A $10,000 grant from the state of Connecticut will support local partnerships or “placemaking” by Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts in 2014. The grant, announced this week, will be used to support CFA performances in February and March.
The Arts Leadership grant is one of 104 to organizations and individuals around the state as part of the Arts Catalyze Placemaking program of the state’s department of economic and community development. The program was created to invest in the state’s arts-based cultural activities, advancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of Connecticut communities.
“Supporting the arts in our community is an important part of promoting better quality of life for our residents and ensuring local artists can succeed,” said State Rep. Matthew Lesser.
The performances at Wesleyan include, on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the New England premiere of the dance work “Times Bones” by San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and the Connecticut debut by Vadym Kholodenko, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist. The 15th annual DanceMasters Weekend, March 8-9, will also be supported by the grant.
The Center for the Arts has partnered with the Connecticut Dance Alliance, Middletown Senior Center, Moody Elementary School and the Green Street Arts Center to include classes during DanceMasters for seniors and children. Several Middletown restaurants will offer special fixed-price menus for dinner on Valentine’s Day, after which patrons can choose to attend either the dance performance or the classical music concert. Participating restaurants will include La Boca Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, Tibetan Kitchen Restaurant, Typhoon Restaurant, and The Nest.
“This grant will enable Wesleyan to connect more deeply with Middletown residents and businesses. We’re excited to have children from Moody and Green Street take classes with Brandon ‘Peace’ Albright, a master hip hop artist from Philadelphia, and have Middletown seniors experience the artistry of Middletown’s own Broadway veteran, Carolyn Kirsch,” said Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University. “The grant will also enable us to promote patronage of area restaurants to people traveling to Wesleyan from all over the state to attend our Valentine’s Day performances.”