East Hampton Arts
and Culture commission
Come join our meetings every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm.
Joseph N. Goff House
2 Barton Hill Road
East Hampton, CT 06424
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Mel Carnahan, Secretary
Melissa Pionzio, Chair
Foster, promote, encourage and celebrate the excellence, enjoyment, and abundance of arts and culture in our town.
The mission of the East Hampton Arts and Culture Commission is to foster, promote, encourage and celebrate the excellence, enjoyment, and abundance of arts and culture in our town. The Commission meets the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Joseph N. Goff House Museum, 2 Barton Hill Road. We are comprised of an eclectic mix of East Hampton residents including a retired elementary school teacher, a graphic designer, a member of the Chatham Historical Society, three artists, a gardener and a local business owner.
The Commission recently launched this web site which includes a coming events calendar, photos and information about who we are and the programs and initiatives that we support. The commission also has a Facebook page which promotes the many arts and culture related events and initiatives that are happening in East Hampton.
Programs and initiatives that the commission supports include an annual grant program which welcomes applications from East Hampton organizations and individuals with programs and/or projects that enrich the lives of East Hampton residents through the arts. In 2017, the grant helped the Creative Dance Center to replace and update costumes, decorations and leotards for its annual holiday performance, which supports the town's food bank. A grant was also awarded to a local high school student who is working on a multi generational community theater performance of Pippin.
Through the Commission's annual art purchase award program, a piece of artwork that depicts and East Hampton scene and/or is created by an East Hampton artist is selected during the annual Art Association of East Hampton Art Show and donated to a public space in East Hampton. Art Purchase Award artwork currently hangs in the town hall, the Middle Haddam Library, the East Hampton Youth & Family Services Department and soon, in the new East Hampton High School Library. This initiative not only supports local artists, but brings their work into public spaces for members of the community to enjoy.
The Commission's Student Award initiative highlights the artistic talent of East Hampton students. Annually, a piece of artwork by a student at each of the town's schools is selected by members of the commission during the spring All District Spring Art Show. Selected artwork is featured in a special exhibit at the town hall's Chatham Art Gallery during the month of June and each student is presented with an engraved plaque during a special ceremony at the Sears Park Gov. William O'Neill Pavilion. The students' art teachers, school administrators and families are invited to attend the celebration.
The commission's annual open studio event is held in the fall and provides the public to visit the working studios of East Hampton Artists, who generously open their homes and working spaces to showcase their work and share information about their craft. Artists who do not have a studio to open are provided with space in the East Hampton Village Center to exhibit examples of their artwork. You may have seen the open studio signs around town and on the Parks & Recreation Community Board near Stop & Shop.
For the past several years the commission has hosted a Theater Chat with F. Wade Russo, who has served as the musical director for more than 15 shows at the Goodspeed Opera House. The free event is held at the East Hampton Public Library Community Room and features a lively discussion of the current show at the Goodspeed, followed by a Broadway tune singalong on the library's baby grand piano. Past talks have included Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof and Oklahoma.
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