The Cefalo family always comes together.
So, when sisters Dana Cefalo and Lauren Cefalo Moore dreamt up the idea to host an art festival this weekend in Mt. Lebanon, they made it happen—complete with an eclectic mix of 15 interactive vendors ranging from crankie performers to a handcrafted African handbag maker.
The Anawanda Arts Festival will debut Sunday, September 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on—you guessed it—the corner of Anawanda Avenue and Castle Shannon Boulevard.
Along with booths from a wide variety of artists, the interactive event also will include a visit from the Pittsburgh Crepes food truck and performances every 45 minutes.
“Mt. Lebanon has such a great love and support for the arts that I thought it would be a really great thing to do to support local businesses,” Dana said.
“People should shop on Anawanda and not Amazon,” added Lauren, of Jefferson Drive.
Art runs in the family
The Cefalo family motto has long been: “We come from a very musical family,” which, more recently evolved into “We come from a very artistic family.” So, planning an entire art festival with their family’s help did not seem like a stretch.
The sisters, who attended Washington Elementary, Mellon Middle School and Mt. Lebanon High School, grew up with an interest in the arts.
For Dana, who now teaches private voice and piano lessons in her Mt. Lebanon studio and has her own pottery studio, Larkspur Pottery, it all started at Washington Elementary.
“I couldn’t wait to get to art class. I still have the first pot that I ever made. It’s sitting in my pottery studio now,” she said.
That passion for the arts continued as she grew up and today, she’s spreading that love on to her niece, Charlotte Moore.
Charlotte, 12, a seventh-grader at Mellon, also was born with an interest in the arts.
When she was in kindergarten, she received her first yearbook at Washington Elementary and was so excited to learn that the cover was designed by a fifth-grade student.
She immediately made it her goal to design the school’s yearbook when she got to fifth grade.
“Every year when she got her yearbook, she would say, ‘I’m going to do that. I’m going to win!,’” mom Lauren said.
And she did!
“I’ve never seen my kid happier than she was that day,” Lauren said. “She wanted it so badly.”
Charlotte has joined her aunt Dana in the creating space.
She enjoys creating keychain decorations that look like food and making crocheted scrunchies, among other things.
Charlotte was a big inspiration for the festival.
She and Dana, along with mom Lauren, head to local arts fairs and events to sell their work.
They would talk about setting up a table and selling their pieces together. From there, the idea blossomed into hosting their own art festival.
Charlotte can’t wait to be a part of it all.
“I am most excited to be a part of the festival and to be around all of the other artists. Of course, I am also hoping to make some money so I can buy more supplies and make more things!” she said.
From crankie to silk screening
The sisters worked hard to gather a diverse group of artists for the festival. Some of the vendors are friends of Dana’s or folks that she has met at other art fairs. They even found some artists via Etsy to come share their crafts with the community.
Vendors will include everything from a henna artist to a person who makes wreaths to another who makes herbal scrubs and bath bombs.
The Anawanda Arts Festival is being held at 445 Castle Shannon Boulevard in the parking lot of a Cefalo family owned building. Businesses across the street offered up their lots for parking and building tenant Sunburst Sportswear is offering silk-screening of Anawanda festival T-shirts.
There will even be three crankie artists, including Dana, on hand to perform.
If you’re unfamiliar with crankie, Dana described it as “hand cranked moving panoramas that are used to tell a story.” Her work of art is 76 feet long and she scrolls through scenes while she sings an Irish folk song.
“For me, it was a magical experience the first time I ever saw crankie. I had no idea what it was, but I walked into a building and it was completely dark and a light came on behind this screen and it was very beautiful. It was where art and music both came to life and it was like my worlds collided in the most beautiful, magnificent way,” Dana said.
The sisters hope that the festival is a success and they can organize more in years to come.
For more, visit the event Facebook page!
Participating vendors include:
1202 Supply Co – Leather jewelry and goods
Authentically African by Moa – Handbags, accessories, and clothing
ChARloTte’s Art – Jewelry, crocheted scrunchies, magnets, and key chains
Crankie Artists – Live performances of an old storytelling art form from three artists
Dana Railsback – Rock paintings
EljaeStudio – Watercolor art prints and stationery
Floral Embellishments by Stacey – Wreaths and décor
Full Heart Crochet – Crocheted and knitted items
Jordan Tomb’s – Organic coffees and teas
Jules Mattern – Jewelry and funky accessories
Kirti Asawa – Henna artist and Indian clothing boutique
Kraken Apothecary – Herbal scrubs and sprays
Larkspur Pottery – Ceramic smudge pots, berry bowls, and accessories
Pgh Crepes – Sweet and savory crepes
Pip & Lola’s – Vegetarian and vegan soaps
Sunburst Sportswear – T-shirts and screen printing
Yuhas Stained Glass – Sun catchers