The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, or Byrdcliffe for short, is indeed proud and excited to present the first ever Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts. This initiative sprung from a stated but undefined desire on our part to organize some kind of arts festival that would exemplify the spirit of Byrdcliffe in a contemporary way. This incubated over a year or so and then sprung to life as a group of extraordinarily talented people spontaneously came together into the creative field of energy that has characterized Byrdcliffe from its founding in 1902. Nine initial presenting entities representing a variety of disciplines, some with longstanding Byrdcliffe connections and others newly associated, banded together in creative partnership in the hope of showcasing their work and others to a larger, diverse audience. At the same time it is our hope that the Festival will offer an artistically rich and varied experience for the public through works both contemporary and traditional. The Byrdcliffe Festival is testimony to the outstanding creativity in our region and the latest manifestation of Byrdcliffe as a catalyst for all the arts.Inaugurating this Festival has been a cooperative and democratic process among the nine Festival Presenting Partners and Byrdcliffe. It has been a pleasure to witness and participate in work that has been so mutually supportive and generous in spirit. Therefore, we lift up the special talents and superlative effort on the part of all our partners which include Clyde Forth Visual Theatre, Garry Kvistad’s Drum Boogie Festival, Happy Traum, Paul Green Presents, Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, VOICETheater, Woodstock Film Festival, Woodstock Players, and the Woodstock Writers Festival.It is a true pleasure and a real honor to bring before the public the talents of all our participants.
Matthew Leaycraft, Executive Director
Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild
I’ve spent my life in the arts. From playing in bands as a young man to founding School of Rock, my primary aim has been to create and teach music. At School of Rock, I enjoyed wonderful opportunities to participate in so many artistic pursuits: music festivals, motion pictures, magazines, records, and more. All of this eventually led me to Woodstock, a place that I am immensely proud to call home.Serving as the director for the first annual Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts is an honor and a joy. The tradition of the Byrdcliffe Colony and the people currently involved represent the spirit with which I wish to live my life and the people I wish to live it with. We have come together in harmony to build an event emblematic of our little corner of the world, and I am tremendously excited to share it with all of you.Paul Green, Executive Producer
Byrdcliffe Festival of the Arts