Art and Poetry Festival Inspired Our Local Community
For the first time in Westchester County, artists and poets with developmental disabilities alongside artists and poets in the community, celebrated their talents side-by-side at the 1st Annual Art/Poetry Festival sponsored by Arc of Westchester. The event was held on April 19 and featured a dramatic reading of Maya Angelou’s tribute to “Outsider” master artist William Britt who spent 34 years at the infamous Willowbrook State School. National Slam Poet Eric Zork Alan served as emcee and performed an “Open Mic” session open to all local poets. Guests viewed over 80 works of art by artists with and without disabilities side-by-side in The Arc of Westchester’s gallery265.
The April 19 celebration was the culmination of scheduled open studio workshops and writing classes that were held for artists with disabilities and community artists. All festival attendees received a poetry book with art and corresponding poems.
According to Richard Swierat, Executive Director of The Arc of Westchester, “We are all about inclusion in the community for our citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our first Art/Poetry Festival has completed a creative circle of inclusion of all artists and writers in Westchester County. We are very proud of this development and hope to do more in the coming years.” Arc of Westchester thanks all of those individuals who organized the day. It was a wonderful that will take place annually.