As we enter the second year of Main Street Studios, I am aware of two significant challenges. One is raising the necessary funds to keep the space open and continue to expand the ways through which we connect with our community. Another is how to align this new venture of Main Street Studios with the 45 year history of the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance.
Those 45 years have a lot of stories. In the past year I read through documents and looked at photos trying to piece together the history of this organization. From the initial Arts Lottery grant to art festivals to theater showcases to music competitions to monthly meetings to youth art exhibitions to celebration dinners to paint-ins, there is a full tapestry of nurturing, collaboration, and enhancing the arts in North Central Massachusetts over the years.
I was struck many times that my predecessors shared conversations 35, 20, 10 years ago that I now share with my colleagues. About creative economy. About bringing people to downtown Fitchburg. About cultivating a love and appreciation of visual art, music, dance, theater, etc. in the young and young at heart. And appreciation of those who make the art.
I thought about how we could celebrate our anniversary and tell some of these stories and accomplishments. In the early 90s, the FCA hosted an annual dinner when they honored someone from the FCA board (and larger Fitchburg community). It clicked with something I’ve had in the back of my mind as I learn about the various painters and poets and actors who lived and created in Fitchburg throughout its history – a Fitchburg Creative Hall of Fame.
Is this a ploy to entice you to come to our party on November 4? Well, yes. But hopefully it is a ploy that you will enjoy and genuinely appreciate. This year we will have fun celebrating some magnificent women who gave their art and their time to this city. We will gather at the Armory at the Fitchburg Senior Center for a night of good food from Finicky Fork, performances, shared memories, and gratitude for the work of those who have made art happen in our community. A fun fact to note, the first event of the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance took place on Wallace Ave. 45 years ago, the same street where we will celebrate in November.
Who will be the first inductees into the Fitchburg Creative Hall of Fame? Well, that is for another day and another post (soon).
That said, planning a party is a lot of work. If you would like to be part of this celebration and the launch of the Fitchburg Creative Hall of Fame, please join our planning committee. (And by committee, I mean a group of people who get together and share ideas about how to make things fun.) If you would like to support our fundraiser or sponsor the Hall of Fame, your generosity is greatly appreciated.
As a small organization, we rely on the support of our community to make things happen. Give us your time, your unused art supplies, or a donation to help us with our operating costs. Every contribution matters and helps us to build a space to create, connect, and celebrate art in downtown Fitchburg. Learn how you can support us today.