PKX Festival

The 2024 PKX Festival, “Droppin’ Jewels” celebrated the richness of Poughkeepsie’s community, highlighting its assets, heroes, and the intergenerational creative energy that defines the city. Throughout the free, 3-day festival, families, friends, and the community participated in family-friendly art and media activities, teen art exhibition opening reception, short-film screenings, food trucks, vendors, and more. All components of the festival were free and open to the public. Click here to view the recap video and the digital program!

Teen Art Exhibition

Film Showcase

The International PKX Short Film Festival is a captivating showcase featuring high-quality short films produced by youth from countries including Portugal, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, and Japan. Following the showcase, Poughkeepsie youth and featured artist Hezues R., filmmaker, media entrepreneur and Poughkeepsie High School alumnus, will debut their collaborative film, The Last String.

Community Festival

More than just an event, the PKX Festival embodies the essence of community and unity while celebrating the diverse talents of Poughkeepsie. The festival includes many community partners offering family-friendly activities, art-making, food trucks, music, demos, performances, and a public art sculpture unveiling with The Art Effect’s MADLab Youth Artists.

“Dutchess County has a lot of jewels and The Art Effect certainly shines brightly among them. What joy to see young people empowered to pursue their passions and create change. I was glad to catch the “Droppin’ Jewels PKX festival” this weekend and to see so many community organizations come together at the event” -Lisa Kaul – Dutchess County legislator, District 6

Special THANK YOU to
Bjorn Qorn, Dulce Café, Hannafords – Highland, Hannafords – Wappingers, North River Roasters,
Rosendale Theater, Stop and Shop, The Dutch Crown, The Movie House (Millerton Theatre), and Upstate Films
for your very generous donations and support!

Check Out Our Partners!

About the theme’s inspiration: The upcoming PKX Festival, with the theme “Droppin’ Jewels,” is an embodiment of the influence of Keli Faircloth’s (pictured above) grandmother. As an active participant in various programs at The Art Effect, Keli has been an important member of the PKX Festival Committee and the Youth Curatorial Team. Inspired by her grandmother’s wisdom, found in the phrase, “Child, I just dropped some jewels on you,” Keli has evolved into a knowledge keeper, sharing her wisdom with those around her. This personal connection increases the significance of the festival theme, “Droppin’ Jewels,” as it becomes a celebration of Poughkeepsie’s creative energy across generations. As we anticipate the PKX festival, Keli’s familial influence will be infused in the event with a spirit of wisdom, creativity, and community empowerment.

“It’s real easy to get lost when fitting in with a crowd. You gotta work to love ya self n stand out. To be ya self n be proud

— Zolo

Check out the making of the PKX Music Video “Who We Are” by Spark Studios. Take a sneak peek of the premiere, here.


PKX Festival is a building block to the development of the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone funded by the NEA Our Town Grant in the City of Poughkeepsie, NY. The Youth Arts Empowerment Zone will establish a youth-led arts district in and around the Trolley Barn Gallery with The Art Effect as the anchor arts institution.

The annual PKX Festival, hosted by The Art Effect, plays a pivotal role in advancing the development of the Youth Arts Empowerment Zone (YAEZ) centered in and around the Trolley Barn Gallery.

The YAEZ is a long-term initiative that fosters youth-driven place-keeping through artistic expression, empowering the existing community within this space. This three-day festival features music, public art installations, family-oriented activities, film showcase, teen art exhibtion, and more! The PKX Festival is a platform for youth artistry, embracing both emerging and accomplished young artists. Carefully curated films take the spotlight in a compelling showcase, while selected 2-D and 3-D artworks grace the walls of The Trolley Barn Gallery.

The success of The PKX Festival is the culmination of the dedicated efforts of The Art Effect’s workforce programs, which include YAEZ Liaisons, the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, MADLab, and Spark Studios. These programs work to oversee the range of festival elements, ranging from reviewing art submissions and the conceptualization of themes, to the precise curation of the exhibition, the crafting of promotional content, the selection of performers, the coordination of community activities, and the creation of striking public artworks. 

The PKX Festival is a symbol of community, unity, while celebrating the creativity and talent residing in Poughkeepsie, NY. It is This event is truly created by youth, FOR EVERYONE.

“Seeing a film you put all of this work into actually get attention, to have people genuinely enjoy something you made at Reel Exposure, it’s really special, especially when you’re just starting out. It was a call to action for me, like, ‘This is something you’re supposed to do, keep at it!” – Matthew Hamilton, 2020 Reel Exposure Participant

Thank you to our 2023 Festival Sponsors

Please consider becoming a sponsor to help support the youth arts programming taking place in the Hudson Valley right now!

This program is partially funded by monies received from the New York State Council on the Arts and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Art Effect empowers youth to develop their artistic voice to shape their futures and bring about positive social change.