The inspirational story behind the creation of the Sunflower Art Festival. Inaugural event was held on August 8, 2015.

With the support of the Town of Gardiner, and our local residents, I am, once again, excited to bring an art festival to Gardiner, NY and partner with Tuthill House at the Mill; a truly picturesque property that embodies the beauty of the Mid-Hudson Valley. 

Inspired by my sister, Esther, the Sunflower Art Festival (SAF) will be an event that allows those in and around our community a unique experience to participate in a live art event - through music, art and community.  We also will offer farm fresh food options and a water truck for water bottle refills (in an effort to reduce waste). 

The festival is organized by Sunflower Art Studios, Inc. - a non-profit local arts organization. The intention is to make it free of charge for all artists, families and visitors to attend. Equally, we strive to honor our performing musicians by promoting them and paying them. We can only do this through the generous support of local businesses who are helping with various aspects of production; creating a rich experience for all involved. 

During my career, I have produced nearly 1,000 special events, but this venture has truly become the most important to me. At the core of my focus is a special tribute to my sister - Esther Sanzo - a Poet, Philanthropist and New York Police Officer who passed away in June 2012. 

While she did not live in Gardiner, Esther loved to visit and it was in this area that her and I really bonded; admiring the sunflowers, taking long walks and just enjoying the beautiful nature. She always encouraged me to stick with my art and personal expression. She was someone who really accepted people for their individuality, cared deeply for children and her community of friends. 

The concept of a community art festival seem to be a natural way for me to honor her.  

I am honored to offer an annual event that will bring love, laughter and art to our community - a place I love! 

Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT!

Esther (left) with her sister Liz (1975).

Esther (left) with her sister Liz (1975).

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