There are indications the 2019 Festival of Learnshops (FOL), sponsored by Berea Tourism, was the most successful since the summer arts series began in 2011. Here are four quick takeaways:
1. High revenue: In approximately three weeks, the 2019 Learnshops collected $108,537 in revenue, exceeding last year’s total. When the program began eight years ago, the series took in $10,422.
2. Visitors to Berea: In 2019, the FOL attracted participants from 20 states and at least one foreign country, according to preliminary tallies.
3. Growing number of Courses: Reflecting growing demand, the number of Learnshops offered was at an all-time high in 2019.
4. Waiting in Line: Despite the increased number of Learnshops in an expanding scope of artistic disciplines, courses filled up quickly, and at one point, there were at least 200 patrons on a waiting list to enroll. In some cases, additional sessions had to be added.
Officials said the department will be sorting through survey results in the coming weeks, then assessing the economic impact Berea Tourism’s 2019 Festival of Learnshops had on the local economy.