University of Rochester

EVENT: Festival Fills Empty Downtown Bank with a Different Currency

March 24, 2010

University of Rochester Students Organize Music and Art Festival

Constructed in 1924 to commemorate Monroe County Savings Bank's centennial, the bank at 35 State St. in downtown Rochester was designed to convey strength and security. From the marble columns on the fašade to the atrium's elaborate Ezra Winter murals, the building itself was described as "one of the most beautiful bank buildings in the state" in a 1925 Democrat and Chronicle article.

Eighty-six years later, a shimmer of the bank's past glory will be brought to life as ArtAwake 2010, slated for Saturday, April 10, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., turns the former financial institution into an art gallery and music hall.

The ArtAwake concept originated in 2008 when University of Rochester student Carlin Gettlife '09 saw that many students, absorbed in school work and campus activities, were missing out on all the city had to offer. His solution: ArtAwake, an art and music festival that would present an opportunity for interaction with the Rochester community. More than 3,000 Rochesterians attended the festival in 2008 and 2009, which was praised by an international collegiate association as the 2008 Student-Driven Program of the Year.

ArtAwake will feature more than 150 pieces of art, including laser art, installations, paintings, and photographs, among others. In addition, organizers are creating a variety of interactive exhibits, along with a historical exhibit of both the bank and downtown Rochester. More than 20 local musicians will perform live on three different stages throughout the festival.

Advance tickets for ArtAwake 2010 are $7 for University of Rochester students, $8 for students from local colleges, and $9 for the general public. At the door, ticket prices are $2 higher in each category. Children under 12 are admitted free. For more information about the festival, visit or email