Kids, Parents, & Great Dane Let Loose on Audubon

Jay DockendorfA neighborhood’s annual celebration of “fringe” arts and educational institutions was going strong — until summer showers scattered merrymakers and washed away the festival’s traditional chalk mural.

The 15th annual Audubon Arts on the Edge street fair Saturday offered an array of activities and performances for kids and their parents. Bobbi Griffith, coordinator of the festival, estimated that 1,000 people attended.

“Until 3:15, it was great,” she said, referring to a short-lived downpour that temporarily brought the fun to a halt. “But it came back.” (Click on the play arrow to watch what happened.)

Neighborhood Music School, Pups without Partners, The Yale Peabody Museum, soon-to-open Salon Ivanova, and many had booths and provided activities for kids and adults.

Jay Dockendorf Photo“Have Bone Will Travel”, a group with the Yale School of Nursing, displayed a pair of pigs’ lungs—one healthy, one blackened by simulated cigarette smoking—to represent the ill effects of smoking on the human body.

Around 2:30 pm Jessie, a large Great Dane, strolled through the festival on a leash held by no one. Workers at the nearby Pups without Partners chased down her owner, complaining that their greyhounds were unnerved.

“That dog is big enough to have its own dog,” quipped a passerby.

Audubon Arts on the Edge began in 1996 as a counterpart to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, said Downtown Alderwoman Bitsie Clark,

A city grant of “between $1,000 and $2,500” and donations from local businesses funded the event, the alderwoman said.

Organizer Griffith credited the Peruvian folk dance group Tusuykusin Peru with reviving the festival after the rain.

Music educator Baba Coleman of the Neighborhood Music School led the drum circle that closed the event.

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posted by: spinround on June 7, 2010  8:58am

I’m sure it was the responsible dog people of Pups Without Partners who were unnerved by a loose dog at an event like this.  The organizers were right to insist leash laws be obeyed.  And who was cleaning up after Jessie while he was on his own?

posted by: Jennifer on June 7, 2010  4:43pm

Oh please, that dog was an angel!
The kids were kissing and hugging her, having a grand old time.
There always has to be something to complain about.

posted by: william Saunders on June 7, 2010  5:22pm

Not for nothing, but that Pups Without Partners table really stunk like a wet dog (and that was before the rain).

And that’s coming from someone who is not particularly olfactory oriented.

posted by: Lisa on June 7, 2010  5:54pm

With all the activities including performances by ECA and the Neighborhood Music School this is what you post? I know there was a lot of video taken and it’s a shame to see this was the focus of this beautiful event.

posted by: Cassie on June 7, 2010  6:17pm

WTF is Jessie? Leave it to the independent to get the story wrong, yet again!
“Cassie” is the princess of the town…...whichever town she may be in. She’s a lady whereever she goes, and a wonderful judge of character. Unsuprising to me (I know her well) she wasn’t all too fond of the greyhound ladies…

posted by: Bill Saunders on June 7, 2010  6:18pm


When I was there (before the rain), there were three ECA students performing on the stage to no one in the audience.  Personally, I think that sucks.

Let’s call it what it was—Mommies, strollers, and Fingerpaints.

posted by: Matt Smith on June 8, 2010  1:39am

A bit of a negative and distored view of this event. It was great. Maybe you should take some asirin to cure your hangover before attending such events so you don’t focus only on the bad. Seriously you need to lighten up and stop excluding the positive. Never thought it was true about the “Independent” until I read about something I actually attened. Sad sad sad.

posted by: Rick on June 8, 2010  1:42am

Yeah, let’s call it what it is - whiny reporters who were denied airbrush tattoos because they were too old and cranky. You guys are FUNNY.

posted by: Lisa on June 8, 2010  7:15am

Bill, You’re right. It did suck that very few people were watching the three ECA students but those students were just a warm up to a play they were performing inside and they were helping to announce the activities. If you were there at noon time you missed the band perform and the dancers that performed later to an audience. I’m sorry all you left with was mommies, strollers and fingerpaints but it was a advertised as a family event. What bothers me is that of all the video taken the focus in this article was of Cassie roaming and not of the students performing. I think we can agree with that.

posted by: Bill Saunders on June 8, 2010  2:28pm


I think the best thing the organizers could do to broaden the appeal of this event is change the name.  Arts on the Edge?  On the edge of what?  Maybe Audubon Youth Arts Festival would be a more apropos name.
Also, given that there are more arts oriented high schools in town than just ECA, I think it would be great to open the event up to include work by those young aspiring artists, rather than the ECA Alumni Show, or other teacher/instructor type exhibits.

posted by: Lisa on June 10, 2010  8:56am

Bill, I like the name you came up with for this event! Definitely more appropriate. While I’d like to see this opened up to more area talent as my daughter attends Coop I do understand why the organizers only used the two schools who pay rent there. Part of the event was to promote businesses on Audubon. Then it seems they invited businesses / services who could provide some education with the exception of the greyhound adoptions. If I had more time I’d say we should get together and organize the next one. :)