New arts festival coming to Syracuse

Apr 29, 2013

Artists in central New York will try to bring their craft to the masses during a new art festival and conference slated for late September.

Several local artists and performers met Saturday morning to hear more about the CRAVE Arts Festival and Conclave that will take place in Syracuse.

The goal of the festival is to redefine the relationship between artist and patron, according to organizer Larry Luttinger.

"It will try to destroy the barriers between the audience and the artists that have always existed in the traditional arts," he says. "This will be very street level, it will be very in your face, it will not demand anything other than a willingness to try something creative."

Luttinger says several performancea and events will take place on Sept. 20-21 throughout the city. The festival, whose name is short for Cultivating Resources in the Arts for Value in Our Economy, is being modeled off of the larger Arts Crush festival held in Seattle, Wash.

The founder of that event, Sam Read, was at the meeting Saturday to discuss his model. He'll be back in September to give his presentations to artists from across the state.

Luttinger says CRAVE is also about proving art's importance and place in the community.

"We have to recapture the public, we have to recapture the funding community, we have to recapture legislators at all levels and prove to them that we’re a compelling part of the state’s economic development solution," he says.

"We have to give art back to the people, put it on the street, and our society will be better for it," he adds.

More information on CRAVE will be available online soon, Luttinger says.

CRAVE is being organized by Luttinger, who heads CNY Jazz, Syracuse University's Connective Corridor and the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau. It's funded by a state grant awarded through the Regional Economic Development Councils.