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Protect Artist's Work & Art Shows

$150 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 17 months
Thank you for considering our Go Fund Me Campaign.

We are Jason & Julie Sitzema self-employed artisans and owners of Pillywiggins Garden, LLC (“Pillywiggins Garden”) a small business located in Northern Michigan. We started our business in 2008 with a handful of gourd seeds and a passion for art and gardening. If you have planted gourd seeds you’ll know, it doesn’t take long before they take over everything and that’s what happened with us!  We began selling our gourd art creations at local art shows and galleries. Gardening groups contacted us to speak about gourd art & cultivation. We began teaching gourd art classes, hosted workshops and signed up for more shows.

In 2012, we assumed management of The Winter Fantasy Art Show a popular, well-establish mixed-media art & fine craft show in Petoskey, MI. The following year we created a 2nd event, the Annual Autumn Art Festival held at a venue in Antrim County, MI. Our events focused on the artists & artisans. Our goal was to provide local artists the opportunity to showcase their original, handmade work without direct competition from similar artists/mediums and without items of lesser quality that devalued the work of other artists. We worked very hard to build these shows and a network of talented local artists and artisans. Our events received a considerable amount of press, were well received and growing each year.

After producing 2 successful Annual Autumn Art Festivals at the venue, we decided to use the same venue for the 6th Annual Winter Fantasy Art Show. The following year this venue began using, without our permission, direct and derivative copies of our application forms, press releases, advertising and even one of our original photos to produce, advertise and promote two events publically advertised by names such as the 3rd Annual Autumn Art and the 7th Annual Winter Fantasy Show.

Pillywiggins Garden, LLC owns federally registered copyrights to the Annual Autumn Art Festival and Winter Fantasy Art Show Kits. Both kits are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and contain original content, photos, advertising, press releases, application forms, information letters and other information created solely by Pillywiggins Garden to organize and promote our shows.

When we discovered our work was being used without our permission we tried to resolve the issue amicably with the venue. I (Julie) met with a representative from the venue to attempt to resolve the issue without involving attorneys. When the venue continued to use our work to promote their events, we sought the advice of our copyright attorney.

We are into our 2nd year now, we have spent countless hours and several thousand dollars trying to resolve this matter to no avail. Our attorney has sent 2 letters to the venue in attempts to resolve this matter without litigation. The venue has continued to use direct and/or derivative copies of our copyrighted work to continue their events.

So now we are left with a choice.  We can accept what has happened to our business, our work and our shows and allow it to continue or we can stand up and fight for what is rightfully ours. ALL OF OURS. Copyright laws exist to protect artists, creators and their work from unlawful copying and distribution. It is up to us, the artisans and creators, to protect our work, enforce our copyrights and speak out against those who try to profit unfairly off our work without our consent.

We started this Go Fund Me Campaign to raise funds to offset the cost of legal fees we will incur pursuing a resolution to this matter. We are a small business, just the two of us, and our income is solely generated by the work produced by our own hands. But it’s not just about protecting our work. We hope taking action we will encourage other artists to protect their work and enforce their copyrights. We also hope that by speaking out we can prevent this situation from happening again to other local artists.

Thank you for considering our Go Fund Me Campaign. If you would like to donate to our cause, we thank you. We appreciate all the support we can get so please help us share our story by sharing links to our Go Fund Me campaign online. We will be posting updates here, on our website and Facebook page .

To learn more about us please visit our website
read our blog Pillywiggins Postscripts , or follow us on Facebook .

Thank you for supporting local artists and artisans!
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We would like to thank all who visited us at the Winter Fantasy Art Show! We had a great turnout and a very successful show. Thank you all for coming out to support local art & artisans!

Special thanks to all of our wonderful Winter Fantasy Artists. They are the heart & soul of this event. You can still find the Winter Fantasy Artists and their awesome work online. Visit our blog post to preview & connect with the artists. http://www.pillywigginsgarden.com/blog-pillywiggin-postscripts/the-winter-fantasy-artists-have-left-the-building

Thanks to all who helped make the return of the Winter Fantasy Art Show not only possible but successful. We appreciate your support. Thank you for Shopping Small, supporting local artisans and their small businesses.

Happy Holidays!
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Although we are still working to reclaim our copyrighted work, we are happy to report that we have reclaimed one of our two art shows. That's one small step for Pillywiggins Garden, LLC and one giant step for local artists!

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the triumphant return of The Original Winter Fantasy Art Show in 2017! Please join us to celebrate "Shop Small Saturday" and support our local artists & artisans!

The Original Winter Fantasy Art Show 2017 will be held Saturday, November 25th from 10-4 at HERTH Hall - The Historic Elk Rapids Town Hall located just off US-31 at 401 River Street in Downtown Elk Rapids, MI.

Each booth offers something new & unique. Original art, fine craft, one-of-a-kind gifts, stocking stuffers, holiday decor & local specialty goods. All items of exceptional quality, all handcrafted right here in Northern Michigan. Meet the artists and find something special for everyone on your holiday list!

For more 2017 Winter Fantasy Art Show information please visit our website at http://www.pillywigginsgarden.com/winter-fantasy-2017.html
The Original Winter Fantasy Art Show!
Local Artists - Handcrafted Goods!
The Original Winter Fantasy Art Show
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We have received several donations outside of our Go Fund Me Campaign and much support from artists within our community. Thank you all for donating, sharing our story and cheering us on. And a special thank you to Toni, Dolly & Pam for always supporting and encouraging our artistic endeavors.

If you're visiting our campaign for the first time, we thank you for your interest. We hope you will visit our website & social media to learn more about us.

More updates coming soon.
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Read a Previous Update
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$150 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 17 months
Created February 1, 2017
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$50
Rebekah Fuller
17 months ago

Fight on!

$100
Anonymous
17 months ago
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