On April 5, artists and musicians in three locations participated in Art Stop, a program developed by the Springfield Central Cultural District.
As director of the Springfield Central Cultural District, Morgan Drewniany doesn’t see the arts in a vacuum. Rather, they’re one of the connecting threads joining the realms of economic development, social justice, and a city’s walkability and livability, which are, of course, among the keys to any community’s future. To that end, the SCCD is raising the profile of the arts in and around downtown Springfield — and that of its myriad artists as well.
Three artists will soon have the opportunity to display and sell their work in the heart of downtown Springfield.
The Springfield Central Cultural District is looking for artists to host solo shows in pop-up galleries at New England Public Radio, the SilverBrick Lofts and 1550 Main Street. Artists will display their work from March to June, receive all proceeds from any sales and be paid a $200 stipend.
"The idea is to create unconventional gallery spaces sprung out of being asked by the host locations how to activate their community rooms, and we're always looking for ways to increase walkability downtown," Springfield Central Cultural District Director Morgan Drewniany said in a statement.
Proposals are due March 8, and more details can be found here. The proposed installations can include a wide variety of media, and will be selected based on artistic excellence and originality, creative use of the available space and regard for the broad audience who will likely see the work.
The cultural district will also favor installations which are comprehensive or have a unified theme, according to the request for proposals.
The initiative follows the cultural district's "Art Stop" program in October, when painter Joe Tomaselli, mixed media artist Chelsea Revelle and illustrator and cartoonist Justin (Murasaki) Phillips displayed their art for one-day popup galleries at NEPR, SilverBrick and 1550 Main Street.
"The October pilot Art Stop in these locations was a huge success in both ways - people were walking and talking about art in a new and different way in the district, and we hope to continue the momentum by doing it again," Drewniany said in a statement.
The Springfield Central Cultural District has launched a "video map" to accompany its Downtown Springfield Cultural Walking Tour route, allowing pedestrians to learn about the city's attractions while traveling downtown.
The video map features officials from Springfield's cultural highlights, from the Basketball Hall of Fame to the Springfield Museums, delivering brief talks on each location's history. 13 videos were made in total, with speakers including Springfield Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Peter Salerno and Springfield Preservation Trust board member Bob McCarrol.
"Sometimes even residents are unaware of the beautiful assets we have throughout the Cultural District, and these videos are a living, breathing way for everyone to connect with the people at our historic and cultural landmarks, not just the buildings," Springfield Central Cultural District Director Morgan Drewniany said in a statement.
The videos and the visual walking tour map can be viewed at http://springfieldculture.org/video-map.
The Springfield Central Cultural District, a membership group that includes dozens of institutions in downtown Springfield, has embarked on a series of projects to revitalize the city center and attract visitors. A recent public art project commissioned artists to paint murals on utility boxes across downtown.
The videos feature the Basketball Hall of Fame, CityStage, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, UMass Springfield, New England Public Radio, WGBY, Sterns Square, the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and Museum, the Springfield Museums, Springfield Central Library, the Community Music School, MassMutual Center and Court Square.