The Island Shakespeare Festival (ISF) that happens every summer on Whidbey is a non-profit that keeps growing in popularity. Performances do not have an admission charge, but the hat is passed at the end of each performance for donations. This is the beginning of a second decade of ISF providing pay-what-you-will professional classical outdoor theater.
ISF has an additional way to obtain support and educate the public about Island Shakespeare Festival. A portion of the profits from purchases made at the Bard’s Boutique, at the Cash Store in Bayview, go to ISF.
Besides offering a broad array of unique gifts, most of which are Shakespeare themed, the store is designed to raise awareness of the Shakespeare festival and provide an outlet for local artists, craftsmen and authors to sell their products.
The Bard’s Boutique evolved through the efforts of Peggy Juve, President of the ISF Board who had the Side Market in the location where Bard’s Boutique is now. Bard’s Boutique opened in March 2019. The store is continuing to expand the variety and creativity of items being off for sale. Currently some of the featured items include: jewelry; wearable art; children’s books, clothing and toys; handmade dolls; artistic wood kitchen products; pens and journals, and hand-made hats by Peggy. Most of the items are made on Whidbey.
Peggy notes, “Our purpose in creating this store is to build visibility for, and awareness of, our Shakespeare Festival.” Since ISF has no office, Peggy adds, “The shop allows us to have a year round source for educating the community about ISF.”
Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Nedelman notes, “Our gifts are fun for everyone, not just Shakespeare lovers.” Before she moved to Whidbey Island Deborah was a clinical psychologist who also got an MFA in fiction writing. For 35 years, she and her husband lived in Mukilteo. She says, “I saw Whidbey Island every day and felt drawn to Whidbey. She and her husband moved to the island in 2013, and she joined the ISF Board in the same year. In a short time, she and Peggy developed a friendship and Deborah took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. The move to Whidbey and her involvement in the Shakespeare Festival have added a new sense of meaning and enjoyment to her life.
Deborah is in charge of coordinating the volunteers needed to staff Bard’s Boutique. She is always on the lookout for people who want to donate a few hours to help out. To volunteer at Bard’s Boutique, contact Deborah at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter store hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
To find out more information about Island Shakespeare Festival, visit their website at http://www.islandshakespearefest.org/
People can also buy memberships in the Island Shakespeare Festival: (http://www.islandshakespearefest.org/Get-Involved/Membership.html)