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March 29, 2023

RiseUP’s ART maniFESTation event in May expected to draw thousands to Hartford

Contributed A scene from a previous year's RiseUP’s ART maniFESTation event.

Several thousand people are expected to attend the third annual ART maniFESTation - a combination of public art viewing, musical performances and interactive activities – on Bartholomew Avenue in Hartford on May 13.

Organizer Matt Conway, executive director of sponsor RiseUP, said the 2023 event is expected to far surpass attendance of the first two events, which brought in 1,000 and 250 people, respectively.

Conway founded RiseUP, a youth development and mentoring program, in 2012.

The event is free and will take place, rain or shine, from noon to 11 p.m. on May 13, on the one long block of Bartholomew Avenue from Hamilton Street to Park Street. There will be 10,000 square feet of art exhibits, Conway said.

Conway said there are three major sponsors – Bob’s Discount Furniture, the Greater Hartford Arts Council and Sustainable Connecticut – with the goal of getting at least two more sponsors. Sponsors pay between $1,000 to $20,000 depending on the sponsorship level.

To date, Conway said, RiseUP has raised about $40,000 with hopes of raising an additional $35,000 before the May event. The money raised goes to support local artists and the exhibits, among others, Conway said.

There will be more than 100 artists and about five food trucks, Conway said. 

The highlight of the event will be digital art on a 200-foot tall and 100-foot wide warehouse on Bartholomew Avenue that “you will be able to see from I-84,” Conway said.

Other activities include entering a so-called “electric jungle,” which will have a 3-D component and “stimulate all five senses,” Conway said.

Performers, Conway said, will include The Balkun Brothers and Love Light Galaxy, both alternative rock groups. Regional disc jockey DJ Gameboy will perform for four hours and the emcee will be Joey Batts, a local rapper and musician.

Conway said RiseUp is working on securing a celebrity chef.

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