Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Like art, crafts, walking outdoors in unique neighborhoods and supporting local student artists and teachers?
June 8th and 9th, consider making your way downtown to the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. The Allentown Art Festival takes place in the Allentown Historic Preservation District of the city. Tens of thousands of art patrons visit the festival each year to enjoy the beauty of Buffalo’s weather in June, the charm and uniqueness of the Allentown area and the quality of the art and crafts presented by the over 400 juried exhibitors. It’s a fun event to look forward to each and every year, and I love being involved with the organization that helps put on the show each year… this year makes 56 years of the show!
Check out the 2013 Allentown Art Festival show guide right here for a helpful map and locations of all artists!
Who is AVS?
In the spring of 1958, a small group of Allentown business owners proposed an event to stimulate business in the neighborhood. The meeting gave birth to the Allentown Village Society (AVS). By August, plans were in place for a September outdoor art show on the streets of the area.
Although the artists and craftsmen participating in the event numbered no more than 50 locals, and although the Allentown Village Society went $450 into the red to produce it, 20,000 people attended over the two days of the show, and it has since become a yearly event in downtown Buffalo that many look forward to.
The Allentown Art Festival is especially remarkable, having persevered and prospered for over 50 years largely due to the members of the Allentown Village Society, Inc., whose active number of unpaid volunteers has seldom grown beyond 30. I joined the group when I moved back to Buffalo in 2008 from New York City, and quickly jumped on board to help support an organization I see doing great things in the community.
I also joined AVS because my grandparents had been AVS members for many years, and I recalled always coming down to visit them in the summer of each show. I want to help support art and arts education, and in just a few short years have learned some of the ins and outs of what it takes to run such a large scale event. AVS members are passionate and dedicated and I’m proud to be a part of the group. I am also happy to have recruited some additional additional members to the group, to help support the show and keep it going for another 50 years.
Many people might not know….
Not only does AVS put on the show each year (which takes a lot of round the year work!), but the group also gives out thousands of dollars each year to arts and cultural groups who need support to keep their mission and programs alive. AVS also provides scholarships to talented art students in Erie county, who are pusuing an education in the arts or arts education, as well as provides grants to Buffalo Public School teachers, so they can oversee educational arts projects in the classroom, and provide the necessary suppluies for their students to be creative. The fruits of these labors are shown off each year in the Buffalo Public Schools art tents, which can be found at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Edward Street during the festival.
Looking forward to another great show this year, and to helping AVS support arts and cultural institutions in Western New York. if you are an every year attendee or have never been to the show, consider coming down this weekend to check out all the fun, and make sure to stop by the BPS student art tent to check out the student work!
Buffalo News Event Listing with map