A Look Inside “Arts & Ales,” the Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival

By Luciana Perez Uribe

“Arts & Ales,” the Hyattsville Arts Festival, was held Sept. 21, 2019 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and encompassed three streets of downtown Hyattsville, MD. It was organized by the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, in partnership with the City of Hyattsville and festival sponsors.

“Producing the festival is a true logistical puzzle and very complex to produce,” said Stewart Heisenberg, the executive director of The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation and the producer of the festival for nine of its 12 years. “But we love to do it because it benefits our community so much and I think the artists generally love it.”

The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation was founded by community activists. Its website states a mission to develop arts, entertainment and public spaces in Hyattsville.

This year, there were live performances by six musical groups. Included in the roster was Lena Seikaly, a rising artist in the Washington, D.C. jazz world. Seikaly also performs at Maryland Meadworks, a mead tasting room in Hyattsville. Other groups present were Blue Plains, Janine Wilson Band and Wild Anacostias.

Local artists and artisans exhibited a variety of creations to view or buy. Among the art pieces available were purses, glass ornaments, prints, jewelry and paintings. Jackie Foster and Mitzi Foster, two sisters and artists, sold prints and key holders, their motto being “Uniquely designed creations that make a difference.” Another artist, Kara S. Rice, when asked how long it took to create her paintings, said, “It depends on my life.” 

Local breweries and distilleries also offered tastings. A few companies present were  Franklins, Denizens Brewing Co. and Bullshine Distillery.

Heisenberg said to keep an eye out for “HyFest,” an upcoming live music event in downtown Hyattsville. There have been two previous iterations of this event in the past; this year is still in the works. 

Featured Photo Credit: Arts & Ales,” The 2019 Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival, spanned three city streets and featured jury-selected artists and artisans, live music, food vendors and craft breweries. (Luciana Perez Uribe/Bloc Reporter)

Luciana Perez Uribe is a masters multiplatform journalism student and can be reached at Lperezu@umd.edu.

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