Mo’ Confusion about MoHu?

MoHu Fest 2012

What’s a MoHu?

That seems to be a question that’s on the lips of a lot of Nippertonians as the second annual MoHu Festival is about to launch later this week. And it’s a damned good question…

For the second year, is a media sponsor of the MoHu Fest because we strongly believe that any effort to help spread the word about the rich arts offerings of the Capital Region – music, theater, dance, visual arts, literature and whatever else ya got – is well worth endorsing.

We’re still not sure we’ve got a solid answer to the nagging question, but we’ll give it a try…

In a nutshell, the MoHu Festival (the name is derived from a contraction of Mohawk and Hudson) is not a “festival” in the same way that you might think of a festival like Mountain Jam or the Williamstown Film Festival or LarkFest. As far as we can figure out, the MoHu Festival is basically an umbrella marketing plan to help raise awareness (and attendance) for artists, musicians, venues and arts organizations throughout Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. The fest runs from Thursday (October 5) through Sunday, October 14, and anything that any of the participants present during that time frame becomes part of the MoHu Festival.

Of course, most of the big-time arts organizations in the Local 518 – from the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to Capital Repertory Theatre to Proctors to Skidmore College – are all participants. But so are lots of smaller, staunchly independent arts groups like the Sanctuary for Independent Media, the Upstate Artists Guild and the Sand Lake Center for the Arts.

Go to the MoHu website, and you’ll find more than 300 MoHu events listed there. (If you go to MoHu’s Facebook page, however, you’ll be welcomed with the prompt, “The MoHu Page does not have any upcoming events.”)

So how do you or your organization become a MoHu participant? Simple. Basically, anyone who pays a $10 registration fee (to help cover printing costs) and fills out the online registration form can be part of the MoHu Fest. Of course, that’s probably gonna throw you off course, too, because all of the dates listed on the forms are for the 2011 MoHu Fest…

Got it?

The confusion doesn’t end there, however. This year, the fest will be kicking off with “MoHu Takes Flight,” a big fundraising cocktail party/shindig at the Albany International Airport from 6-8pm on Thursday (October 4). But there’s absolutely no mention whatsoever of the big kick-off event anywhere on the MoHu website. Really?!? You have to go to Proctors’ website to get info on the bash, and even there we still can’t figure out how to actually buy tix…

And adding even more confusion, we’re still not actually certain of the name of the fest. On the MoHu website, it’s variously listed as MoHu Fest, MoHu Festival and MoHu Arts Festival. And as a matter of fact, we’re not even positive that we’re spelling MoHu correctly, as the same website spells it Mohu, MoHu and MOHU.


As we do every week, we’re headed out to see some art exhibits, catch some shows and have some fun. But this week, it just might be part of the MoHu Fest…

Kirsten Ferguson’s MoHu Festival Returns to the Capital Region, 10/5-14/12 at Nippertown
Michael Janairo’s Mixed Feelings About MoHu 2012 at The Times Union’s Arts Talk

  1. Welf says


  2. Jason Steven Murphy says

    Hello Nippertown – Jason Steven Murphy from MOHU here. Let’s see what I can do to unmuddy the waters…

    – MOHU is more than just a marketing device. Yes, all participants (big and small) would like more eyes on them (and eventually seats filled), but this is more. It’s a chance for the arts community to come together and say “Here is just how much varied and amazing arts and culture this area has to offer – come on out! We’d love to have you in our place, but by all means, head down the street, or even across the river. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.”

    – While some of the events during MOHU were planned before the festival date were set, many groups planned specific events for this week, knowing a bigger and different audience was possible. There’s are also the opening + closing events (we hope to see many of you at MOHU Takes Flight tonight at 6!), with the Compass Point evenings next week being created specifically for MOHU.

    – As for there not being any events listed on Facebook – there’s only so many hours in a day and coffee to feed to our all-volunteer staff, and thus creating Facebook events was taken off the table. From personal experience, I have found their effectiveness to have diminished in recent months.

    – The two errors on the website? OOPS. MOHU Takes Flight has been added to the events page, and the forms will be updated soon (or for 2013).

    – The variance in the representation of the name – we are allowed some mystery, right? I personally enough people pronouncing it in a variety of ways.

    I hope that despite some misgivings, you will all get out early + often for MOHU. See you here, there, and yes, even there.

    Jason Steven Murphy, MOHU participant

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