Painted Piano Project 2018
We are placing four pianos in public spaces during the first week of July to activate space and fill our Downtown Streets with music! The locations are: 1550 Main Street, George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum at the Quadrangle, Monarch Place, and Market Place.
All four pianos are open for the public to play! They have been donated by the Community Music School of Springfield, painted and decorated by local artists, and now it's your turn to try something artistic - stop by on a walk and play a few keys! Throughout July and August, we'll be hiring musicians to play for you, but in the meantime, play away.
This project is supported by ChooseSpringfieldMass.com, and the Springfield Business Improvement District.
We're still looking for help to hire musicians during the day! This effort increases walkability and comfort on our streets, brightens the streetscape, and provides income to local working musicians, a keystone of our local economy. If you, or your company, would like to support this venture in exchange for marketing exposure, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos and Press Coverage from 2017 Piano Project:
Art stop(s) is on a short hiatus - but we'll be back!
Please take a look at prior galleries in the "previous projects" section below, and make sure to follow us on social media to find out when we set a new date.
We can't wait to show you what we're working on!
Create the Vote
Arts are an issue that affect everyone in a city, and have the unique capacity to solve social problems - increasing public safety, graduation rates, and pride of place. In Springfield, the arts are a $50M industry, supporting 1,800 full time jobs, and we want our elected officials to have strong views on supporting US!
We issued a questionnaire to all running at-large and ward council candidates for the 2017 race to start the conversation, as well as help you decide how to cast your vote. Take a look on the Create the Vote page and at the debate videos on our video page.
Valley Gives Day
Valley Gives Day is over, but you can always join the SCCD as a member and check out the video explaining why our work is important!
FutureCity/MA and FutureCity/Springfield
In July of 2016, the Springfield Central Cultural District entered a program funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Boston Foundation to look at how to change arts and creative expression from nicety to necessity. We believe that the future of economic development lies in integration of placemaking into residential, commercial, and business ventures, and that to create a successful and equitable metro center, that we must focus on the arts.
This short video looks at what FutureCity/MA addressed, what we're already doing in the Cultural District, and how we can move forward during the renaissance of Downtown Springfield. It was produced in kind by Focus Springfield Community Television.
Old First Church Organ Concert
Old First Church in Springfield’s Court Square is perhaps one of the Downtown’s most recognizable landmarks, but is underutilized for most of the year. The Springfield Central Cultural District hopes to change that, starting with a pop-up organ concert on an autumnal Sunday afternoon.
New England Public Radio classical host and radio personality Walter Carroll will be hosting the afternoon.
Three local organists will be performing on Sunday, November 6 at 3 PM in a celebration of music and history.
The purpose of this program is to both show how beautiful and versatile the Old First Church space is, as well as provide income to local artists through this program. We aren’t just putting on an event – we’re showing the potential in this historic building and hoping to encourage future activity in not just Old First Church, but throughout unexpected spaces in the Cultural District.
This musical event will feature local organists Lad Pfeiffer, organist and Director of Music at St. Michael’s Cathedral on State Street, Will Lucardi, a promising local student, and Larry Picard, organist and Director of Music at South Congregational Church on Maple Street. They will play the full-size organ that has been maintained by the Springfield Parks Department in the space for years.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Springfield Central Cultural District produced a slew of unconventional galleries in Downtown Springfield to share our reach and help residents, employees, and visitors to the District Experience the Unexpected!
We hosted a joint gallery opening / blowout on October 5 from 4 - 7 PM with artist talks at all three locations, refreshments, and buskers/street musicians all in-between.
In response to being asked to help locate local art for local businesses many times, the SCCD organized three pilot locations - New England Public Radio, 1550 Main Street, and SilverBrick Lofts to host small galleries in their underutilized spaces. A call to artists was issued to select art, hang it, and then give the chosen creators a chance to sell their work for a three month period. This serves the purpose of exposing Downtown folks to art, and exposing the art to Downtown folks (and creating income for artists!).
Featured Artists August 2016
1550 Main Street will featured the large, colorful paintings of Frank Carter.
New England Public Radio hosted work from Lynn Sisler, a dynamic mixed-media artist taking inspiration from nature.
The Community Foundation of Western MA showed Amanda Tobin's paintings - looking at spirit, breath, wind, and how we experience the world through art.
