Live music, food, films, arts, kid activities celebrates progressive values and culture

Central New York Citizen Action will hold its inaugural JAM (Justice, Arts, Music) Fest on Saturday, October 14 in Utica. It will be held at three adjacent venues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: DeSales Center (309 Genesee St.), Utica Public Library (303 Genesee St.) and Kopernik Park (corner of Genesee and Eagle Streets). Admission is free and open to the public.

“Celebrating Progressive Values through Music, Arts, and Family Fun” is the theme of the Fest. A complete schedule is available at: The Facebook event page is:

Sponsored by the Central New York Citizen Action (the Central New York regional chapter of Citizen Action of New York), Central New York Labor Council, 1199SEIU and other organizations, the JAM Fest will feature live music, crafts, art and film exhibits, speakers, children activities, face painting, nonprofit, job, and health information, and community discussions. It aims to bring people together to showcase local art and music as well as create a common public space for a dialogue on how we can bring about positive and progressive community change.

Short films dealing with economic justice, racial and gender inequality, immigration, and other current issues will be shown at the Utica Public Library. Local nonprofit agencies and businesses will also have exhibits showcasing products and services. There will be free giveaways. Food trucks such as the Polish Road House will be at the event. The Central New York Labor Council will hold its 2017 Organized Labor Charitable Giving Campaign for United Way and SEFA at the Fest. This is a nonpartisan event.

The following performers reflecting a diverse range of musical genres (rock, folk, blues, rap, hip hop, alternative country) have been scheduled: Jenni’s Little Secret, Mark Khel, TOXIC, New Age Static, J. Schnitt, Trizzy Beats, The Taryn Jessen Band, Cassandra and Kurt, JEasy, Lyfe, Dahmoe, Edelweiss Schuhplatters/ Gracie Schell of the Utica Maennerchor, Bob & Betsy (Bob Rowe and Betsy Laporte), Irish Dancers, and Steven Zacaroli, J. Schnitt, and Megg Faulkner. Local artists such as Teresa Van Etten and Tracy Besancon will showcase their work. BB Designs will provide a *hand + paint involved craft activities for kids.

For more information:, 315-725-0974. The performance director for the event is Tasha Cooper who can be reached at or 315-542-0817.

Central New York Citizen Action (Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.) is the local chapter of Citizen Action of New York. Established twenty years ago, it is a social justice advocacy organization which promotes progressive values of democracy, freedom, shared prosperity, tolerance and inclusion, justice, and equity. Find us on FB—Central New York Citizens in Action/Central New York Progressive, @CNYACT, Follow us on Instagram: @cny_citizensinaction.

John Furman, President of the Central New York Citizen Action said: “Central New York is a proud, progressive, diverse, and inclusive community rooted in culture, tradition and social justice activism for more than a century. The JAM Fest combines entertainment, music and art, and family fun to celebrate progressive values and diversity. Through music, visual arts, crafts and local foods, and hands-on activities, we will bring together Central New York’s many kinds of people and work on building a strong, inclusive community that values solidarity, unity, peace, and justice. The Fest will raise awareness of what we can all do to make our community a better and more just place to live. We see this festival as building upon the success of the One World Flower Fest and Levitt AMP Utica Music Series in bringing our community together and intend to make it an annual tradition.”


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