If you're having an “art attack,” the Pop Up Med City Arts Festival might be the cure you’ve been craving.
The festival, featuring local artist vendors, live music, food, and kids' arts activities, takes place Friday, June 4, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the lower parking lot at 125 Live. Festival organizers hope to include around 34 local artists as vendors. Creators will present jewelry, pottery, woodworking, fiber art, painting and more.
Julie Johns, co-chair and co-founder, thinks the event is particularly important this year.
“We're just coming off a year of dismal opportunities for artists to sell their work. Musicians and production companies are no exception,” she said. “The more opportunities, the better, and people are hungry for fun activities.”
The Pop Up Med City Arts Festival will also offer a variety of opportunities for visitors to create their own art — including make-and-take art opportunities and an abstract paint-off where participants get 30 minutes to make a painting. The entries will then be judged by a public vote, and the winner will receive a cash prize. Families will feel at home, since there will be fun games suitable for a wide variety of ages. For those not afraid to get their hands dirty, there will even be a slime-making station.
Music will be performed throughout the festival. LaSonya Natividad and Soul Train, Becky Schlegel, and the Divas of Incognito will all be part of the women-led musical lineup.
That was an entirely intentional choice.
“Let's face it, women still have a hard time, and this is particularly true in the performing arts,” Johns said. “If we can at all give women a leg up in the music industry, that's our goal.”
If you get hungry or thirsty, several food and beverage vendors will have you covered. Cameo at the Castle, Café Relish, and Minne“sno”da Shaved Ice will all be onsite, while Queen City Coffee & Juice will also have sweet beverages available.
Johns hopes this “pop-up” fest will be a precursor to a larger festival held in downtown Rochester, planned for the fall this year.
The Pop Up Med City Arts Festival started last year when Sylwia Bujak Oliver, the executive director at 125 Live, approached Johns about doing an arts festival.
“We had so much fun working with her and 125 Live,” Johns said. “Sylwia is a great supporter of the arts and local business, and the venue is great as far as parking and space. Nice stage for music, too.”
For Johns, the pop-up art festival and her nonprofit are ways to contribute to Rochester’s arts community.
“Our goal was to help grow the arts ecosystem in Rochester and provide opportunities for artists,” she said. “We're always out there looking for ways to benefit artists and this community.”
If you go
What: Pop Up Med City Arts Festival
When: 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 4 (Rain date Sunday, June 6)
Where: 125 Live, 125 Elton Hills Drive NW, Rochester