Positive Street Art event draws many to downtown

NASHUA – The city celebrated an artsy month with back-to-back weekends of festivals near the downtown Nashua area. A week following the Nashua Area Artists Association Greeley Park Art Show was Saturday’s Art’s Festival, run by Positive Street Art, a local nonprofit.

In contrast to last week’s exhibitions, Saturday afternoon was filled with more than just stills and canvas art showcases; live music, dance battles, and singing on stage ramped up a loud crowd later in the afternoon right on Main Street on the big stage.

Hundreds of yards worth of road on Main Street was blocked off for the festival. Several returning artists from last week’s event showed their work again. Michael James Toomy and his art made their second appearance downtown this weekend, and he had good things to say about Saturday.

“Today’s been a great day. I typically either work with retail or like gallery kind of situations, so doing street fairs I saw a great way of seeing what’s new – you know what younger people are doing, and what’s around.”

Some interns and employees from Positive Street Art were at the festival, meeting with guests and showcasing art, accompanied with Alderman Tom Lopez, an art aficionado himself. Olimpia Carias, their first intern, talked about who PSA was and what Saturday’s festival was about.

“Positive Street Art is a nonprofit organization, where we try to build greater connections in the community, create educational workshops that involve the arts and it’s a great way to put the urban arts out there in a positive manner, and to uplift the youth in undeserved communities. Today, we have the Downtown Arts Festival, and this is the fifth year that we’re holding this event,” she said.

Being an annual celebration since 2013, Nashua’s Main Street has been the perfect location for them to host the fair.

“It’s basically a way for all different artists to come together, whether it’s selling their art, performing live in front of audiences or just being together amongst one another as a community to support the arts and support each other,” Carias said.

Manny Ramirez is the first employee for the organization. He spoke about why Positive Street Art exists, and how it promotes urban art in a positive, enriching way.

“Positive Street Art is an organization that believes in urban arts and public art, and basically we advocate for it, we bring it to the community through events, educational workshops, artistic services and basically just getting out there in the community and doing fun stuff with art,” he said.

Food and ice cream trucks surrounded the art canopies, which all extended far past the theatre stage into the south end of downtown toward the hospital. Dozens of the canopies were filled with artists of all different styles and mediums.

One artist, Emma, showcased her near 100 self-made buttons with empowering messages and designs, among her other mediums of showcased creativity.

“I’m here at Positive Street Art Festival for the first time, it means a lot to have a positive experience in a community that helps support local artists and the love that we all have in a positive manner, of expression. I’m here to serve my part with happiness, awareness, and supporting your local anything and everything” she said.