Business Quarterly: Arts offer opportunity for connection during summer at Jaffrey Civic Center

  • Bucket drumming was a popular event at last year's Front Lawn Fun program. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Children get creative at Jaffrey Civic Center. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Visitors attend a Jaffrey Civic Center art reception. COURTESY PHOTO

  • A drumming circle with the village drum at the 2021 Front Lawn Fun program. COURTESY PHOTO

For the Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/25/2023 10:21:10 AM

Each season at the Jaffrey Civic Center has its distinct appeal and impact, and summer without a doubt is one of the busier times of the year.

The Jaffrey Civic Center, located in a region known for its natural beauty and culture, has a large community of year-round and summer residents. Many of the region’s year-round residents take frequent holidays to visit warmer zip codes during the colder months, and summer is the center's opportunity to re-engage these year-round residents as well as attract visitors to the region with exciting opportunities in the arts.

The center’s Front Lawn Fun cultural programming series was born out of a need to engage visitors in the summertime while making use of the center’s vast front lawn. The event series takes place on Fridays, July until mid-August each year. Each week features a different visual artist providing a community art activity or performing artists putting on an interactive show.

Community members and visitors to the region are encouraged to take part in these events each Friday. This free event series is a wonderful way to engage new and diverse audiences.

Another exciting summer event that the civic center created to engage people in the arts and outdoor activities is the Artist and garden tour. This year's event took place on July 1. The tour had eight garden sites with an artist at each. Tour participants, which this year numbered about 100, had the opportunity to visit each of the gardens as well as interact with artists at the gardens.

It was an incredible way to highlight the talent of the Jaffrey Civic Center artist community while getting people involved and being outdoors in nature. After the event concluded, the center hosted a wet-paint sale, which was a fundraiser for the civic center.

Additionally, the center is busy in the summer with exhibitions and educational programs. Warmer weather, long days,= and more free time, all of which are available in the summer, tend to bring more visitors to the center’s exhibitions and events. At any given time, there are up to three exhibition areas at the center providing interesting works of art for visitors to enjoy.

In addition to the center’s summer programs, there are many things happening in the larger Jaffrey community that are magnificent events to support in the summertime and that provide an opportunity for the civic center to engage with other organizations and businesses. For example, Riverfest is an annual event which attracts large numbers of visitors as well as residents to come to downtown Jaffrey. The center has provided a space for some of these events to occur, as well as hosting our own programming during the event.

Riverfest is a celebrated event that individuals look forward to every year and this brings in large numbers of people to the civic center, as well.

All seasons are vital at the Jaffrey Civic Center, and it is always a wonderful time to engage in the arts, but summer offers a unique opportunity to engage larger numbers and showcase itself as the heart of the arts for the Monadnock region.

Rebecca Fredrickson is executive director of Jaffrey Civic Center


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