CreateHereNow is opening its Headquarters for Placemaking at McLevy Hall in Bridgeport. The grand opening event is Thursday, November 7th from 5-10 PM, as part of the 2013 Bridgeport Art Trail. Connecticut artists will come together at McLevy Hall to honor the history of the City of Bridgeport and this prominent Bridgeport landmark.
Connecticut artists and innovators will come together at McLevy Hall to honor the history of the City of Bridgeport and this prominent, historic Bridgeport landmark. Artists of all mediums will participate in themed exhibitions, performances, and installations, transforming historic McLevy Hall into a hub of cultural activity.
Don’t miss the launch of this innovative collaboration between the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts, State Historic Preservation Office, and The City of Bridgeport.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
5:00pm – 10:00pm
McLevy Hall, 202 State Street, Bridgeport, CT
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Built in 1854, this Greek revival landmark structure was first used as the Fairfield County courthouse, and then the city hall of Bridgeport, CT. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln gave a passionate campaign speech to a crowd that packed the hall and spilled into the street. Originally called Washington Hall, it was renamed in honor of Jasper McLevy, a socialist who served as mayor for nearly a quarter of a century. Recently it has served as Bridgeport’s Hall of Records and is now the headquarters of CreateHereNow and Uarts (Uarts/Universal Arts is the NEA funded partnership with City Lights Gallery, Young Audiences for Learning and CreateHereNow to design creative pathways to work for all our communities.)
Margaret Bodell, CVO of CreateHereNow, said, “The State of Connecticut is pioneering a teacher/student mentorship program through Uarts in multiple locations around the State.”
Artists of all mediums will participate in themed exhibitions, performances, and installations, transforming McLevy Hall into a hub of cultural activity. This launch is made possible by an innovative collaboration between the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts, Historic Preservation Office, and The City of Bridgeport. L.A.M.P (Light Artists Making Places) will be joining CreateHereNow for this event by providing some of New England’s premiere illumination artists. Visitors will be able to sign up for Local 63, a league of creatives implementing increased online exposure for our performers and artists with opportunities throughout the state.
“Local 63 is quite possibly the most exciting new development to spring out of CreateHereNow,” said CreateHereNow director Rod Frantz. “We’re forever being asked questions like ‘Do you know a good wrought iron artist?’ or ‘Where can I get a nice, handmade necklace for my wife’s birthday?’ or “Where can I find a fire-breather for my daughter’s Sweet 16 party?’ Local 63 answers that question for people and corporations seeking artists and creative products and services around the State of Connecticut.”
There will be a many creative, fun events for visitors to enjoy at this event. Music by The Grimm Generation will headline the evening entertainment while folk legends Kath Bloom and Tom Hanford take guests back in time with songs of the McLevy era. People will be able to get a preview of the Holiday Artisan Market place, the inaugural event of the Connecticut State of Makers celebration. Top artists from LAMP will be illuminating the night with projections both inside and outside the building. Visitors can participate in a community yarn drive hosted by Uarts as well as explore the works of visiting artists Robert Martinez from New York and Robert Greenberg from New Haven. Bridgeport Theatres is presenting a City Lights Photo Exhibition, highlighting the beauty and history of the city.
“This looks to be an amazing evening,” said Kip Bergstrom, Deputy Commissioner of DECD. “CreateHereNow is entirely funded by an ArtPlace grant to the state and our Office of Historic Preservation piloted the grant that is responsible for the reactivation of the entire, historic building, allowing artists to tell the story of a place and invigorate the space with creativity. We expect McLevy Hall to become an arts, innovation, and tourism destination center in downtown Bridgeport.”
Bridgeport arts activist, Mayor Bill Finch, will also be making welcoming remarks on the occasion.