Last weekend, Downtown Clayton hosted the Mondo Roots Arts Festival.

The festival sounds pretty cool, actually.  There was a whole afternoon of live bands playing a variety of styles of music.  There were artists including a guy that carves wood with a chainsaw – that’s impressive no matter who you are.  There were events for kids, like a sidewalk chalk art contest, mask making, and drumming.  It sounds like a fun day out to me.

But as I read about it, I couldn’t help but think of Moogfest and Art of Cool, which I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Because just like those festivals, the Mondo Roots Arts Festival was partially funded by taxpayers’ dollars in the form of the Johnston County Arts Council and the Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau.  These aren’t appropriate uses for taxpayers’ funds.

To the festival’s credit, they also attracted private sponsorship.  Several businesses and a foundation are listed as sponsors.  But I think they could go one better.  Next year, perhaps the festival can build on those relationships and the value it offers to local residents and businesses and fund itself entirely without the use of taxpayers’ money.