O+ Benefit: Amanda Palmer in Concert

On August 13, 2022, Palmer returns to Kingston. It will not just be a concert in support of O+’s mission and in celebration of Amanda Palmer’s return to the U.S. post-pandemic. She will be joined by the incredible chamber pop piano-violin duo Gracie and Rachel.

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2022 O+ Kingston Theme: SO+mewhere

The O+ Festival will return to Kingston, NY for the 12th annual celebration of art, music and wellness October 7-9, 2022. As everyone imagines a “new normal” after the extraordinary last two years, we ask our community to envision where we are going together. 

The theme of the 2022 O+ Festival is SO+mewhere.

For years, Somewhere Alley was an essential element of O+ Festival’s programming; a place that was unexpected, intimate and where innumerable memories and connections were made. Marked by a neon sign made by local artist Erika DeVries, Somewhere Alley was a tunnel behind BSP marked with graffiti writing and bands playing pop-ups for those who stumbled upon it. While the community now grieves the loss of beloved venues like BSP, and we respond to change in our communities, the surprise, wonder, weirdness and joy brought by experiences like Somewhere Alley are being carried into O+’s future… somewhere.

We have hung the Somewhere neon in our new office window, across the street from another beloved O+ venue, The Old Dutch Church, as a sign post along the highway of change, a lighthouse in the unknown, sometimes dark, space of what’s next. We see that sign as a symbol of hope, energy and direction as we move forward as an organization and a community.

The term Somewhere is defined by Merriam Webster as: in, at, from, or to a place unknown or unspecified, to a place symbolizing positive accomplishment or progress,  in the vicinity of, or an undetermined or unnamed place. We welcome our community to join us in imagining what “Somewhere” can look like, feel like, where we are going and what we build together. 

Somewhere is an imagined utopia, a place of refuge, a place free of the confines of antiquated structures or arbitrary boundaries. Somewhere is a place we go in our memories of the past, it is being present in the present, and it is a future moment not yet relegated to history. Somewhere is pink neon in the sky, a Stephen Sondheim song, a place we have never been and a place we discover along the way. Somewhere is where we lost or left things along the way, it is a future home not yet found, it is searching, seeking, striving. Somewhere is possibility. It is where we find hope, direction and the inevitability that change is the only constant. 

If you don’t start somewhere, you’re going nowhere. ~ Bob Marley 

There’s a place for us, Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air, Wait for us, somewhere.
There’s a time for us, Some day a time for us, Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care. Some day, Somewhere, We’ll find a new way of living…”
~ Stephen Sondheim

ExplO+re Wellness
Recipe Exchange

Recipes are a way to connect to each other’s history and experiences. They’re a way to share our culture and memories. That’s what the ExplO+re Recipe Exchange is all about – sharing and connecting – learning from each other – and enjoying the unifying and nurturing nature of food. 

Some recipes may not highlight “healthy” ingredients but all offer loving exchange and connection, a building block of health and wellness.

To participate, share your recipe on social media using #OPositiveRecipeExchange OR fill out this form OR email sharrison@opositivefestival.orgAnd in addition to your recipe, feel free to include photos, memories, stories or any details that convey why this food is special to you.

We’re also planning to come together for a cooking class using a curated selection of shared recipes and creating a zine of all the recipes!

Thank you to HealthAlliance Hospitals, members of WMCHealth, for sponsoring ExplO+re programming.

The Magnetic Fields Announced as O+ Festival Headliner

Indie pop stalwarts The Magnetic Fields and “first lady of graffiti” Lady Pink headline the 11th O+ Festival Oct. 8-10 in Kingston, N.Y. The unique weekend connects participating artists and musicians with vital healthcare, mental healthcare, dentistry and wellness services.

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Tough As A Mother Mural Ride May 22

Saturday, May 22nd, 12p.m.-2p.m.

O+ Festival and Kingston Women’s Bike Festival are partnering on Tough As A Mother, a family friendly mural ride celebrating images that elevate the strength of mothers and the power of the feminine spirit. The group will meet at the Kingston Library lot for a brief introduction to the ride by Rose Quinn from KWBF and Lindsey Wolkowicz Art Director at O+. From there, the ride will wind its way through Midtown Kingston and head towards its final destination in the Stockade. Along the way, the group will stop at 6 O+ Festival murals, and pass several others, and other notable sites to discuss some of the imagery, artists and history in Kingston that elevates the stories, struggles and impact of women in our community and on our own sense of empowerment, both locally and universally. 

This ride is family friendly and all are welcome. During this event we will also be introducing a challenge ride of the same name, “Tough As A Mother,” a 16+ group led by Rose Quinn of Kingston Women’s Bike Fest to meet/train throughout the summer, culminating in a ride up Popletown Road to Shaupeneak Ridge Park during the O+ Festival October 8-10th, 2021.

O+ has long included cycling as a dynamic aspect of our programming and we are excited to participate in this program as another way of supporting all riders in feeling safe and empowered as they access bikes as vehicles for wellness.

2021 O+ Kingston Theme: O+ygen

O+ will celebrate its 11th annual festival of art, music and wellness in Kingston on October 8th-10th, 2021. O+ Kingston is a convergence of arts and  wellness. How do art and music support, complement, and magnify health and wellness?

The theme for this year is O+YGEN.

Artists are asked to respond to the theme in their application to make, perform or install a work during O+ Kingston.

Here are some ideas artists and musicians may consider as they explore this year’s theme of O+YGEN.

Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food and oxygen.
~ Laura Hillenbrand          

O+YGEN is breath and wind, energy, a chemical and a gas that flows between us; an invisible, essential force.

We breathe in O+YGEN, without much conscious thought, approximately 25,000 times per day.

What can we do but keep on breathing in and out, modest and willing, and in our places? 
~ Mary Oliver

O+YGEN forms compounds like water which makes up 70% of the human body and covers 70% of the Earth’s surface.

O+YGEN is at the core of healing, balance, meditation and self-empowerment.

Singing is like a celebration of oxygen.
~ Bjork

O+YGEN forms compounds by reacting. These processes are often accompanied by the presence of heat and light in the form of combustions.

O+YGEN feeds the cells of all living organisms but it also feeds a fire’s flames.  

…we say that there are three sources of energy–sexual, breath, and spirit…The second source of energy is khi, breath energy. Life can be described as a process of burning. In order to burn, every cell in our body needs nutrition and oxygen…
~Thich Nhat Hahn 

O+YGEN is contradictory; it is both essential and invisible. 

O+YGEN is visible to us only in extremes – extreme cold, extreme intimacy or the extreme of a public health crisis. 

…We all breathe the same air, but we don’t breathe equally. As the Black Lives Matter movement returns with fresh vigour, it arrives with the lessons of the pandemic in hand. There are clear links between the direct state violence experienced by George Floyd and the indirect state violence which distributes healthcare unequally, which removes the safety nets from under certain communities, and which bails out businesses and leaves ordinary people to fend for themselves.
~ Jennifer Mills, The Guardian, Oct 3, 2020

O+YGEN itself has been denied to some as an act of violent dehumanization; its denial acting as a signifier for inequity at its most intolerable. 

O+YGEN is a symbol for all that has been lost, all that has been given and all that we have exchanged during the pandemic that cannot be contained within a singular form. 

The O+ Art and Music Committees look forward to receiving explorations and interpretations of O+YGEN for this year’s O+ Festival in Kingston.