Thompson-Read, Mary

Mary Read-Thompson, 2004 Inductee

One of the early residents to move to the community, Mrs. Thompson founded the Fountain Festival of Arts & Crafts. It was started in Fountain Park in 1975 with 128 artists and craftspeople.She was successful in attracting “name” artists to the art festival in its early years including noted southwest painter Ted DeGrazia and famed painter and “pinup girl” illustrator Earl McPherson. The art festival eventually grew to become one of the major exhibitions of its type in the United States, is a major fundraiser for the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce and attracts 150,000 people to the community during its three-day run each November. She also initiated a campaign to save the P-Bar Ranch-house and it functioned for several years as an arts and crafts center for the community in the 1970s. Another volunteer effort to her credit is that she formed the first Campfire troop in Fountain Hills.