NORTH SALEM, NY – Organizers of an upcoming festival in Croton Falls hope to not only help locals sell their wares and gain fans, but strengthen the charming hamlet’s growing reputation as an artists’ colony.
Sometimes these congregations occur organically, with painters, sculptors, actors and others drawn to a certain area because of its natural beauty or to other artists or art schools already established there.
And sometimes these so-called settlements, like the decades-old Peekskill one, are planned, mission-driven communities that offer artists a deal on residencies, spaces to create or provide arts education through. workshops and conferences.
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Croton Falls offers a bit of both, say Libby Parker of Lift Trucks Gallery and Jill Leary, owner of Railyard Arts Studio across the street.
In addition to the gallery and studio, there are artist spaces in a former industrial complex near Route 202 and The Schoolhouse Theater, a performing arts center founded by the late Leandra “Lee” Pope on Owen Road, near.
The theater, although temporarily closed to live spectators, bravely continued during the pandemic with online performances. He plans to present “The Sunshine Boys” as a virtual fundraiser on the same day as the Croton Falls Arts Festival.
Neil Simon’s comedy stars actors Alan Arkin, Robert Klein, Matthew Arkin and Jon Richards. All manner of talented people in the worlds of art, music, theater and entertainment have made their home in bucolic North Salem.
The Academy of Sacred Drama, a non-profit organization run by violinist and new North Salem resident Jeremy Rhizor, recently joined the growing arts scene.
Parker, Leary and Bracken Feldman, potter and manager at Railyard Arts, are hosting their very first fine arts event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 (rain date: Sunday, June 27).
About 20 artisans will set up tents in the city-owned green space off East Cross Street.
This is a jury show, meaning they had to submit their work to a jury before being accepted. The offerings will range from pottery, paintings and photographs to headgear (hats / purses), jewelry, blown glass objects and sculptures.
Logistics and other details such as permits, fees, insurance, possible impacts on neighbors and, naturally, portable toilets are still being worked out between festival organizers and the city, but Parker has said confidently last week: “Things are moving forward.
People will be able to park on the city-owned lot behind Front Street and get to the festival, she said. Lift Trucks, Railyard Arts and the studios of famous painter Tom Christopher and potter Lisa Krollwitt will be open for tours.
Musical entertainment will be provided by members of the band Rhizor and Martin Aronchick, a city councilor and jazz guitarist whose trio, Chick’s Candy Store, perform frequently in town to support local fundraisers and events.
There will be food vendors and maybe a mobile craft beer bar.
Of course, hungry people can wander Front Street and West Cross Street for other foods as well.
Parker said organizers hope the festival will attract 500 visitors during the day.
The show is more than a way to support local artisans.
“We want to bring attention to the Croton Falls Artist Colony” and all the town has to offer, Parker said.