Safe Harbors of the Hudson, a local organization who aims to transform lives and build communities through housing and the arts, is hosting its first annual Black Renaissance Festival on Saturday, September 26 from 12 to 6 p.m at 104 Ann Street.
The festival is an effort to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement happening across the globe.
As an arts and housing organization, they thought what better way to do that than with an arts festival aimed to elevate local black and ally artists.
“We wanted to really make an intentional effort to elevate and celebrate Black voices in our community,” said Executive Director Lisa Silverstone.
Planning for the event began at a board meeting Safe Harbors held back in June.
Safe Harbors asked members of the community to submit both visual and performance art by mid-September so that it could be featured in the event.
“We put out a call to artists through social media and word of mouth, ” said Silverstone. “The call was for Black artists but we did allow allies to participate. Visual artists were able to submit a number of pieces … Performance artists were able to audition in person or upload a video.”
Attendees can expect a day filled with music, art, food and fun on this upcoming Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.
The nine performance pieces will be projected in video format on the Safe Harbors Green while the fourteen visual artists will be featured in the Ann Street Gallery.
Safe Harbors wants to ensure that the event is COVID safe – face masks and social distancing are required and only 25 people at a time can be in the gallery.
Between viewing the visual and performance art, be sure to grab a bite to eat from one of the Black-owned food trucks on site, like E&C Grill or The Next Wave, or stop by one of the vendors, who are selling a variety of goods.
The exhibit was curated by Jonette O’Kelley Miller who helped decide which artists to include and Kirsten Kucer designed and is installing the pieces of art.
From 1 to 5 p.m. on the same day, Safe Harbors is launching a project in collaboration with the Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy. The Design for Six Feet Initiative awarded the two organizations a stipend to develop makerBoards.
MakerBoards are a series of mobile windows that invite kids and families to co-create while preventing exposure from COVID at the same time. The idea came from a group of Vassar College students. Attendees of Saturday’s event can give it a try themselves.
If you can’t make it for Saturday’s event, don’t worry, as the exhibition is on view through November 28.
Ann Street Gallery is open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last Saturday of the month the gallery remains open until 8 p.m.
For more information on the Black Renaissance Festival or Safe Harbors of the Hudson, visit safe-harbors.org.