The eventual goal of Arts Week is to become a nine- or 10-day festival
that encompasses two weekends, and the seeds to that plan are already
being sown as there are a few auxiliary events taking place the weekend
after ArtsWeek. The main attractions that are the ties that bind this
work of weekend art are the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, the
Northeast Jazz and Wine Fest (formerly called Jazz in the Square), the Syracuse New Times
Street Painting Contest and, of course, the countless local purveyors
of the arts that will be on hand to let all who walk through know that
Syracuse has a well-defined culture.
To help celebrate this wondrous event, The New Times has assembled a
program for you to carry around the festival to guide you through the
maze of colors and sounds and help you behold the beauty of everything
that is ArtsWeek.
ARTSWEEK 2009 PARTICIPANTS
Blue Rain ECOfest
The Blue Rain ECOfest will premiere
during ArtsWeek on Friday, July 24, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday,
July 25, noon to 10 p.m., bringing with it a collection of
environmentally and, in some ways, financially friendly products and
techniques geared toward families. Set up in Hanover Square next to
City Hall Commons will be several booths and exhibits, displaying
products such as fuel-efficient and alternative-fueled cars presented
by Cuse Cars and available for test drives.
Surprisingly, this is the first
multi-day eco-fest in the Northeast, and while most of these events
tend to be academic- and business-oriented, the Blue Rain ECOfest will
fill Hanover Square with not only environmentally friendly information
and products, but also food, dancing and music by local jammers
Sophistafunk on Friday at 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m., and Endive on Saturday
at 5, 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.
According to Amy Komar, publicist for the event, new
eco-friendly items include permeable pavement that allows drainage of
storm runoff, renewable energy products and safe, organic bug spray.
Other participating exhibitors include the Onondaga County Resource
Recovery Agency, Syracuse Technology Garden, CNY Renewable Energy and
the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The Syracuse
Real Food Co-op will be there as well, touting organic food.
The ECOfest has been in development since 2008 by Larry
Luttinger, director of CNY Jazz Central. Along with members of his
board with support from the Center of Excellence, National Grid, the
Downtown Committee and others. Lattinga felt the Blue Rain ECOfest was
a necessary feature after realizing there are no events of its kind in
upstate New York that are specifically for families. As this is the
launch of the project, he expects it to be a learning process, so
expect an improved version next year.
The Art Store
Also known as Commercial Art Supply, the
Art Store, 935 Erie Blvd. E. (474-1000), will be hosting a tent Friday,
July 24, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26,
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., where you can stop by and create a wish flag,
based on the Tibetan tradition of prayer flags. Visitors are encouraged
to write, paint and decorate flags with their wishes for others. The
flags can be hung from the Art Store wishing tree or taken home. While
at the tent you can also see local artists at work: On Friday, learn
about watercolor and hand building with clay; on Saturday, Sharon Blair
will share her talents in panpastels and mixed media art; and on
Sunday, block printing, graphite pencil drawings and de/reconstruction
art will be featured.
The Connective Corridor is working to
get participants and spectators to ArtsWeek, running a free shuttle
service from Manley Field House, East Colvin Street and Comstock
Avenue, coming and going every 20 minutes during the scheduled hours:
Thursday, July 23, 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, July 24 and
25, 9 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, July 26, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The aim of the Connective Corridor is to
link the Syracuse University Hill with downtown through exclusive
events and transportation jazzed up with lively design and lighting
along the path, which hits galleries on the SU campus before heading
downtown along East Genesee Street into Armory Square and west to West
Fayette Street (see map, page 7).
The Downtown YMCA is hosting a special
event during ArtsWeek, attracting passers-by with books and pamphlets
set up outside their facility at 340 Montgomery St. (474-6851). Inside,
local authors will be present for book signings, including fiction
writer Jennifer Pashley and poet Phil Memmer, winner of the 2008 Idaho
Prize for Poetry from Lost Horse Press for his most recent book of
poems Lucifer Hagiography along with a 2008 Adirondack Literary Award for his book Threat of Pleasure.
