Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

First Tuesday Salon celebrates Peekskill Open Studios and 25 Years of the PAA

First Tuesday Salon celebrates Peekskill Open Studios and 25 Years of the PAA

30 years ago, in the early 1990’s, the City of Peekskill, facing a 70 percent vacancy rate in the downtown, was looking at a bleak future after the recession of 1990-1991. Newly elected Mayor Frances Gibbs, the City Council and planning consultant Ralph DiBart joined together hatched a plan for the City’s future. They created a bold, creative plan to stem the inevitable demise of this Hudson River city. The Mayor, along with the City Council, City staff and Ralph DiBart invited the press to City Hall and announced their plan to have Peekskill reinvent itself as an artist district. The press conference did exactly what it intended to do. It created news locally, statewide and even made it to the New York Times. There were naysayers and even some who laughed at the idea an Artist District could be created from nothing. But the artists came.

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  • Newspaper Article from the early days of the Artist District Photo from The Peekskill Museum presents, A Retrospective of Peekskill’s Artist District

  • Newspaper Article from the early days of the Artist District Photo from The Peekskill Museum presents, A Retrospective of Peekskill’s Artist District

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Within six months of Peekskill declaring an Artist District, 20 artists began living downtown. In late 1992 and early 1993, artists Larry D’Amico and Carla Rae Johnson moved into the newly formed artist district. Soon afterward, Larry D’Amico and JoAnn Brody helped form the Peekskill Arts Council, now known as the Peekskill Arts Alliance. Together, working with the newly formed Peekskill Business Improvement District also established by Mayor Gibbs in 1996, they helped create the very first Open Studios weekend in 1997 where people could see artists working in their spaces.

Peekskill Arts Alliance Open Studios 2024 Tent Site
Photo Credit: Elisa Bruno-Midili

Just this past weekend, on June 1st and June 2nd, the Peekskill Arts Alliance held its 25th Anniversary of Open Studios and the Peekskill Herald promoted it in this article: “Celebrations abound as the 25th anniversary of Open Studios begins and the Artist District and WCC Peekskill celebrate their 30th year”.

This Tuesday, June 4th at the BeanRunner Cafe, the First Tuesday Salon will celebrate the Peekskill Arts Alliance and the 25th anniversary of Open Studios. As CarlaRae Johnson, host of the First Tuesdays Salon says, “the Peekskill Arts Alliance has been promoting the visual, literary, and performing arts for  25 years, and it’s time to celebrate that! Those who open their studios or show their work at other venues during Open Studios Weekend, often don’t get a chance to see what their fellow  Peekskill artists are sharing…until now!”  

This salon will be like no other before it. Artists are being asked to bring something they made, wrote, or can perform to share with the arts community at this salon. Art lovers are being asked to come and be prepared to be amazed by the abundant talent that is here in our city.  This event is free and open to the public.

First Tuesday Salons will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year after a pause during the Covid-19 pandemic. It re-emerged in March of 2024 welcoming the same panel of women painters that was originally scheduled for March of 2020. Last month, the salon had Nationally known artist and Peekskill resident V.L. Cox. In April the salon hosted a panel of four women who discussed Creative Reuse as Earth Month began.


Visit the Peekskill Herald Events Calendar Features and the Peekskill Herald Event Calendar to see more local events.

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About the Contributor
Dave Mueller
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]