Festival Brings Month of Performances Uptown

A performance from last year's Uptown Arts Stroll
Photo credit: Mike Fitelson

June 13, 2008

For the sixth year, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) is supporting the annual Uptown Arts Stroll, a multidisciplinary arts festival in Washington Heights and Inwood hosted by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. The festival runs the entire month of June and promotes the local arts, cultural and business community by attracting visitors to performances and exhibits held north of 155th Street.


During this year’s stroll, artist Knox Martin will be honored. Martin, born in Barranquilla, Colombia, has been a resident of Washington Heights for more than 75 years. Some of his abstract paintings are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.


The festival will also celebrate the success of In the Heights, a new Broadway musical about three days in the lives of a group of residents of Washington Heights. Recently nominated for 13 Tony Awards, including best musical, the production continues to receive rave reviews. Lin-Manuel Miranda, a native of Inwood, conceived the show and wrote the music and lyrics. He plays the role of Usnavi and is nominated for best actor and best score.


From simple beginnings in 2003, the festival has evolved into a vital tool for local painters, musicians and other emerging artists to create a sense of unity across the vibrant cultural fabric and diverse populations residing in Upper Manhattan. Exhibits and performances will occur throughout Washington Heights and Inwood in parks, churches, businesses and public spaces. The festival is expected to draw as many as 20,000 visitors to the neighborhood.


In addition to CUMC, the festival is supported by the Malinsky Family Charitable Trust, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Member Robert Jackson, El Diario La Prensa, Hispanic Federation, HOY Nueva York, Hudson Heights Owners Coalition, 809 Restaurant & Lounge, Hispaniola Restaurant, Mamajuana Café, Manhattan Times, Moët-Hennessy USA, Inc., PA Associates Real Estate Developers, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Fund, Washington Heights & Inwood Online and X Caffé.


For a calendar of events and additional information about the festival, visit www.artstroll.com or call 212-568-4396. To learn more about the community engagement activities of CUMC, visit www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/gc.

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