UMass Springfield hosted Marcus Hickley, a Springfield native, creating works reflective of the people of color who inspired him in pop culture growing up.
TD Bank at 1441 Main Street will feature Joanne Bell's photography, images of local scenery and environment. In the concourse, we featured the Springfield Symphony Orchestra's new box office, and Focus Springfield's BIG 80" screening of Enchanted Circle Theatre's newest performance with the Springfield Public Schools.
This cycle's music focused on JAZZ with the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival rapidly approaching on August 12. Buskers found along the route played blues, funk, and much more to entertain you on your walk. The Eric Bascom Trio, Kevin Chaffee, Alton Skinner, and Jeremy Turgeon were our performers.
Featured Artists April 2016
UMass Center at Springfield featured the work of Kat Harrison. Her show, "Stamina," featured a large grid of hyper-realistic digital prints comprised of small fragments of dried, layered paint. The nature of the material and choice of scale conjured the viewer's own interpretations of the piece, and exposed the audience to their own conscious artistic representations.
New England Public Radio featured the work of Lisa Hersey of Antler Editions. She breaks away from the traditional crisp and clean work letterpress is known for to present pieces reminiscent of paintings, utilizing contrasting print lines as her brush strokes. By creating a disorienting effect in her wood block printing process, she allows the letters to be taken out of context and be seen instead as forms.
1550 Main featured the work of Esther S White. Her colorful, densely patterned art quilts are paired with prints on paper depicting textiles. She hand dyes and prints the fabric utilized to explore themes of memory, time, and her dual identity as artist-mother/mother-artist.
FEATURED ARTISTS October 2016
Chelsea Revelle will be hosted by New England Public Radio. She is a Boston-based fine artist exploring assemblage, mixed media, printmaking, and textile art. Her work examines themes of the domestic female, home, childhood play, and identity.
Joe Tomaselli will be hosted by 1550 Main Street. He is a graduate of Western New England University. His work aims to steal your attention and let your mind wander, using certain colors to mingle and others to stand out. His paintings are bold and eccentric.
Justin Phillips will be hosted by SilverBrick Lofts. The title of his group of paintings is: ‘Urban Hustle’. Each of these pieces is composed of bold, intense color, line and shape, with areas of stability and rest in the form of recognizable shapes, colors, and patterns throughout. He lives and works in Springfield, MA.
This program is generously supported by a Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural Investment Portfolio Projects grant.
District-Wide Utility Box Mural Program
A map and artist statements can be found on the Utility Box Mural page here!
OUR FABULOUS SPONSORS ARE...
Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association
Basketball Hall of Fame
Community Music School of Springfield
Eastern States Exposition
Lessard Property Management
Mattoon St Association
One Financial Plaza
New England Farmworkers Council
Painting with a Twist
Springfield Parking Authority
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Taylor Street Dental,
WGBY Public Television.
OUR ARTISTS ARE...
Alberto Nieves, Andrea Newland, Arielle Jessop, Catherine Burton, Christopher Gann, Gina Beavers, Gloria Caballer-Arce, John Simpson, Lisa Hersey, Lorraine MacAlpine, Louise Padilla, Marcus Hickney, Priya Nadkarni, Renee Flowers, Sydney Briggs, Terry Sullivan, and Whitney Weldon.
The SCCD is working to incorporate more art as part of economic development in Downtown Springfield. In the Fall of 2015 - we piloted a utility box mural program in Stearns Square Park during the "Springfield Under the Stars" movie night, and people loved it! This expansion of the program will take the total number of painted boxes in the District from 2 to 22. The theme of all of the boxes is "unexpected beauty," playing off the SCCD's tagline "experience the unexpected."
The purpose of this project is two-fold: first, to beautify the streets and create unique and interesting pedestrian sights; second, to provide economic opportunity to local artists who are trying to make a living creating art in Springfield. We see this project in its final step as a huge, free outdoor gallery that is accessible to anyone, regardless of social or income status.
