Annual MWPAI Festival a summer celebration for whole family
You know it’s officially summer when Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute starts setting up for its annual Arts Festival, lining part of Downtown Utica’s Genesee Street with display panels brimming with local artwork.
But the Sidewalk Art Show is just part of the fun. MWPAI’s six-day festival, the area’s longest-running summertime celebration, also features live music, classic cars, and unique activities for all ages. The best part? It’s free!
It all begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 27, and offers nonstop entertainment through Wednesday, July 2. Bring the whole family for a stroll down Genesee Street, perusing the 200 pieces of local artwork in the Sidewalk Show, grab a bite to eat at the Terrace Café, then stay for a concert. As always, MWPAI has arranged an all-star local playlist for its musical entertainment this year. Three bands are scheduled to play most days during the festival, including the Dharma Bums, Fletch & Friends, Squirrel Murphy, the Rusty Doves, the Monk Rowe Quartet, the Rick Short Band and more.
Kids will find a variety of fun-filled activities to keep them busy throughout the festival, including mural painting, sidewalk chalk art, and exhibit-inspired crafts. Children will have the chance to create a Cotan-inspired still life, learn to make Japanese origami butterflies, experiment with positive/negative silhouettes, and create a quilled motif design. And don’t forget the ever-popular Watermelon Eating Contest (which takes place at 1 p.m. Friday in the Sculpture Grove).
There’s plenty to do for adults, as well. There will be displays and demonstrations by the Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club, an international fashion show, and guided tours and illustrated talks about the museum’s collection and current exhibitions. Each day, the museum Gift Gallery will offer visitors an opportunity to “Meet the Artist.” Get to know local authors Steve Mazza and Karen Burt, paper artisan Carol Bandych, papier tole artist Anita Miller, weavers from the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, and jewelers Sandy and AJ Smith from Imaginative Creations. The annual Antique and Classic Car and Motorcycle Show will take place rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Wednesday. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.mwpai.org/experience/arts-festival/.
What: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Arts Festival
When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, June 27-Wednesday, July 2
Where: At the Institute, 310 Genesee St., Utica
Highlights: Sidewalk Art Show, daily concerts, Antique and Classic Car and Motorcycle Show, display and demonstrations by the Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club
Friday, June 27
The Dharma Bums, Noon, Stage
Fletch and Friends, 2 p.m., Stage
Squirrel Murphy, 7 p.m., Stage
Saturday, June 28
Arethusa (Medieval and Baroque Music), Noon-5, Festival Grounds
The Merely Players, Noon-5, Festival Grounds
Prime 7, 7 p.m., Stage
Sunday, June 29
Rusty Doves, Noon, Sculpture Grove
Stable Junkies, 2 p.m., Stage
Monk Rowe Quartet, 7 p.m., Stage
Monday, June 30
Radionix, 2 p.m., Stage
Rick Short Band, 7 p.m., Stage
Tuesday, July 1
Or What?, Noon, Stage
Concert, 2 p.m., Stage
Tuesday Night Big Band, 7 p.m., Stage
Wednesday, July 2
Concert, Noon, Stage
Frank Diskin, 2 p.m., Stage
Blueprints, 7 p.m., Stage
– Jennifer Fanelli
The Fuze Magazine
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