By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – During an otherwise rainy week, it stayed dry May 4 when the cultural arts committee of the Hudson Downtown Business Improvement District, Inc. (BID) presented its second annual ArtsFest Hudson in conjunction with the statewide ArtWeek initiative.
ArtsFest Hudson began in the morning on South Street with an inaugural Run for the Arts 5K organized by the BID fundraising committee. Over 100 runners and walkers participated. Earning top honors were Hudson residents Byron Gartrell, first overall in 18:10, and first-place female Christy Carrara in 21:48. Participants were treated to pizza from Rail Trail Flatbread Co., and vouchers from Medusa Brewing Company and New City Microcreamery.
Festivities continued throughout the afternoon on Main Street with children’s performers, dancers, instrumentalists and vocalists at two venues: outside Town Hall and the Main Street Bank parking lot. Over 50 artisans’ booths were stationed at those locations, as well as on Main Street sidewalks, and outside the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson. Children demonstrated their creativity with bubbles and chalk art, while all ages took part in a community weaving project.
Hudson Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition arranged for the traveling Opioid Project to display artwork in the Town Hall lobby. The display consists of multimedia pieces accompanied by a written explanation of the artist’s connection with the opioid crisis. An artist’s audio narration is available via cellphones. It is continuing weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Thursday, May 30 (except Memorial Day, Monday, May 27).
Festival-goers got maps indicating 23 downtown eateries for their lunch break. Also given away were stickers proclaiming “Hudson has heART!”
Serving as ArtsFest Hudson event chair was Danielle Griggs, the cultural arts committee chair and chief administrative officer of River’s Edge Arts Alliance.
“People come downtown to go to the ArtsFest vendors and do free activities, then they’re stopping for lunch and visiting stores,” she said. “They see all this cool stuff and want to hang out in downtown Hudson.”
Joining her on the cultural arts committee are Lori Burton, Serendipity owner; Donna Driscoll, Main Street Bank VP branch administrator; Doreen Moscillo-Howes, Blueskies Design Studio creative director; Mae Zagami, Creative Designs in Kitchens owner; and consultant Debra Vanderwerf, formerly of Hudson, now residing in Phoenix, Ariz.
Selectmen unanimously approved creating BID in November 2017. The district includes sections of Main, South and Washington streets, and parts of Main’s side streets. Relatively small tax surcharges on participating business and residential property owners are expected to continue to generate about $120,000 annually for various downtown improvements.
BID board chair is Arthur Redding, the Hudson Business Association president and Hudson Appliance owner. Several BID committees were formed to focus on specific downtown enhancements.
Serving as district administrator is Richard Braga, retired Hudson police chief. Braga noted his appreciation of the cultural arts committee’s efforts.
“This committee benefits both the local arts community and the downtown business district,” he said. “Collectively, our goal is to improve the footprint of the arts in downtown Hudson.”
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.