Audubon Arts on the Edge Festival Report

The thirteenth annual Audubon Arts on the Edge festival was a huge success this year! Audubon Street was transformed into a music and art venue with a variety of activities including musical and dance performances, hands on activities, children’s performances, and nine coordinated gallery openings. A couple thousand people attended to enjoy the free events. Join us next year for an even more fun-filled day!



Favorite Route

We hope you've already visited the Parachute Factory Gallery, an exciting new collaboration between the Arts Council, the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and the Community Services Network of Greater New Haven. But just in case you haven't, we wanted to share a special part of the show with you. Several members of the PRCH staff wrote pieces in response to the current exhibition Routes, and we hope you'll join in the fun. Add a comment and let us know what you think of the show. What pieces stood out to you-and what pieces really made you think?

For more info on the current exhibit Routes, click here. To learn more about the Parachute Factory, click here.

The arts, in some fundamental way, are about choice. Looking at the works in Routes, I began to think about the choices these artists have made. "...it is an exploration of possibility and choices, made along the way," writes Jonathan Waters of his wood and pipe sculpture that greets us at the door. I've driven north and south along I-95 many times. What vantage points did Lawrence Morelli choose for his dramatic highway series? In Morelli's paintings, I don't see a single car.
Lucile Bruce
Co-Founder, The Parachute Factory

From Where I Sit
As time moves forward to reveal more of the past, there are pieces in this exhibit that appear to have no beginning and no end. The circuitous route, the pathwork design and the textured layering of color all demonstrate the organic and dynamic nature of living in, recovering from and moving through experiences.
Timothy Schmutte
Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

A friend once told me that life is all about making connections. The multiple ways and levels on which to do so is brought to life in Routes-networks, connections, each imply change to me. The route itself changes when you change. Taking the same path and not seeing it anymore, until someone else puts fresh eyes on it for you, as Larry Morelli's paintings of 95 transformed my view of the road. Often we don't realize how the route we take can change us, and how the route inself can change.
Becca Miller
Co-Founder, The Parachute Factory


Reflections on community arts

I've been reflecting on several of the Ideas talks I heard during the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Dancer Liz Lerman, who was in residence here during the past year, spoke about Art in a Democratic Society. Liz is an artist I've admired for many years. She has worked in communities throughout the country, engaging citizens of all ages, from all walks of life, in communicating stories of their lives and communities. In her talk, she pondered why a dance she performs on stage at the Kennedy Center in D.C. is more highly regarded than the dance she does with residents of a nursing home. She explained that her Dance Exchange strives to shift this way of thinking, elevating the importance of art created in and with community.

I think Liz is right on. While I love the opportunity to experience accomplished artists performing in a venue with professional lighting and sound, there is something profoundly powerful about art that is of the people-real people expressing themselves through singing or dancing. So why are the so-called community arts relegated to lesser status?

In another Ideas program, I heard Jude Kelly speak about the Creative Economy. Jude's comments echoed those of Liz as she lamented that culture has become "something you go to in the evening." Both Liz and Jude affirm the ability of art to tell real stories, to make meaning and create identity.

We hear alot of talk about the achievement gap between students of affluent school districts and those in poorer inner city districts. As the arts have become more professional, as arts organizations have morphed into institutions, have we perhaps created a cultural divide?


The Creative Capital of CT

Last night, AC Executive Director Cindy Clair and I attended the Town Green Special Services District 10th anniversary bash (a fantastic evening to honor an unbelievable organization). Included in the evening's festivities was a rare presentation by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli. In the Q&A following his talk, Cesar was asked how living and working in New Haven has influenced his art (his office is located right downtown). Cesar said that is his view, New Haven is the perfect place to foster creativity. He can walk to the office, engage in stimulating conversations, find space for real reflection. So I pose a question to our readers: Do you think New Haven is the ideal city for creative thinkers/workers? Why or why not? And what place in New Haven seems to spark your creativity the most? -Kara