New Haven residents will soon have the opportunity to experience a union between the city’s cutting-edge artists and its most established venue.
Next Wednesday, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven will host a local tradition called Artspot! at the newly renovated Shubert Theater. The event, which takes place once per season, is a happy hour gathering meant to bring together a range of community members — including artists themselves — to mingle in artistically inspired locations. The event was created in 2001 but was ended in 2008 because the Arts Council felt it had accomplished its goal of creating a vibrant local arts network. After the council received a number of requests from local residents to revive the event, however, Artspot! was brought back last year.
“It’s a great way for the community to come together to inspire professional and artistic collaborations … in a different place every time, which gives people the opportunity to see a place that they might not otherwise go,” said Denise Santisteban, events and advertising coordinator for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.
Past locations for the event have included Edgerton Park, Lighthouse Point, Arte, Firehouse 12 and the Institute Library.
Next week’s event will be at the Shubert Theater’s new gallery and lounge, which was created this year for the theater’s 100th anniversary. The gallery was a creative spin on an otherwise empty tunnel connecting the lounge to the theater, said the theater’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Anthony Lupinacci. He added that he thinks the tunnel helps to bridge the newer parts of the theater to the historic parts, both literally and through a visual narrative of the theater’s development. The wall houses images of the building through its lifetime, as well as playbills of the world premieres that have taken place at the theater and photographs of the famous actors and actresses who have performed there.
“While we really only did [the gallery] in a short period of time to address the problem of an empty hallway, it seems to mean a lot to the audience members, some of whom were at the theater in the 1950s and onward,” Lupinacci said.
Loosey LaDuca, a local drag artist who will perform at the event, said she plans to bridge a gap between history and modernity by singing traditional show tunes in her performance. LaDuca explained that live show tune performances are rare in drag, adding that she hopes the novel performance will encourage other artists to take risks with their work because her own performance suggests that there is no set formula for what art should be.
LaDuca added that she would like to see Artspot! grow to incorporate more local performance artists and a wider range of audience members, noting that the event primarily targets young adults in its current form.
“The more people that are there, the more new ideas and personalities will be able to mingle,” LaDuca said. “A lot of people forget about Connecticut because it’s so close to New York City, but it’s a booming state — there’s just a lot going on in terms of art.”
The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 28, but was postponed to Feb. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. due to weather concerns. The fee for the event is $10 for Arts Council members and $15 for the public.
The next Artspot! will be held in April.