Both authors help run the Writer’s Center, a branch of the YMCA
dedicated to training in the art of writing. Raffles will also be held
for literary prizes such as a membership to the Writer’s Center.
The Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison
St. (474-6064), will participate in ArtsWeek by hosting a plein air
event, French for “painting in the open air.” As the name suggests,
this free event will take place outdoors, near the City Hall Commons on
Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to 1
p.m. Everson volunteers and staff will be on hand to answer questions,
share painting tips and techniques and explain the concept of
Visitors will be provided with all of
the materials they need to create their artwork, and can either take
their creations home or donate them to the Everson for display this
The Plein Air event serves as the kickoff to the Everson’s upcoming French Impressionist exhibit: Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection
opening Monday, Oct. 9, and running through Sunday, Jan. 3. The exhibit
features 53 paintings from the likes of van Gogh, Monet, Turner and
many more, and is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the
National Museum Wales. According to Sarah Massett, public relations
director at the Everson, Syracuse is one in five cities fortunate
enough to have this exhibit come through.
Tickets are now on sale: $15 for adults, $12 for ages under 18, seniors and military personnel with ID.
ArtsWeek will be extended an extra
weekend for Family Friendzy, taking place Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to
6 p.m., in Clinton Square. This is an event for all ages hosted by the
Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreations and Youth Programs with
sponsorship from Citadel Communications, P&C, Time Warner, Cultural
Resources Council, state Sen. John DeFrancisco’s Arts and Cultural
Grant and the Syracuse New Times’ sister publication, Family Times.
Events include singer Justin Bieber,
step and drill teams, Vietnamese dancers, the Young and Talented Dance
Company and more. Local celebrities will read their favorite storybooks
at the Storybook Corner including WSTM-Channel 3 anchor Laura Hand at
10:30 a.m.; WSYR-Channel 9 anchor Christie Casciano at 11:30 a.m.; Rita
Paniagua from the Spanish Action League, at 12:30 p.m.; community
activist Mary Nelson at 1:30 p.m., and WNTQ-FM 93.1 morning jocks Ted
Long and Amy Robbins at 2:30 p.m.
Also in the Friendzy will be arcade
games, inflatable bounce houses, a sports zone, a safety zone for the
wee ones, as well as a sculpture in the works, open for people to aid
in its construction. The YMCA will present activities and a game to
promote healthy eating while the Onondaga County Resource Recovery
Agency will offer games aimed at testing children’s “green” knowledge
about recyclables. You will also be able to make purses out of T-shirts
with Housing Visions and step into the role of an artist with staff
from the Everson Museum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information contact the Syracuse Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs at 473-4330, Ext. 3006.
Located outside Plymouth Church, 232 E. Onondaga St.,
Water Fest will allow participants to make a rainstick, paint with ice
cubes and hear a story about water. In addition, you will learn ways we
can help others around the globe have enough water. Postcards will be
available to alert members of Congress about water resources. Water
Fest takes place Saturday, July 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, July
26, 1 to 3 p.m.
The Media Unit is bringing its own flair
to ArtsWeek in Hanover Square on Saturday, July 25, noon to 5 p.m.,
with “Dancestravaganza,” featuring multicultural dance performances.
The Johnson Irish Step Dancers will begin the event, followed by the
Media Unit’s Oz Nation Dancers, who will make spontaneous appearances
throughout the festival. Other dance styles will include ballet,
hip-hop, African, Middle Eastern and many more. As a special piece,
during the last 15 minutes of the event, a Michael Jackson tribute will
unfold as all the dancers recreate and jam to the King of Pop’s
“Thriller” video broadcast on a big screen. The floor will be open for
all to join in on the fun. “We’re hoping to get big participation,”
says Walt Shepperd, founder of the Media Unit.
