The Crisp Coolness Of Arts & Ale
After 11 Years, Hyattsville Festival Still Grows – On Its Own Terms
Whether they came in on two legs, four legs or the wheels of a stroller, they came to The Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival September 22 for one of the county’s best September outdoor events. It could be the slight cool snap in the breeze, the crisp taste of the first sip of beer or the colorfully showcased arts booths – or the combination of them all -- that makes Hyattsville’s arts & ale-themed festival such a unique draw.
Arts and culture vendors and local and regional breweries lined the street at Gallatin and Farragut in Hyattsville between two of the city’s municipal buildings. The spacing creates a cozy atmosphere that visitors seem to enjoy: it almost forces people to be a little more neighborly as they brush past one another.
For Stuart Eisenberg and the organizers he works with at the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation to create the event, that’s exactly the point. “We do it to build and support community,” says Eisenberg who serves as executive director. He emphasizes that the $40,000 annual event isn’t a revenue builder, but instead a community builder with the arts as a central draw.
But not just any art. Although the feel of the event is free flowing, each step is measured and calculated. Marketing strategies are re-evaluated and re booted every year. Even the vendors are hand-picked.
“We could have three times the number of vendors but we curate the process and select vendors carefully and specifically,” Eisenberg says of the festival now in its 11th year. “It’s a juried arts festival. If someone is here, it’s because they are selected.”
For the hundreds of residents sauntering through the event, it comes together as nicely as that cool September breeze and that refreshing first sip.