About

ArtAwake is a one-day festival of creativity that brings life to a vacant urban space in Rochester, NY.

ArtAwake seeks to unite the community – from college students to families and young professionals to senior citizens – to facilitate interaction and discussion that will lead to creative solutions for Rochester’s unused spaces, for its creative community, and ultimately for the future of its downtown. We will create an innovative and interactive festival that repurposes a vacant urban space through the exhibition of local artists, musicians, dancers, videographers, designers, businesses, and technologies. After 10 successful annual festivals, ArtAwake has totaled over 10,000 attendees and has featured over 1,000¬†pieces by 400+ artists, performances by 100+ groups, delicious local foods, and a myriad of interactive exhibits.

Now in its 10th year, ArtAwake is University of Rochester-born, student-run, free art-and-music festival that showcases local talent in an unconventional venue. This year, the event joins the Keybank Rochester Fringe Festival and takes over the former Changing Scene restaurant (owned by Chris Hill) in the First Federal Plaza building! View hundreds of artworks while enjoying live music throughout the noon-to-midnight event. Don’t miss afternoon fun for the whole family and a sunset cocktail party for the 21+ crowd in one of Rochester’s coolest venues.

Special thanks are given to the owner of the building, Chris Hill, for the donation of the space during the ArtAwake festival. Special thank you to all of the members of Fringe who are helping to make this event possible!

You can find information about the location and times through the Fringe page located here.

You can find more information about ArtAwake through our archives!

You can submit to this year’s ArtAwake here.


Walri performs at ArtAwake 2008Music Performances

Fall into a deep reggae groove, do the robot with Rochester’s best DJ’s, and headbang to our city’s hardest rockers. When you get tired, there will be plenty of classical, folk, and jazz to sit back and enjoy…


DrawingArtwork & Interactive Exhibits

Discover a plethora of works by local artists from photography to painting and sculpture to fashion. Explore innovative technologies, fashions, sustainable art, and architecture., along with a variety of exciting interactive exhibits.


Rohrbach Brewing ArtAwakeFood & Drink

Enjoy free delicious foods, culinary art, and refreshments from local establishments. ¬†For those of age, we will also be featuring tastings throughout the event of Rohrbach’s own incredible beers and a selection of Finger Lakes wines.


Station 55History

ArtAwake is a groundbreaking collaboration between college students and the community. It was honored in 2009 as the ‘Student Driven Program of the Year’ by the ACUI and was recently a final round contendor for City’s ‘Best of Rochester’ award.



ArtAwake 2011 LeadershipLeadership

Founded in 2007, ArtAwake was developed by a group of entrepreneurial students at the University of Rochester. It is organized by a team of driven volunteer leaders who strive to break new ground and deliver an incredible festival each year.


ArtAwake 2010 : 35 State StreetSponsors

ArtAwake is only possible through the support of a myriad of organizations and businesses from around the community. Please visit our sponsors and thank them for supporting ArtAwake!