The Port Chester Arts Festival (PCAF), a day of art, community and connection, will showcase local creative spaces that offer a variety of mediums. The festival celebrates the arts in the community by dedicating one day for everyone to get involved and enjoy art together. The first annual festival on June 3 will include exhibitions, art buying, family activities, open studios, performances, community arts projects and more.
Jenn Cacciola, co-founder and director of Ice Cream Social Art Space (ICS) explains that this is a great way to inform local artists and art enthusiasts about the spaces that are present in their own backyards, reinforcing the idea that you do not have to live in, or travel to, a major city to have access to programs and opportunities: “This festival is creating a spotlight that really shows Port Chester as a destination, and it is a great way of making people aware of what [the city] has to offer.”
Additionally, she says, the festival hopes to reach people who don’t typically engage with art by offering accessible workshops, events, and programming. The day is all about making connections and encouraging engagement within in the local community.
ICS, an experimental exhibition and studio space, and one of the festival’s participating organizations, is one of Port Chester’s newest art additions, having opened its doors to the public in March of 2022. In addition to an exhibition, ICS will host an accompanying opening reception, as well as open artist studios, a family art workshop and theater workshops.
On the other end of the historic spectrum is Clay Art Center, a participating organization that has been in existence for over 65 years. CAC is hosting an outdoor pottery sale, raku firing and wheel demonstrations, open studios, clay activities for children, and will also have the closing day of its Good Vibrations exhibition in its gallery space.
Regina Farrell-Fagan, CAC Exhibitions and Marketing Director, commented on the importance of the festival by saying: “These things are happening all the time; but people just may not be aware of it. PCAF strengthens the cultural identity in Port Chester and adds more to the general view of [what’s going on in the City].”
Other participants include Capitol Theatre, The Carver Center, Eugene’s Music & Learning Studio, Fashion Arts Studio, Jete Dance Studio, LawnChair Theatre, MAPSpace & The Crit Lab, and Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. Guests who visit three or more participating locations during PCAF will be entered to win raffle prizes from local businesses and arts organizations.
Says Cacciola: “PCAF is about supporting the conversations and the work that’s already being done in Port Chester in the arts, but doing it together, in a more unified way.”
Alyssa Monte is an artist and writer from Mahopac, NY. She earned her BFA in Photography and Journalism from SUNY Purchase in May of 2021.