Onondaga County Public Library
OCPL will be hosting several events throughout ArtsWeek.
According to Kathy Osmond, public relations and programming director,
the Central Library, located in the Galleries, 447 S. Salina St.
(435-1900), will offer several programs for children and teens during
ArtsWeek, Friday, July 24, through Saturday, Aug. 1.
On Friday at 3 p.m., the Central Library’s Creative Kids
Club offers different topics for adolescents ages 12 to 18, with snacks
and prizes. Saturday Story Time, July 25, 11 a.m., offers fun in the
form of books, songs and dance for preschoolers and toddlers on the
fourth floor of the building. Monday Story Time, July 27, 1:30 p.m.,
will be a reprise of Saturday’s feature, also taking place on the
Teen Game Night, Tuesday, July 28, 6
p.m., is held in the activity room and offers a variety of Wii games
for ages 13 to 17. Regular National Public Radio contributor Nancy
Pearl will also make a special appearance on Tuesday, July 28, as part
of the CNY Read Program, a version of If All of Seattle Read the Same
Book. The Bubble Man on Wednesday, July 29, 10 a.m., features Doug
Rougeux, who will wow his audience through juggling acts as well as
creating his famous bubble sculptures, which enclose volunteers. Summer
Evening Story Time also on July 29, at 7 p.m. features a
sleepover-themed story hour in which children can bring their favorite
teddy bear and even wear pajamas while being regaled with classic tales.
Onondaga Historical Association
The OHA, 321 Montgomery St., presents an exhibit
referencing the history of jazz in Onondaga County. Included are
photographs of local jazz clubs and musicians, vintage instruments, a
locally made flapper dress, as well as sheet music, recordings and
other items related to the local jazz scene; the exhibit focuses on the
1920s and 1930s.
The OHA Museum and Research Center exists to inspire
people’s understanding of the history the community shares that is also
the foundation for the future. They also encourage diverse audiences
from the neighborhoods of Syracuse and the communities of Onondaga
County to explore, appreciate and enjoy their past. The OHA Museum is
open Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays and
Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 428-1864 or visit
The Syracuse CommUnity Mandala Project
This is a unifying visual representation of the value
each person brings to the community as a whole. Children and adults can
express themselves by decorating their own mandala during ArtsWeek.
Participants will receive worksheets to color as they please with
markers, colored pencils, paint and other media. Several sessions of
the mandala crafting are taking place Friday, July 24, 10 a.m. to 6
p.m., and Sunday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., along the 300 block of
East Onondaga Street, and Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at City
Hall Commons near Hanover Square.
Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi from the Zen Center will
be on hand Saturday, July 25, noon to 1 p.m., to lead a meditation
session then speak about mandalas. All the creations will be joined
together into one giant mandala. “We can and do come together to create
beauty in our community even if it is not always recognized,” explains
organizer Gina Fortino. “We are all vital to our society’s success and
this project will be showing that visually.”
The result will also be on display during the Family
Friendzy event on Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and later at the
New York State Fair on Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, noon to
The Syracuse International Film Festival
The Syracuse International Film Festival will feature a
program of family-rated animated and short films collected from the
best of five years’ worth of fest entries, unspooling Friday, July 24,
8:30 to 11 p.m., in City Hall Commons near Hanover Square. Don’t forget
to bring your lawn chairs or bean-bags as it’s all outdoor seating.
The Syracuse International Film Festival embraces a truly
international community by presenting contemporary, international film
for year-round special events and 10 festival days every April. The
fest seeks films with true artistic merit, regardless of length, genre
or form, and has provided a significant showcase for established and
emerging filmmakers from around the world. Visit www.syrfilmfest.com
for more information.
Syracuse University Book Fair
The Syracuse University Bookstore, 303
University Place (443-9900), will host a book fair during the Syracuse
Arts & Crafts Festival. Local fiction, non-fiction, poetry and
children’s book authors and illustrators will be on hand to discuss and
personally autograph their books. The literary and creative talents of
local and regional authors and illustrators will be showcased Friday,
July 24, through Sunday, July 26. The book fair tent will be located at
the 300 block of Montgomery Street.
