University of Bridgeport announces inaugural arts festival: O, Bridgeport!

O Bridgeport! art

The University of Bridgeport is pleased to announce its first arts festival, O, Bridgeport! This multi-day celebration of the arts will take place October 16-18, 2019. The festival program includes 17 activities and events, most of which are free and open to the public. Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at the University of Bridgeport, Tom Healy, a world-renowned poet, is the O, Bridgeport! festival planning committee Honorary Chair. 

The creative line-up of activities includes a community mural project, a poetry makespace, a historical walking tour of the South End, a literary bowling night, and more. Sophisticated Love of the Artistic Mind (S.L.A.M.), a UB student club that serves as a safe haven for artists of all genres, will contribute to ‘a positive vibe’ in an open mic session. The University’s new poetry garden will also make its debut during the festivities.

The headliner event will feature a conversation with Questlove, drummer and co-founder of the GRAMMY Award-winning band the Roots, to close out the festival on Friday. Healy will sit down with his friend Questlove for a conversation about the talented musician’s new cookbook Mixtape Potluck Cookbook: A Dinner Party for Friends, The Recipes, and the Songs They Inspire. Questlove is also recognized as a DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, designer, and New York Times best-selling author. This event is only open to members of the UB community.

The genesis for the festival idea and its namesake stemmed from a conversation between UB President Laura Trombley, PhD, and Healy following the reading of the O, Bridgeport! poem that he authored and read during her inauguration ceremony. The seven-stanza ode, replete with references to P.T. Barnum, UB, steamships, parks, and “all that is and will be blossoming here,” was created to honor Trombley’s 2019 inauguration and the great city of Bridgeport. 

“Tom and I discussed how wonderful it would be to bring an arts festival to the greater Bridgeport area and to our beautiful seaside campus,” Trombley said. “As the Honorary Chair of the O, Bridgeport! festival, he draws upon his success with the highly regarded annual O, Miami Poetry Festival, which he conceptualized to build community around poems.”  

To hear Healy recite O, Bridgeport! be sure to attend the festival’s kick-off and celebration on Wednesday at 12:20 p.m. on the Pedestrian Mall grounds of UB’s campus.

For more information regarding the wide-ranging artistic activities planned for the three-day festival, visit