Press: Calling Artists: Springfield Central Cultural District Expands Utility Box Art Program (The Republican), Muralists Wanted to Paint Springfield Utility Boxes (WWLP 22News), Springfield Central Cultural District Looking for Outdoor Art (BusinessWest), Artists to Begin Painting Springfield Utility Boxes Monday (MassLive), Springfield Utility Box Beautification Begins Monday Morning (BusinessWest), Artists Attack Springfield Utility Boxes with Paint, Turn Them Into Art (The Republican), Artists Begin Painting Springfield Utility Boxes (WAMC), Springfield Beautification Through Art Starts Monday (WWLP 22News), Snapchat: Artists Paint Utility Boxes in Downtown Springfield (MassLive), Watch Artists Transform Downtown Springfield Utility Box Into Art - Video (MassLive), WGBY's Connecting Point (WGBY), Cultural District Celebrates Artists of Utility Box Mural Program (The Reminder)
Downtown Holiday Market Placemaking with UMass Springfield
As part of the Downtown Holiday Market, the SCCD worked with UMass Urban Landscape Design students to create two creative interventions in order to bring light to Market Place. The City of Springfield funded this partnership within their ongoing support of UMass' Design program.
Student groups presented and took through several stages two short-term interventions - a Market Place luminary and sidewalk wayfinding. Long-term proposed interventions to activate Market Street were also presented to Downtown Springfield leaders.
Press: Springfield on the Journey to Revitalization : Many Small Steps Moving in One Direction (WMa Women's Magazine), UMass Landscape Design Students Bring Attention to Downtown Springfield (BusinessWest), UMass Amherst Landscape Architecture Students Use Art to Draw People to Market Place... (The Republican)
Artisan Gallery at the Downtown Holiday Market
In collaboration with the Springfield Business Improvement District, the Springfield Central Cultural District assisted in putting on a Holiday Market to bring back the whimsical experience of shopping Downtown during the holiday season. Retail stores and artists filled empty storefronts throughout the metro center in both Market Place and Tower Square from November 22 - December 23, 2015. The SCCD curated an Artists Gallery to take place at the corner of Harrison and Main Streets at the main intersection of Downtown.
Featured Artists included: Charlene Kocot, Dale Gardiner-Fox, Deborah Lunzy, Donna McArdle, Donna Westberg, Jake Murphy, Jane Janovsky, Linda Spelko and Juliet Bacchas, Marilyn Sutin, Mischa Epstein, Randi Shenkman, Rhonda Wainshilbaum, Sally Curcio and Anne Seuthe, Stacy Geryk and Whitney Weldon.
Press: Downtown Holiday Market to Open in Vacant Springfield Storefronts (MassLive), Check out Downtown Springfield's Holiday Market (Mass Appeal), Downtown Springfield Holiday Market Set to Open (BusinessWest), Photos: Downtown Springfield Holiday Market Opens (The Republican), Photos: A Tour of the Downtown Springfield's Holiday Market and Pop-Up Artisan Gallery (MassLive.Com), Holiday Market Now Open in Downtown Springfield (WWLP 22News), Seen @ Plug Into the Creative Valley (The Republican)
Springfield Under the Stars Movie Night and Placemaking
Springfield Under The Stars was a collaboration between MassDevelopment, The Springfield Central Cultural District and City Mosaic. The free community movie screenings took place on Wednesdays in September in Stearns Square, an underutilized park in the center of the new Innovation/ Dining District.
The mission of the event is to positively promote Downtown Springfield by attracting young professionals and families to stay in the city after work hours. Two public art installations were completed as part of this event : the interactive "When I Grow Up" Visioning Wall and two painted utility boxes by artists Mischa Epstein and Carole Singh.
This program was funded in part by a MassDevelopment Placemaking grant.
Press: Springfield Shout Out to Artists (MassLive), Art Encourages Moviegoers to Dream Big (MassLive), Movies to be Shown at Stearns Square (MassLive), Photos: Springfield Under the Stars (MassLive), SCCD Looks to Turn Utility Boxes into Art (The Reminder), Movie Night Held at Stearns Square (22News)
Peep This! Art in Springfield Storefronts
“Peep This: Art in Springfield Storefronts” was a program partnering artists with vacant storefront spaces in Downtown Springfield. The project aimed to enliven downtown spaces and offer an attractive opportunity for artists, property owners, and the community at large. Seven artists were chosen by the Cultural District to show their paintings, artwork, or sculptural installation including: Trish Cataldo, Sally Curcio, Jack Devlin, Dana Filibert, Andrae Green, Priya Nadkarni, and Chris Marion.
This program was funded in part by the Springfield Cultural Council.
Press : Peep This: Art in Springfield Storefronts Enlivens Unused Windows (MassLive)