Arts and healthcare come together at the O+ Festival

Above: Collage of musicians playing this year's O+ Festival. Image from O+ website.

More then 60 musical acts, 25 artists, a kick-off parade, workshops and classes and a late-night literary salon come to Kingston this weekend during the O+ Festival (pronounced “oh-positive”), which was founded in 2010 to bring free healthcare to broke artists and anyone else who might need it.

With the slogan “Apply Pressure and Elevate,” this year’s three-day, weekend-long celebration begins on Friday, Oct. 9 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 11. The heart of the event is the wellness clinic, where doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers volunteer to give free healthcare to all comers.       

Above: Mural to mural bike ride during the 2014 O+ Festival. Image via O+ 2014 FB page. 

The Screaming Females, Nicole Atkins, Widowspeak, The Bongos & Corey Glover of Living Colour are headlining the festival, and a large-format mural will be painted on the wall of The Stuyvesant, RUPCO's building at 289 Fair Street, by international street artist Gaia. Gaia's mural will depict Ulster County-born abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth and Kingston-born painter John Vanderlyn. Other artists will create other murals, as well as installations, performances and projections.

All-access wrist bands to the festival are sold on a “pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth” basis. According to the festival’s promo materials, the costs of this year’s festival (which includes lifts and paint for the six murals, sound and projection equipment and medical and dental equipment) are estimated to be upwards of $78,000. So far, the system is working well for the festival, which is in its sixth year and has expanded to two other cities across the U.S.

O+ FESTIVAL. Friday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 11. Kingston.