City feud with founder threatens O’Fallon fall arts festival

O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) — The future of an annual fall arts festival in southwestern Illinois is in jeopardy amid a dispute between the event organizer and the city of O’Fallon. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Strange Folk Festival founder Autumn Wiggins told the O’Fallon Arts Commission that she planned to stop organizing the 10-year-old event in her hometown to spend more time at her St. Louis crafts shop. Commission members counter that the city controls the event. O’Fallon has confiscated a laptop computer used by Wiggins, who in turn sent a cease-and-desist letter after the parks department purchased a domain name for the festival’s website. St. Louis artist Michelle Volansky told the newspaper the city is using her 2014 festival design for the upcoming event without permission.