Arts District event to showcase local artists, Pride Month
ROME — Downtown businesses in the Rome Arts District are teaming up to host the first Artist Pop-up event in celebration of local artists and Pride Month. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, throughout the 200 block of W. Dominick St.
Nearly a dozen artists will showcase their wares for everyone to enjoy and support, organizers said.
Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop will be open with its wide selection of books, gifts and more. The Copper Easel will have artwork, jewelry and supplies. superofficial will also offer its full menu, which includes hot and iced coffee, tea, bagels and more.
If the weather is fair, the artists will be outside on the sidewalk. If not, the artists will be featured inside throughout the participating businesses.
Copper Easel owner Adam Prescott Chrisman said Arts District business owners think there is a huge need for representation for LGBTQ+ people in the area, and hope the event will showcase and support their many talents.
“There are many queer and ally artists that exhibit in The Copper Easel year-round, and we’ve done fundraisers and events in the past, but I think it’s important to do something special during Pride Month,” Prescott Chrisman said. “Our city is full of amazing, wonderful people and they should all feel loved and supported everywhere — but especially in the Downtown Arts District.”
Vendors participating in the Pride Month Pop-up include: Benny Garden; Alyzza Viros; Danny Bertrand; The Upstate Hippie; Jaymes Davis; Alex Zappavigna; Sara Jackson; Annie Deering; Mix n Match Pottery; and Margot Elizabeth.
Prescott Chrisman said the idea for the event came about when speaking to superofficial owners Jon and Caitlin Matwijec-Walda and Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop owner Julie Whittemore, who brainstormed some ideas for how they could celebrate their friends.
“The great thing about running a bookshop is that we can constantly offer very visible representation to groups and causes, and it’s not just during Pride Month,” said Whittemore. “I would say that we have a very large LGBT client base and that is because we make it a priority to show our support.”
She said, “People feel comfortable coming, not only to this shop, but to our block. It’s because they see events like this, with multiple businesses participating. Downtown now emits an aura of pride and acceptance that is sometimes hard to find in this region.”
Rome Pride Month Pop-up also coincides with the city’s Livable Communities of Oneida County Pop-up event at Griffo Green. That event will also run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will coincide with Rome’s Summer Program Registration.
The “Pop-Up” project is a part of the Action Plan of the Livable Communities of Oneida County to improve accessibility and new options for open spaces for people of all ages and abilities.
“The city announced that they were doing their event on the green space near City Hall on the same date, and it just felt right to bring these artists to the forefront when the public is already downtown,” Prescott Chrisman said. “We truly hope that the public will come and support the artists. Our plan is to donate the proceeds to a local non-profit that supports queer youth.”
There will be free activities for all ages, including bracelet making and a community painting.
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