NAC Corner

Want to know what we're up to? Wondering what's going on in the local arts community in Southeastern Connecticut? The Norwich Arts Center brings this info to the public in our bi-weekly feature NAC Corner, which appears in the Norwich Bulletin’s Arts Section every other Saturday. Written by volunteers, artists and board members of NAC, featured articles bring in-depth insight into some of the many exhibits, events, creative efforts and equally creative individuals who provide culture to the region.

You can read the latest articles here, or visit the Norwich Bulletin's website for these and other arts features. Do you know an arts venue, cultural event or creative person that you think should be featured in NAC Corner? Email us and let us know!

Arts center reflects on 2011, looks ahead to 2012
12.30.2012

Zombies, drag queens, Lincoln-clones made for a wild scrapbook of memories for the Chelsea Arts District in 2011. I want to briefly reflect on the past 12 months and where they’ve brought us as 2011 comes to an end.

In light of the Occupy movement, it’s hard not to mention the economic downturn and the dent that leaves in funding for the arts, the Norwich Arts Center included. In fact, this year we faced the possibility of closing our doors. Though we continue to navigate through a world where funding for the arts is tenuous, we face the challenge with creativity and determination.

We are planning more cultural programming for 2012, and look forward to continuing that role in years to come. When NAC held a meeting at Norwich City Hall in March to rally support, people responded. Some signed up to volunteer their time and others were able to come to our aid with generous donations. I think this brought to mind the impact we’ve made in the community, how the idea of the downtown minus NAC and the arts brought a call to action to protect a valuable asset to the city. And for that, we are grateful to our volunteers, sponsors and supporters.

What we are looking forward to in 2012 is more community-driven events, including the Arts/Culture/Heritage Weekend that in in 2011 brought our Local Arts Agency office together with organizations and cultural points-of-interest such as the Leffingwell Inn, Otis Library and Meiklem Kiln Works. And though we are looking to reach beyond downtown, we are very excited by the activity happening here. 

Many events drew attention to the Chelsea Arts District this year; the filming of the zombie flick “Remains,” the Slater’s “Lincoln Portrait Project” and responding exhibits by other groups, and sold-out drag shows enthusiastically received by the public to name a few. A visit to the Chelsea Arts District on a First Friday will tell you there is a vibrant art scene bubbling to life amidst the stoic historic architecture: The Gallery at the Wauregan, The Artworks Gallery, Reliance House Gallery, Rose City Gallery, and The Spirit of Broadway Theater all continue to host new events each month, adding to the evolving fabric of Norwich’s unique culture.

And what will 2012 hold in store?

First, we are still selling tickets for our first Live Sounds event of the year: Eight to the Bar at 8 p.m. Jan. 6 in the Donald L. Oat Theater. The band is one of the most wildly popular and talented swing acts in the area, so this show sells out for every performance. Tickets have already been selling fast, so hopefully there are still some available when you are finished reading this article. Visit our website soon or call our box office at (860) 887-2789.

Second, we are looking to welcome more artists into our roundtable of members. Our next exhibit, “100 Points of View,” which opens in the NAC Gallery at 6 p.m. Jan. 6, will showcase current members, newbies and veterans. This exhibit was an invitation to artists to join the NAC Artists’ Cooperative, so some of the members on exhibit are new. This event is a reflection of the ongoing effort to band local artists together. There are a surprising number of artists in the area, and we are excited to give them not only a venue for their work but a chance to include them in our community.

Cheers to 2011 and where the year has brought us. As for 2012 ... we’re ready for another wild ride.

-Joe Matovic

 

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