The second annual Needy Ego Arts festival focuses on the theme of mental health

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – The second annual Needy Ego Arts Festival was held on Sunday, centering on the theme of mental health.

Organizers of the event said around two dozen painters, sculptors, ceramists and jewelers were on display at Temple Beth El on South Winton Road. Information on mental health services was also available.

“We are proud to sponsor this festival,” said Deborah Zeger, Executive Director of Temple Beth El. “Not only is it a way to honor Ilana’s memory, but it also gives the community a chance to bring together and appreciate all that art can and brings to the world.”

The event was named after Ilana Finkelstein, a local artist who died in January 2021. According to her parents Gail and Jack Finkelstein, who also co-founded the festival, she presented her works under the pseudonym “Needy Ego” as a means to show how sharing her art helps her cope with depression and anxiety.

“Art could play a crucial role in helping to alleviate the stress and isolation that so many people feel as a result of the Covid19 pandemic,” Gail and Jack Finkelstein said in a statement.

They also said a portion of the festival’s proceeds will go to the Ilana Finkelstein Art Fund, a benefit that sponsors arts-related programming.

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