Festival Organizers Launch Gallery, Workshop, Event Space

Nearing its one year anniversary, we’re looking back at the results of O+ Festival in Haverhill. O+ brought more than a weekend of entertainment and exchange to Haverhill last spring. Haverhill is speckled with the lasting effects of O+ Festival, existing in the people who live here, who see the possibilities and feel the resounding love in the exchange that took place. O+ sparked a fire in so many of us to connect and create the change we want to see in a city we are smitten with. I continue to be inspired by the people I’ve worked with over the years, nationally and locally, who stepped up and brought their heart and soul to seeing the success of this festival, like Sarah LoVasco, the powerhouse of an art coordinator who volunteered for a position because she was so committed to investing in the betterment of our city. I’m reminded of this warrior worker who was on scaffolding all hours of the day assisting in the mural on Merrimack Street, and so many volunteers, because they are my community. They became my family through this experience.

If you’re wondering why we’ve been quiet up here in Massachusetts, it’s because Sarah and I have been building The Switchboard, a community-driven gallery, workshop and event space. The gallery features a rotating wall of local artists, with the next exhibition highlighting the work of three women illustrators, one of which was a superstar O+ Haverhill volunteer last spring.

Since our inception this past winter, Sarah and I have this unspoken understanding of what we want to see at The Switchboard. From Acoustic Saturdays to the Creative Writing Summer Camp, all of our ideas have aligned, and the upcoming potluck series is no exception. We both love hosting and bringing the community together to share thoughts over an eclectic smorgasbord. As a kid in Kingston, I would accompany my mom to monthly potlucks hosted by artists, patios filled with creatives sharing ideas and supporting each other. These events remained with me after all these years, and I hope we can replicate that. We want The Switchboard to be a welcoming place to connect with others organically.

Spring Gala Auction Raises $50K

The sold out O+ Spring Gala Auction on April 14 at The Beverly in Kingston raised more than $50K for O+.

The event was hosted by the O+ Board of Directors and Spring Gala Auction Committee and sponsored by Hurley Avenue Family Medicine, Michael Pisacane, David Ping Group, HealthAlliance Hospital and the Columbia family — Sarah, Edward and Stephen.

Artists (including Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, Gaia, Jeffrey Milstein, Kevin Paulsen and Giselle Potter), small business owners and fellow nonprofits donated auction items. Supporters participated in mobile bidding for the silent auction items and live bidding with auctioneer Jay Werbalowsky. DJ Ali spun “swanky cocktail tunes” for the 125 guests throughout the evening.

Poughkeepsie Gateway Curators Reveal Five Finalists

The selection committee for the Poughkeepsie Gateway, an art intervention at the Route 9 underpass on Main Street, has selected 5 finalist mural proposals from the following artists: Julia Whitney BarnesRisa Tochigi aka Boogie, Peter Daverington, Layqa Nuna Yawar and Justus Roe.

The public is invited to meet the artists, ask questions, and leave feedback Friday, April 6 from 5-7 p.m. at the Poughkeepsie Public Safety Building, 505 Main St.

The Poughkeepsie Gateway is a commissioned mural project that is a partnership between Poughkeepsie Alliance, Arts Mid-Hudson and O+ Poughkeepsie.

The images below are partial mural studies for the Poughkeepsie Gateway (with the exception of the Justus Roe image, which is an example of previous work.) To see more details of the proposed murals, please attend the April 6 session!


Julia Whitney Barnes:





Peter Daverington:


Layqa Nuna Yawar:



Justus Roe:

O+ Radio Hour Launches on Radio Kingston

The O+ Radio Hour on Radio Kingston is a weekly conversation about art, music, wellness and activism at the intersection of community brought to you by O+.

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST we’ll feature compelling interviews with creatives, health and wellness tips from providers, and music curated by different members of the O+ team.

And once a month we’ll deep dive into the music and bring in O+ alumni bands for in-studio performances. We hope you’ll join the conversation as we make the case for localizing our country’s health and wellness system — one town at a time!

You can listen locally at AM 1490 or anywhere in the world at radiokingston.org