Anawanda Arts Festival set for Sunday

From left, Dana Cefalo, Charlotte Moore and Lauren Cefalo Moore at an art fair.

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 with her winning yearbook design.

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. 

One of Charlotte’s keychain designs

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. 

Pottery from Dana’s studio, Larkspur Pottery

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.

The Anawanda Art Festival will be held on September 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 445 Castle Shannon Blvd.

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

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