Arts: The Arts Are Not Just Nice, They Are Necessary

 A Column by Kevin Howard

A Column by Kevin Howard

It is safe to say that anyone who has spent the last six months on Cape Cod is probably sick of winter and ready for a real Spring. What everyone should also recognize is that the arts were our winter doldrums lifeline.

As we were feeling cabin fever after the latest winter storm, you could catch the Cape Symphony performing Chris Brubeck’s “Spontaneous Combustion” with the incredible violinist Nick Kendall.

Or how about a Saturday afternoon in March when over 500 people attended the opening of the All About Seven exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Art?

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Perhaps you were one of those people who can say they were there for the first annual NO20 Jazz Festival in Orleans with Evan Christopher from New Orleans.

There were coffee houses at The Mews on Monday nights in Provincetown and Open Mics on Wednesday nights at Harvest Gallery and Wine Bar in Dennis.

Literally from Bourne (Buzzards Play Productions Rocky Horror Picture Show) to Provincetown Theater’s Winter Reading Series, people were saved from the desperation of watching House of Cards for the third time through.

We all have our personal favorites of arts spaces, performance preferences and genres but attending and participating is part of the rich and rewarding life that we are privileged to live on Cape Cod.

We have unique opportunities to be inspired, enlightened and entertained in a way that brings generations together.

The next time you are chatting with family and friends, think about how your conversations are enriched by the arts.

The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod: Supporting, Promoting and Strengthening the Creative Community

It is a busy time for the Arts Foundation. We have just awarded $28,000 in grant to many deserving arts organizations as the first in a bi-annual funding cycle. We were pleased to create a new grant category: Strategic Alliance Grants which were award to 15 major Cape Cod cultural institutions.

The 15 organizations collectively welcomed over 620,000 visitors/audience members; have over 35,000 members; employ over 400 people and have collective budgets in excess of $13M.

These jewels and gems also drive economic activity into the community in lodging, restaurant visits and shopping.

The AFCC also conducted its Spring Talent Search for its TD Bank Summer concert series which will happen in Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis, Yarmouth, Dennis Port, Harwich, Chatham and Orleans.

The Lanes in Mashpee hosted a fantastic showcase of Cape-based bands that touched on an eclectic mix of musical genres and the winter was… Chicken Fry, a talented group that plays Southern-infused folk rock featuring intricate acoustic stringed-instrument play and sweet vocal harmonies. For a listing of where the concerts will be and whose playing, go to artsfoundation.org.

Summer is Pops seasons and this year, the 29th Annual Citizens Bank Pops by the Sea will be presented on Hyannis Village Green on Sunday August 10th featuring the Boston Pops esplanade Orchestra, under the direction of Keith Lockhart and Celebrity Guest Conductor Charlie Rose. On Saturday August 23rd the 25th Annual Cape Cod Five Pops in the Park will feature the Cape Symphony Orchestra with Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak. The largest cultural event on the Lower Cape, this Silver Anniversary will feature some highlights from 25 years of delighting audiences with one of the strongest regional orchestras in the country.

 

Innovation Comes To The Arts

On June 1st, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod will launch –ArtsCapeCod, the first comprehensive web site that will include listings of all the cultural events on Cape Cod. By all estimations, there are close to 3,000 events that occur annually here and the added bonus will be an on-line box office that will allow visitors to the site to book shows from all over the Cape. Plan your weekend or plan your vacation. While you diving head first into the digital age, go to your mobile phone app store and load (for free!) the Cape Cod ArtsApp, which will give you a geo-locational map showing galleries, museums, theaters and other cultural venues. It’s a great way to go arts-exploring. Happy trails! 

 Kevin Howard is the President and CEO of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.