Th3 and the CNY Arts Covenant
The Third Thursday coalition and the Arts Covenant are
joining forces in a collective quilt project that will feature painted
handprints of anyone wishing to participate. “The handprint is the
oldest form of signing as well as the first time children get into
art,” explains Mary Stanley, an organizer of the Arts Covenant.
The goal of the event is to get as many quilts painted as
possible. Th3 and the Arts Covenant will share a tent Saturday, July
25, and Sunday, July 26, where festival goers can print their hand on a
quilt square. The quilt will then be displayed in various locations
around the city later on this year. Flags are also being made in the
same “handprint” manner. These flags, in turn, will be hung from a
21-foot tall totem that will be displayed at the different ArtsWeek
At the booth, participants will receive a postcard from
the Arts Covenant with a checklist of four goals: To buy at least three
pieces of art made locally, to attend an art or cultural event in a
culture unfamiliar to you, to invite people to an art or cultural event
they’ve never experienced before, and to make art.
These goals reflect the values of the Arts Covenant,
which encourages local art through individual action. Th3 hosts art
events the third Thursday of every month at 24 local visual arts venues.
Urban Video Project
Starting Thursday, July 23, at dusk, the Urban Video
Project (UVP) will host LaserGraf, featuring local artists who will
work with light at the Monroe Building, 333 E. Onondaga St. The
high-definition projector, used with a laser pointer as the
“paintbrush,” will be available to the public on Friday, July 24, and
Saturday, July 25, 9 to 11 p.m. Everyone is welcome to “paint” what
they want, the result of which will be projected against the building’s
The UVP is a Connective Corridor project and has created
three permanent installations within the Corridor: on the Monroe
Building; LED curtains at the front of Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee
St.; and the wall of the Onondaga Historical Association, 321
Montgomery St. A fourth venue is in the works at the Mulroy Civic
Center, 411 Montgomery St.
The goal of the UVP is to “light up” the
city with a large-scale artistic glow to help attract more people to
the city’s inner art hub. These high-definition systems are used to
project collections of video, photography, animation and poetry as well
as special events including movies and performances.
Artist Peter Michael will design and
direct the installation of a children’s totem, consisting of
interlocking silhouettes of children at play. Children will be invited
to paint the unassembled plywood figures early in the day; they will
then be assembled and erected into a 21-foot tall totem that will tower
over ArtsWeek. The finished totem will be erected at Clinton Square
during Family Friendzy on Aug. 1. The project takes place Saturday,
July 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at City Hall Commons, and again Saturday,
Aug. 1, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Clinton Square.
Urban Art Rangers will once again gather stories from
exhibiting artists, musicians and attendees at ArtsWeek to create a
newspaper that captures the sights and sounds of the festival. Find
them at City Hall Commons on Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gossamer Wings Interior Design Studio
presents a live mural where kids of all ages can express their artistic
bent. Free face painting will be available. It takes place Friday, July
24, 1 to 6 p.m., along the 300 block of East Onondaga Street; Saturday,
July 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., City Hall Commons; and Sunday, July 26, 10
a.m. to 2 p.m., along the 300 block of East Onondaga Street.
Head to Delavan Art Gallery, 501 W.
Fayette St., to support and celebrate the creativity of local artists.
The $10 admission includes light refreshments and non-alcoholic
beverages. Remember to wear your Hawaiian shirts! The luau takes place
Friday, July 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Syracuse Opera will perform arias from La Boheme, I Pagliacci, Hansel & Gretel, Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro and Rigoletto.
Opening performance by Lilly Patrick. Saturday, Aug. 1, 6:30 p.m.
Armory Square, corner of West Jefferson and South Franklin streets.
—Compiled by Anthony Hinkelman