The Village Center for the Arts in New Milford has been awarded a 2014 Arts Catalyze Place Making Arts Leadership matching grant in the amount of $25,000.

The grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development will enable the nonprofit community fine arts center to host its third annual interactive art festival, Paint the People.

The event will be held, rain or shine, June 7 at a new location -- the fields behind John Pettibone School along Pickett District Road.

It will run from noon to 10 p.m., with interactive activities from noon to 8 p.m.

"The ACP program set out to invest in the state's arts-based cultural activities and infrastructure to advance the attractiveness and competiveness of Connecticut cities, towns, and villages as meaningful communities in which to live, work, learn and play," said Kip Bergstrom, deputy commissioner of economic development.

VCA received the grant in response to its successes the past two years hosting the event.

Across the country, creative place making is gaining momentum as a means to revitalize local economies, by investing in art and culture, and as a means to strengthen community identity.

"To be recognized by the Department of Economic and Community Development's Office of the Arts for a second year in a row is amazing and an honor," said Sharon Kaufman, executive director at the VCA. "We are excited for what this recognition means for VCA, but, more importantly, for what it means for our community as the place to be; a place where things happen."

Kaufman said last year, Paint the People doubled in size from the year before and drew people from across the state.

This year's event will feature returning activities, including paint by number on a vehicle, splatter battles and giant spin art, and new offerings, such as the Prisma-Twist and a paint-stacle paint obstacle course.

In addition, the popular artists' village will return, featuring artists of many disciplines, including plein air painters, glass blowers, cartoonists, stone carvers and others.

The main stage will feature music throughout the day and into the evening.

Once the sun goes down, the nightfall dance tent will begin at 8 p.m.

"One of event's goals is to build capital for scholarships, and future programming," Kaufman said. "But Paint the People is more than a fundraiser; it provides a platform for families to engage in the arts. And on another level, it's a platform for the community as a whole. People really come together over a shared love of the arts."

Admission will be $5 per person at the gate, with a $20 maximum for families of five or more. Children under 2 will be admitted for free.

Access to all interactive paint activities will be available with an official PTP wristband for an additional $15.

Pre-purchased activity bracelets will cost $15, including admission.

Tickets are available for free to the children of those receiving Social Services' assistance.

Presales of tickets are available at VCA, located at 12 Main St.

Proceeds will benefit the VCA's programming and scholarship fund.

For information or to become a sponsor or volunteer, visit