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Columbus Circle to Become a Stage to Showcase Talents of 160+ Artists from 25 U.S. States & Canada During 46th Annual AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival July 29, 30 and 31

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Syracuse, NY – In less than three weeks, historic Columbus Circle will come alive with the 46th annual AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, featuring more than 160 artists, craftspeople and entertainers. Presented by the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. and AmeriCU Credit Union, the three-day festival is one of the signature events of ArtsWeek, a partnership among several organizations committed to celebrating the arts throughout Downtown Syracuse. From July 29 through July 31, Columbus Circle and surrounding streets will showcase the talents of some of the country’s most talented artists.

Rain or shine, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Friday, July 29 and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday, July 30 and Sunday July 31, visitors will find contemporary arts and crafts, ranging from functional to decorative booths, to two-and three-dimensional works including ceramics, computer art, painting, fabric and fiber, sculpture, photography, glass, jewelry and more. You may preview some of the artists’ works by following the Downtown Committee on Pinterest - We created a special “AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival” board offering a sampling of some of the works that will be showcased at the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival.

With a variety of professional performers – including costumed dance groups, unique street entertainers and local singers and songwriters – as well as unique treats and food, it’s been estimated the family-friendly festival attracts 50,000 people each year.

“The variety and diversity of cultural talent showcased at the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival makes it one of the most-anticipated family events of the summer, not only in our community, but across our entire region,” said Angie Blair, acting marketing director at AmeriCU. “AmeriCU is honored to support an event that strengthens our community culturally and economically, and complements our goals as an organization.”

The Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is recognized as the most prestigious show of its kind in Central New York, and hailed as one of the premier festivals in the northeast. The selection process to be part of this event is highly competitive. Applications were screened from hundreds of artists who applied to participate. Ultimately, 160 artists representing 25 U.S. states and Canada were selected through a jury process. This year, artists are coming into Downtown Syracuse from as far away as Washington state and California.

New this year, on Saturday, July 30, the Downtown Committee is hosting “Forecasting the Future: Activating Downtown’s Alleyways,” a free, interactive workshop where participants may decorate lanterns which will be mounted on string lights and displayed in Downtown alleys later this summer. The lanterns are modeled after Downtown Syracuse’s own weather star which sits atop the AXA Tower and lights up to indicate the weather forecast. People of all ages are invited to stop by the lantern-decorating station located between the County Courthouse and the Civic Center on Montgomery Street at any time between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 30, to learn about the history of Downtown’s weather star and then make their own predictions, “forecasting” what’s next for our Downtown community. Participants are encouraged to share photos of their artwork across Social Media platforms using the hashtag, #stARTcuse.

“Downtown Syracuse is the epicenter of the arts in our community, and we always look forward to the last weekend in July as an opportunity to showcase the center of our city through an artist’s lens,” said Merike Treier, the executive director of the Downtown Committee. “We can’t wait to see the predictions and lantern designs of our participants, and the ways their lanterns and visions will continue to enliven our community for years to come. When you couple this activity with the diverse, high-quality talents of the artists, the musical performances and unique food experiences of the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, you’ll see the weekend offers something for everyone.”

Keeping with tradition, the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation will present the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival in Clinton Square over the same weekend. The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival and the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival are both anchor events during the multi-faceted ArtsWeek celebration. ArtsWeek, which begins Sunday, July 24 and runs through Sunday, July 31, is a joint project among several organizations committed to showcasing and celebrating the arts throughout Downtown Syracuse. CNY Arts, CNY Jazz Arts Foundation, 40 Below Public Arts Task Force, The Erie Canal Museum, the Downtown Writers Center, Syracuse New Times, Onondaga Historical Association, Everson Arts Museum and the Armory Square Association are just a few of the organizations that are planning unique activities and events. It’s estimated that the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival and other ArtsWeek programming pumps nearly $3 million back into the community each year. Click here for a complete schedule of events and activities during Artsweek.

Funding for the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is provided by AmeriCU Credit Union and grants through Senator John A. DeFrancisco and CNY Arts through the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

In addition, the Downtown Committee would like to thank Dunkin Donuts for supplying coffee and pastries to participating artists, craftspeople and entertainers as they begin each morning at the festival. For additional information about the Arts & Crafts Festival, please click here. 

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