A recent article in Yankee magazine entitled “The Connecticut Art Trail | Driving an Art Bargain” got me to thinking of all the great cultural venues, both large and small, we have throughout our Shoreline communities. Joe Bills focuses primarily on art museums within his article, but for me art encompasses so much more. Visual arts, musical arts, and performance arts all enrich our cultural experience. Be sure to check out the webpages for each location as some are offering socially distanced activities while many others may not be fully operational at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions. If you find one (or two) that really catches your eye you may even opt to donate or purchase a gift card for future use. Just like our local shops and restaurants, the arts community also relies on community support to remain operational. Start following along and sign up for those email lists so that you’ll be able to hit the ground running as the state continues with its re-opening process!
- Madison Arts Cinema may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of experiencing the arts, but owner Arnold Gorlick takes pride in playing first-run independent art and upscale foreign and domestic films. The cinema is also host to the Greater New Haven Cinema Club for two seasons out of the year (winter/spring and fall) when members meet for stimulating films and discussions — all moderated by Yale Professors John MacKay or Michael Kerbel. Join can join the club as well and become part of Greater New Haven’s rich film history!
- The Legacy Theatre located in Branford is currently undergoing a restoration so as to return the building to its former glory. With a long history beginning in 1866, the building has been used as a church, silent movie hall, live performance stage, a manufacturing site for parachutes during the war and ladies corsets and undergarments post war, and a puppet museum. When the Legacy Theatre reopens guests will find an array of play productions during spring, summer, and fall, with a rotating repertory of musicals, classics, new works, and shows for young audiences. Additionally, theatre training for all levels will be offered through Legacy’s Artist Teachers.
- Madison Lyric Stage is on hiatus until 2021, but looks forward to carrying out its mission of expanding participation in the arts through the presentation of accessible, inclusive, and affordable professional-quality opera, musical theater and drama. The upcoming season will feature “Sweeny Todd”, “The Boys in the Band”, and “Suor Angelica /Erwartung”.
- Ivoryton Playhouse is a small professional theater and holds the distinction of being the first self-supporting summer theater in the nation.
- Goodspeed Musicals operates two stages: the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam and the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester. Showcasing both new and newly revived musicals each year on their main stage at the Opera House and on their second stage in Chester for a total of more than 400 performances during the April to December season!
- The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center: The Kateis a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. A 250 seat theatre allows patrons to enjoy .work in several genres including music, theater, opera, dance, comedy, film, and a variety of children’s programming
- Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison
- Chester Gallery in Chester
- Guilford Art Center located in Guilford is a space where you can not only admire the work of others, but you can also learn the techniques to create your own.
- Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds located in Old Lyme on 4.5 acres along the Lieutenant River. Open daily to enjoy from 9am-5pm and free of admission.
- The Madison Sculpture Mile and the Clinton Sculpture Mile are both presented courtesy of The Hollycroft Foundation. The non-profit foundation is committed to bringing museum level sculpture to the public free of charge. After the Madison Sculpture Mile became known as a nation attraction several more installations appeared in Guilford, Clinton, New London, and Stonington. Together they’ve been dubbed The Sculpture Shore.
- The Florence Griswold Museum located in Old Lyme is know for its collection of American Impressionist paintings.