By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — In anticipation of the largest arts festival in Upper Manhattan, local arts group Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) is calling on local artists for show, performance and event proposals for inclusion in the in the 2011 Uptown Arts Stroll.
The eighth annual arts festival promises to be the largest and most comprehensive to date, according to NoMAA president Sandra Garcia-Betancourt.
"Each year it grows bigger and is a wonderful way to show off the arts in our community," she said. "It’s a very exciting month, when you go these performances you walk away impressed."
The stroll, which showcases the work of local artists who live north of 155th Street in Washington Heights and Inwood throughout the month of June, attracts thousands of visitors from within Upper Manhattan and across the city.
Attractions include family-friendly activities, art exhibitions, literary events, performances, film screenings and other events sponsored by NoMAA and individual artists, which are held in local businesses, churches, parks and other public spaces.
In addition to the bigger events throughout the month, one of the more unique offerings are the "open studio" events where artists open their workspace for public view to provide "intimate glimpse into their creative process."
The month-long celebration will kick off with a large event chock-full of local performances at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center on June 2, where NoMAA will partner with the Dominican Carnival del Boulevard to kick off the stroll.
"The whole month is a wonderful tasting of what we have up here, a taste of arts and creativity," Garcia-Betancourt said.
The deadline for submitting information to include in the printed Uptown Arts Stroll Guide Calendar is Monday, April 18, 2011. Information submitted afterward will be updated on the organization’s online calendar.
Those looking to participate or volunteer can contact NoMAA at 212.568.4396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.