Editorials


Alive With The Arts

Published: September 13, 2018 at 04:30 pm

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Imagine a world where vignettes of life are captured in paint, in sound, in movement; carved from stone or rendered in fabric; where science explodes with vision. It is a world that exists: the world of art.

Newtown will come alive with art this weekend. Music, dance, visual, and verbal works of art are all part of the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission’s Seventh Annual Arts Festival presentation.

Each year, the event has evolved to include creative (not surprisingly) new offerings and a wonderful selection of skilled artists sharing their works.

For those of a pragmatic mindset, why artists create art — some of which takes much pondering, some of which appears to be as physically and mentally painful as it is enlightening — can be mysterious. But numerous studies have highlighted the positive benefits of creating art in any form.

Creating art relieves stress, encourages broad creative thinking, stimulates brain connectivity, and improves the quality of life, even for those in ill health. That many found healing through the offerings of art activities and events following the tragedy of 12/14 speaks to this.

Artists create, it seems, because they must. You don’t have to be an artist, though, to reap the benefits. Taking time to view and appreciate art created by others can be equally rewarding. Like the creation of art, taking in art reduces stress. It can improve memory and a person’s ability to empathize with others, and it is said to boost spiritual well being. Attitudes improve and resiliency increases. (The NewArts program, strengthening our young people and helping them grow emotionally, is one example of the use of art to become more resilient.)

The Newtown Arts Festival kicks off Friday evening with an appearance by the former Billy Joel band, The Lords of 52nd Street, up at Fairfield Hills.

Saturday is jam-packed with art events: all day art activities and demonstrations in various tents and on the grounds of Fairfield Hills for all ages and interests, vendors of original art, promotional booths, food trucks, and music and dance, from 11 am to 5 pm. The art-hungry will want to get tickets for the evening’s entertainment as well, when art takes the form of music, dance, theater, and oral readings on the main stage, from 6 to 10 pm. Sunday continues with the many activities and vendor offerings, again from 11 am to 5 pm. It truly is a weekend of celebrating the arts.

This is an opportunity to support the arts in Newtown. Proceeds from the Celebration of the Arts fund grants and scholarships for local artists, art festivals, and other programs sponsored by the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission. Those who most regrettably must miss the September 14-16 festival will be pleased to know that the Commission continues to promote the arts locally throughout the month of October with other performances and events.

Imagination fires art; art fires imagination. Imagine a world where creating art and appreciating art results in a relaxed, positive, and empathetic population. This weekend could light the fire.

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