Danbury News-Times Article.
March 07, 2016
BENEFITING: HOMETOWN BETHEL INC
Bethel Arts is a community-based volunteer group that seeks to promote, build and support all facets of the arts and creative culture in the town of Bethel,Ct.
Supported by the town of Bethel, Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Cultural Alliance of Western CT, National Endowment for the Arts, State Department of Economic and Community Development - Office of the Arts and the Western CT State University Foundation; Bethel Arts is working with renowned sculptor David Boyajian and a variety of local artists to adorn Bethel's downtown with a large scale outdoor sculpture exhibit.
Bethel Arts is 1/3 of the way to their goal as they received a $5,000 grant from the state of Connecticut to implement a one year art project. The exhibit will last one year and will run from the spring of 2016 to the spring of 2017. Bethel's downtown will be transformed into a place of curiosity and joy, as a collection of large sculptures invite area residents to ask questions and spark their curiosity as they try and decipher what these beautiful creations are trying to tell us. In order for this to happen, Bethel Arts needs our community to come together. Our goal is to enhance community participation in the public art process through engagement of the public. Being a part of the process, as opposed to watching it happen, will not only promote our community's identity, it will celebrate Bethel's unique character, history and diversity through a public art project.
We all know Bethel is great; let’s enhance our economic vitality by using public art to brand Bethel as a destination and add dimension to our civic spaces. The nonprofit arts and culture are a $653 million industry in the state of Connecticut. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations leverage $197.5 million in additional spending by art and culture audiences that pump into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and other businesses. A typical art event can garner between $25-$30 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission or donation, on items such as meals, parking and babysitters. Factor in non-local audiences and that number increases to almost $40. Imagine the foot traffic and economic uptick a public sculpture walk would provide.
We're not talking a simple investment in a pretty piece of artwork, we're talking an investment in the community, an investment in your family, your neighbor and yourself. Let's flourish as a locale that ensures our young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace. Let's take control of our future and establish our town's ability to successfully undertake and support a major art installation.
The groundwork has been set, now it's up to the businesses and residents of Bethel and the surrounding towns to support this project and inspire each other to build the bridge between cultures that will bring us together to generate an atmosphere of collaboration, growth, and vitality in our town.
With your help, we can bring Bethel’s culture and arts to the forefront and reach a milestone by establishing a flourishing community that participates in and supports the arts while enhancing our town’s standing as a regional destination.
For more information on Bethel Arts, go to our website at www.bethelartsct.org