Month-Long Arts Festival Takes Upper Manhattan

Hundreds of New York’s art lovers will be venturing north of Chelsea galleries this spring … more than 100 blocks north. On May 29, the Uptown Arts Stroll kicks off with art exhibitions in Highbridge Park, at Amesterdam Avenue and 172nd Street, at 6 p.m.

The opening reception launches a month of events that will make impromptu galleries and stages out of shops, churches, parks, and other spaces throughout Washington Heights and Inwood, from 155th Street to 220th Street. More than 500 artists from all disciplines will show their work.

Now in its eleventh year, the Arts Stroll has become a much anticipated tradition, said Sandra García Betancourt, executive director and chief executive officer of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), which has produced the Uptown Arts Stroll since 2008.

“It’s exciting to see how the Arts Stroll has grown over the years from a one-day event to something with 80 events in the first week alone,” said Ms. Garcia Betancourt. “This is really a reflection of the growing arts community in Washington Heights and Inwood.”

One longtime supporter of the arts celebration is the Columbia University Medical Center’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, which sees it as a special community-building event.

“We have been proud supporters of the Uptown Arts Stroll since NoMAA took it on in 2008,” said Sandra Harris, assistant vice president for government and community affairs. “The Arts Stroll is a great opportunity for us to explore Upper Manhattan’s diverse, vibrant, and rich culture through the eyes of local artists.”

With virtually every discipline represented, the artists’ works are as varied as the neighborhood is diverse. Painters, sculptors, actors, poets, musicians, performance artists, and others—many of whom have been part of the annual event for years—will be participating.

“I have been participating in the Uptown Artstroll open studios since 2006, said Tony Serio, a painter. “Every year there are new visitors and ones that I have gotten to know over the years. I have always painted the streets and architecture from my neighborhood, and it is exciting to see how people in the community respond with appreciation.”

Find out more about the Uptown Arts Stroll here.