Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

The O+ Festival: A Community’s Creative Approach to Development

  |   March 12, 2015  |  Comment

Photo credit: Eric Townsend Photography. Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/opositivefest

Joe Concra and the rest of the team at O+ are shifting the paradigm in more ways than one in Kingston.

O+ was founded in 2010 as a three-day, community-run celebration of music and the arts. Participating artists exchange their contributions for healthcare services from local doctors, dentists, and other wellness providers at the O+ Clinic. It’s a grassroots solution to provide healthcare for the creative community. O+ supports and unites local businesses and residents, artists, musicians, and doctors; strengthening the fabric of a community to make it stronger, more sustainable, and more vibrant.

Mural by Scott Michael Ackerman. Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/opositivefest

Mural by Scott Michael Ackerman. Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/opositivefest

One of the major components of the festival is the installation of public artworks in the community. Featuring a wide spectrum of art forms, thirty artists selected by the O+ Art Committee exhibit sculptures, site-specific installations, films, light installations, and performance art in storefront windows and other public spaces in the uptown neighborhood. Internationally–known street artist Gaia, Kimberly Kae, and artist/activist LMNOPi have mural installations on uptown buildings.

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A Love Letter for You. Photo source: http://muralarts.org

O+ is hoping to expand on the efforts of these artists with the ongoing creation of murals at appropriate venues throughout the city, following in the footsteps of other locales that have been very successful in this kind of initiative. The Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia believes that “Art Ignites Change” – it transforms places, individuals, communities, and institutions. The program models new standards of excellence in the generation and maintenance of public and contemporary art; the process empowers artists to be change agents, stimulates dialogue about critical issues, and builds bridges of connection and understanding. Through beautiful, collaborative art, people are inspired to seize their own future.

In Kingston, we get that.

Kingston is gaining momentum every year. The creativity of this place is infectious!


The Center for Creative Education performs outside of Keegan Ales. Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/opositivefest

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