University of Rochester

EVENT: Festival Illuminates Sibley Tower Building with Art, Music

April 10, 2013

ArtAwake Brings Cultural Entertainment to Rochester Landmark

ArtAwake, the University of Rochester student-organized festival, will take over the Sibley Tower Building, turning a Rochester landmark into a vibrant art and music venue. The one-day festival runs from 2 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, April 20, at the Sibley Tower Building, located at 25 Franklin St.

Getting its start in 2008 at the former Station 55, ArtAwake is an annual festival that aims to unite members of the community through a shared celebration of Rochester's cultural offerings. "Bringing the public downtown to the Sibley Building is very much aligned with our goals of celebrating the city through art and music," says festival organizer Evalyn Gleason '13, a 2009 graduate of School of the Arts who is familiar with the building's storied history and recent efforts to revitalize it. The group is working with owners at WinnCompanies to pay homage to the Sibley Building through a photograph exhibit that chronicles the building's transformation over the decades. "We're excited to work with this beautiful, historic building that has been such a meaningful part of Rochester for so long," Gleason explains.

This year's event will spotlight 15 area musicians, including the addition of new and alternative sets from Eastman School of Music Professor Robert Morris and local band Eggs Benedict. The evening also features a drag show presented by the University's Pride Network, and a performance by local dance troupe One Dance Co. More than 150 works of art will be on display and guests can engage with several interactive exhibits, including a crafts table hosted by the UR Creative Arts Club and a clothing craft hosted by Mural Arts in the Rochester Community. Hors d'oeuvres will showcase local restaurateurs, including Aladdin's Natural Eatery, Java's Cafe, Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, and Tasteful Connections. A cash bar will be available for guests 21 years of age and over.

The concept for ArtAwake originated 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 7,000 Rochesterians have attended the festival in the last five years, which won the Student-Driven Program of the Year award in 2008 from the Association of College Unions International.

Tickets are $8 advance, $10 door for University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music students; $9 advance, $11 door for members of the University of Rochester community and other area college students; and $10 advance, $12 door for the general public. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets, which are on sale now, can be purchased at the Common Market in Wilson Commons on the River Campus, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the Eastman Office of Student Life.

Connect with the festival online by visiting ArtAwake's website and Facebook page, or by following the group on Twitter at @ArtAwakeNY. For more information about tickets, email

ArtAwake is sponsored by the Urban Exploring Club, Eastman School of Music Students' Association, D'lions, Eastman School of Music Admissions, Alpha Kappa Psi, the Burton Lovejoy Hall Council, WRUR, University of Rochester Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, and The House of Guitars. The Urban Exploring Club also thanks WinnCompanies, Steve and Lori Blair, Devin Embil, and Travis Miller for their support.