stop in at betterArts' Annual Open House and Fundraiser May 25 at Better Farm.

If you would like to book betterArts for your next event or help us out at ours, please e-mail BetterArts board meetings are held at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at Better Farm, 31060 Cottage Hill Road, Redwood. For further information about the organization or to become a member, visit

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.