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an exciting weekend-long celebration of the arts -- will take place in New Rochelle and surrounding communities from Thursday, October 19th through Sunday, October 22nd. This year’s theme is storytelling through the arts, an idea that will be amplified throughout the weekend with open studios, live music and dance, film screenings, art exhibits, a classic car show, an Artisan Market, spoken word events, and interactive activities for all ages.
Now in its 14th year, ArtsFest is organized by the non-profit New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA) to spotlight the diversity of arts and artists in our community: In total ArtsFest 2023 will feature more than 40 venues representing the work of some 250 visual and performing artists.
Sponsors for this year’s ArtsFest include ArtsWestchester, The City of New Rochelle IDA, EXRNY, The Appleyard Foundation, Charles Fazzino, BRP, Alvin & Friends, RXR, Town House Restaurant, New Rochelle Downtown BID, Francella Properties, an anonymous donor, and in-kind donors AJ’s Burgers and the New Rochelle Public Library.
ArtsFest 2023 will kick off on Thursday, October 19th with a visit from The Moth , which will be bringing one of its acclaimed StorySLAMS to New Rochelle for the first time. The Moth will alight at Trinity St. Paul Parish Hall (311 Huguenot Street) for a live, community-focused open-mic storytelling competition in which anyone can share a five-minute story on the night’s theme, “Traditions.” Tickets cost $15 and seating is limited: For details go to https://themoth.org/events/traditions-new-rochelle
The art of storytelling is at the heart of this year’s ArtsFest which will include a celebration of the long-awaited installation of the statue of E.L.Doctorow, the internationally acclaimed author (and New Rochelle resident) who wrote his bestseller Ragtime about New Rochelle. Events being planned include a guided trolley tour on Sunday, October 22nd featuring City Historian Barbara Davis talking about sites associated with Mr. Doctorow and his book Ragtime, followed by a free public dedication. There will also be a fundraiser Ragtime Jazz Brunch at Wykagyl Country Club from 12:30 to 3 pm with entertainment by renowned pianist Adam Kent and “The Dance Couple” Paolo & Laurentina performing dances of the era. (Tickets cost $125 from https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ragtime-jazz-brunch-tickets-700430796367?aff=oddtdtcreator))
Storytelling will also be the thread that runs through other ArtsFest events, like Musing, Metamorphosis and Medea, an exciting cross disciplinary event at New Rochelle High School that will explore familiar classic myths from a new perspective through a month-long exhibition of painting, relief sculptures and graphics by artist Marie Hines Cowan at the Museum of Arts & Culture; a production of the play Medea, Love and Death and Artistic Tragedy in 3 Acts by Valentina Motta; and a symposium with scholar Claire E. Scott.
And the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation will bring author Emily Franklin to New Rochelle for Artsfest to talk about her latest book, The Lioness of Boston, a deeply evocative novel of the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner, the daring visionary who created an inimitable legacy in American art and transformed the city of Boston itself. (Tickets cost $35; to reserve go to https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E248603&id=76 Foundatio
As always, ArtsFest weekend will include open artists’ studios, art exhibits, an outdoor ArtsFest Music Festival featuring five local bands, and the ArtsFest Dance Festival showcasing free performances by both professional and amateur companies (including Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Hudson Ballet Theatre, Accent Dance and MorDance). This year’s ArtsFest Artisan Market will feature live music and 40 vendors on the grounds of Thomas Paine Cottage, including a visit by ArtsWestchester’s ArtsMobile.
Also on the menu are art exhibits at the NRCA Rotunda Gallery and the New Rochelle Public Library, plus “Art in the Gardens,” a collaboration between the New Rochelle Art Association and Heathy Yards New Rochelle that will bring pop-up exhibits to local gardens, including Lincoln Park Conservancy’s Community Garden -- which will be hosting the Westchester Land Trust’s Pollinator Pop Up. There will also be a Classic Car Show, spoken word performances and live theater, a German film festival at The Picture House in Pelham, plus assorted activities for all ages on Saturday and Sunday – including the debut this year of the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse Haunted Greenhouse and Mansion attraction, which will be up and running for ArtsFest on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
The ArtsFest steering committee includes NRCA President Theresa Kump Leghorn and NRCA Board members Margaret Chadwick, Barbara Davis, Monica Deane, Selena Evans, Dave Fabris, Charles Fazzino, Beth Feldman, Lynn Green, Julie Maner, and Ken Valenti. along with Clayton Bushong, Amy Cole, Liz Garland, Monica Uhm, Scott Seaboldt, Alexi Brock, Lisa Itzkowitz, Kael Littman, Charlotte Mouquin, Suzanne Nolan, Christine Ramage, and Catherine White.
An official ArtsFest calendar will be mailed to city residents and available at venues as well as online at NRCA’s website www.newrochellearts.org.
ArtsFest is organized by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. The mission of NRCA (founded in 1975) is to encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts, and over the years NRCA has sponsored art exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, spoken word events, concert series and public art. Find out more about NRCA at www.newrochellearts.org.
The New Rochelle Council on the Arts is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.