Calling all creatives

Yonkers Arts Weekend is approaching – and expanding.

Yonkers Arts Weekend is growing.

Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration of creativity and culture is presenting an open-air arts festival as an extension of the 15th annual YOHO Artists Open Studio Weekend in the Carpet Mills Arts District (CMAD).

The two-day event – scheduled for May 5 and 5 in a converted 50,000-square-foot space – is the place for area artists, painters, fashion designers, photographers, sculptors, craftsmen, musicians, filmmakers and new media specialists to showcase their works. Live music will play throughout – with the playlist ranging from upbeat rock to DJ beats, reggae, Latin and Irish music. There will also be spoken word performances, a fashion show, family-friendly workshops, mural demonstrations, classic cars, yoga and the filming of a documentary on YOHO artists.

“The live music at the CMAD festival is designed to highlight local talent and provide a variety that is reflective of communities in Yonkers,” says George Huang of The Heights Real Estate Co. in New York.

The eclectic range of workshops includes block printing with recycled materials, body art painting demonstrations and participation, color theory, community adventure play experience, complimentary color composition, monoprint demonstrations and scenic watercolors. Attendees also have the opportunity to visit the YOHO Open Studios, which are spotlighting more than 58 artists, and enjoy free admission to the Hudson River Museum and downtown galleries.

With each passing year, Yonkers is working toward hosting an art festival similar in scope to the DUMBO Arts Festival, a three-day extravaganza in Brooklyn drawing more than 200,000 attendees, Huang says. New to this year is a collaboration between the YOHO Open Studios and PowerLab, an incubation facility in Yonkers that provides resources to small businesses, startups and nonprofits. The mission of the partnership, he says, is a stewardship of the arts within the Carpet Mills Arts District. (CMAD is one of four venues this year, including downtown Yonkers, Untermeyer Gardens and Hudson River Museum.)

“Going forward, we will endeavor to improve the marketing profile of the district to attract creative individuals, businesses and enterprises to the district, particularly as an attractive alterative for people seeking relief from the expenses of New York City,” Huang says.

The YOHO Artists Open Studio and CMAD open-air arts festival are part of the fifth annual Yonkers Arts Weekend. This year’s Yonkers Arts Weekend is produced by the City of Yonkers in partnership with Urban Studio Unbound.

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Danielle Renda

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