April 24, 2019

Community ArtsFest Returns for 49th Year

By Donald Gilpin

The Arts Council of Princeton’s (ACP) Communiversity ArtsFest will return for its 49th year on Sunday,April 28 from 1-6 p.m., featuring more than 225 booths, original art and contemporary crafts, a wide array of culinary delights, and live entertainment.

Communiversity is presented in collaboration with the students of Princeton University and the town of Princeton and will feature artists, art activities, and continuous live performances on seven stages throughout the downtown area and on the University campus.

Returning favorite performers include The Blue Meanies, Essie, Lisa Botalico Fiesta Flamenco, Princeton School of Rock, and The Shaxe.

The ACP will offer many opportunities for the creation and appreciation of art, with the chance to construct recycled material “trash hats” at Nana’s Make a Mess tent on Palmer Square Green in addition to watercolor, drawing, and clay projects.

Live Art demonstrations on Palmer Square Green will feature wood stain painting with Sean Carney, acrylic paint pouring with Fran Eber, and plein air oil painting with Barbara DiLorenzo. The tradition of chalk murals will continue, featuring local student-artists along the sidewalks of Palmer Square.

At the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, artists from the ACP ceramic studio will be spinning the pottery wheel, transforming clay into ceramics.

Paint Out Princeton, professional artists and other talented painters dispersed around town with their easels, will engage in plein air painting, capturing the magic of communiversity on their canvases.

For many of the estimated 40,000 visitors each year, the greatest attraction to this largest and longest running cultural event in Central New Jersey may be the extraordinary array of food options offered in booths sponsored by local eateries.

Serving thousands of hungry diners is not easy, but Heather Embers, Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna events
coordinator reported on Mediterra’s plans for serving paella and sangria. “Each paella pan is 36 inches in circumference and serves, on average, 50 guests,” she said. “For Communiversity, we will be making 36 pans, enough for 1800 people! Our chef will prep 180 pounds of shrimp and 99 pounds of calaspara rice. Also included in our classic paella is calamari, scallops, chorizo, chicken, bell peppers, and corn. We also serve delicious red sangria — 72 gallons!”

“Communiversity ArtsFest celebrates and showcases the talents of many local artists as it inspires and connects our community and visitors through art,” said Interim ACP Executive director Jim Levine. “Proceeds from Communiversity allow us to offer an array of engaging and accessible art programs for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.”

Sponsors of Communiversity include AT&T, Baker Auto, Palmer Square Princeton, Princeton Garden Theatre, and many others listed at artscouncilofprinceton.org.

Parking options include the Chambers, Hulfish, and Spring Street garages, and Princeton University parking lots. The streets are scheduled to close at 11 a.m. A free shuttle bus sponsored by Princeton Shopping Center will be available continuously throughout the event for those who park at Princeton Shopping Center. 

An additional bike valet location has been added this year with two sites available, one at the HiTops parking lot on N. Tulane Street and another at 4 Mercer Road near Nassau Street. Communiversity visitors are encouraged to walk or bike to the event.

Communiversity urges attendees to share their snaps with the official event hashtag: #communiversity2019. For the first time, a Communiversity ArtsFest App, designed by Princeton High School junior Caleb Dubow, is available in the App Store or on Google Play.