The HEARTS PW annual PortFest is back on May 15
Local non-profit HEARTS PW is hosting their annual PortFest, where residents of Port Washington come together to celebrate the art of our community. PortFest will feature music, theater, dance, arts and crafts, food trucks and more on Sunday, May 15, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Seeber Field at Schreiber High School.
HEARTS PW is one of many incredible non-profits based in Port Washington to benefit the community. HEARTS PW’s specific mission is to raise money to be put into grants that benefit various art projects and initiatives in the community.
“The schools have wonderful arts programs, arts experiences and art enrichments, but there is always something more that a teacher wants to do or the school wants to do,” said Eric Gewirtz, HEARTS PW volunteer, and Board President. “We were created to support and fund these programs to make them into a reality.”
“We started very focused on the schools,” said Gewirtz. “Then, some years back, we started expanding our scope into community partners. While the bulk of our program tends to focus on the seven collective public schools in our district, there are always many programs that go through to the community partners.”
HEARTS PW partners with orainizations such as the Landmark on Main, the Adult Activity Center, the Parent Resource Center and the Community Synagogue Theater. While these places aren’t directly connected to schools or school programs, they have connections with the arts.
PortFest is one of HEARTS PW’s signature programs to help fund their grants for the community.
“Portfest has always been a sort of free event modeled after the music festival idea,” said Gewirtz. “We want the community to come see and experience music, art, dance and theater in our community and celebrate the creative spirit around us.”
Admission to PortFest is free. Some of the events, such as the arts and crafts activity, require patrons to buy tickets, all of which the proceeds go into the HEARTS PW grants. The food trucks at the event also cost money, which goes directly to the food truck.
“All of the money we raise is either from ticketing, the sponsors and individuals from the community that wish to support us,” said Gewirtz. “We’re blessed that we have so many helping us.”
PortFest features a number of performances. This year the public school bands, orchestras and choirs will perform. The Schreiber and Weber theater companies will be reprising their musicals for PortFest. Two of the dance studios in town will hit the stage and Bach to Rock music school. A wonderful program for fourth-and fifth-graders called ‘Curtains Up’ will preview the musical that they are preparing for in June.
“It really does give a flavor of the creative arts in our community,” said Gewirtz. “PortFest gives an opportunity for all these performance based entities of all ages and all kinds to have a stage for the community to see them and celebrate them.”
This spring and summer many of the annual events, such as PortFest, are coming back after taking a pause due to COVID-19.
“It’s so wonderful to see these traditions come back,’ said Gewirtz. “All of these events ar a part of the fabric of the community here. For those who may be new to the town in the last two years, it is a wonderful opportunity for them to see what our community does when it shines.”
Visit pwportfest.com for a list of events and schedule of performances.