Festival brings Chalk Art, Live Music, Craft Beer and More to Downtown Albany
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, AMA ChalkFest will bring back to downtown Albany professional and amateur chalk artists, tents with craft beers and other libations, live music, kids and family activities, food trucks, vendors and more.
Since its inception in 2018, the Albany Museum of Art’s signature fall event has packed the 100 block of Pine Avenue with art, fun, music and people. This year, the festival will take place 10 am-5 pm on Saturday, Nov 19, 2022.
“After having to be conducted online in 2020 because of the pandemic, we were able to bring this joyous event back to full life last November,” AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “More than 2,500 people came out during the day, and we expect an even larger turnout this November. The weather should be pleasantly cool, and, of course, we shall hope for sunny skies.”
Each festival has a theme that 10 or more professional artists, who come from as far away as Texas, tackle with colored chalk on the pavement. These highly skilled artists create roughly 50-square-foot images while festival-goers watch and chat with them. The professionals compete for Best-of-Show bragging rights, which come with a cash award.
“We expect to announce the theme in the coming weeks,” Wulf said.
In 2021, the Albany Museum of Art dropped the gate entry fee and offered free admission to everyone. Wulf said the 2022 festival also will have free admission. “We want to be as inclusive as possible with this event, which is truly a community festival,” he said.
In addition to bigger-than-life chalk artworks by the professional artists, local amateur artists, schools and organizations create chalk art pieces on the pavement at AMA ChalkFest. The festival includes live music and entertainment, fun family-friendly activities, tents where festival-goers 21 and older can sample craft beers and other libations starting at noon, vendors who market art and other merchandise, and food trucks.
“There are fun activities for children, adults and families, and a wealth of magnificent art that cannot be experienced any other way,” Wulf said. “It makes for a fabulous Saturday outing.”
With the event scheduled at the cusp of the traditional holiday shopping period, it will be an opportune time for vendors to get in front of a big audience. Vendor applications, along with sponsorship packets, professional artist applications, and food truck applications for the 2022 event, will be available soon.
Sponsors are already showing keen interest in the festival. “We’re happy that we are getting early inquiries about sponsorship opportunities,” AMA Director of Development and Membership Chloe Hinton said. “In fact, The Bridge Group, one of our 2021 sponsors, already has agreed to return as a sponsor this fall. AMA ChalkFest is the type of fun, communitywide event that sponsors love to be associated with.”
After AMA ChalkFest’s successful return as an in-person festival last year, Wulf said he is looking forward to building on that success this year.
“We were heartened by the wonderful reception that AMA ChalkFest received last year, and we hope to continue to build on that goodwill as we at the Albany Museum of Art continue to demonstrate our commitment to our future home in downtown Albany through events like this,” Wulf said.