Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, we frequently discuss the significance of the relationship between the arts and a healthy well-being. The arts, for example, are “a positive experience in a troubled world,” according to 73% of Americans. The arts even offer healing benefits to medical patients including reduced length of hospital stays, fewer medical visits, and improved recovery time. We explore the science behind the arts and your mind in 7 Ways the Arts Can Benefit your Health. We even award annual Arts & Wellness Grants to support programs and projects that address health issues by utilizing creativity as a tool to enrich lives. We know the Arts are a key ingredient to a happy and healthy life, and we work every day to ensure the arts enhance the vibrancy of the Greater Hartford community.
This year, at Big Red for the Arts (coming to Infinity Music Hall on March 9th), we’re supporting the arts in an entirely new way: through live performance. In our efforts to build bridges among communities and showcase the healing powers of the arts, we’ve curated an impressive lineup you won’t want to miss!
Cuatro Puntos, “Celebrating Deaf Music Culture”
Meaning “four points” in Spanish, Cuatro Puntos is an organization dedicated to achieving musical diplomacy and bringing people from all parts of the world together through music. Bridging cultures is fundamental to Cuatro Puntos’ core mission. With support and sponsorship from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Cuatro Puntos recently completed a project in which the hearing and the Deaf were brought together to experience each other’s culture.
Deaf culture’s relationship with Connecticut, and more specifically, Hartford, runs deep. Established in Hartford in 1817, and celebrating its bicentennial in 2017, the American School for the Deaf is the oldest free school for Deaf individuals in the country.
At Big Red for the Arts, Cuatro Puntos will be performing two selections from that project. They will perform part of the first string quartet Ludwig Van Beethoven performed after almost entirely losing his hearing. Thanks to his art, Beethoven found the strength to continue thriving despite this enormous personal and professional challenge. Second, Cuatro Puntos will perform a new piece by English composer, Sadie Harrison, written specifically for this project.
Hartford Opera Theater, “Opera Without Borders”
The Hartford Opera Theater is committed to enriching the lives of all members of the Greater Hartford community by offering quality, innovative, and affordable opera. Their 2016-2017 season entitled “Opera Without Borders” is dedicated to inclusion, community, freedom, communication, and giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.
“We are looking to breakdown walls and bring everyone into the fold. We want to stretch operatic production conventions and challenge the stereotypes associated with a classical music audience. We believe every audience can be provoked by experiencing these works and most importantly leave our performances with a different perspective on the piece.” – Hartford Opera Theater, “Opera Without Borders” Blog
Their performance will feature selections from Copland’s “The Tender Land” and Wolfson’s “The Faith Operas” to reflect these principles of inclusion, community, freedom, and communication and highlight themes of faith, partnership, growth, and aspiration.
Sonia Plumb Dance Company, “Changing Perspective”
Our Ignition Grantee, Sonia Plumb Dance Company is dedicated to fulfilling their mission of “enriching and educating the community through innovative modern dance”. The Sonia Plumb Dance Company believes that audiences of all ages can benefit directly from their creative process and provides an assortment of classes including (but not limited to) Advance Ballet and Dance Technique for Children on the Autism Spectrum.
Their performance of “Changing Perspective” features excerpts from three of their most thought-provoking dances in the last five years. “River” (2012) is excerpted from the full-length dance “Water Wars” that explores our human relationship to water in terms of beauty, tragedy and necessity. “Random XY” (2016) dives into the sights and sounds of New York City, an on-going hub for breaking new artistic ground, and finally, “Fire or Ice” (2016) speaks to the challenges and curiosities of crossing town, cultural, state and international borders through two heads of state.
Mixashawn, “Sound Evolution”
Lee “Mixashawn” Roxie has been a practicing multi-disciplinary and internationally acclaimed Jazz artist for the past three decades. He will be performing an interactive solo that follows the journey of Indigenous music from its ancient roots on voice, drum and flute into the modern form of Native American jazz and blues.
Beginning his journey as an indigenous artist, Lee “Mixashawn” Roxie used ancient cultural principles, maritime arts and written and oral historical data to form a system of “Hemispheric Principles” to guide his art form. As an indigenous artist and an educator, Mixashawn offers a number of classes and workshops on indigenous music to inspire creativity and encourage natural expression for all ages.
Tickets are still available! Show YOUR support for the arts and join us by purchasing your tickets here!
Help us make an impact in 2017! Buy your Big Red for the Arts ticket above or give to our United Arts Campaign to build a stronger arts and cultural community in Greater Hartford.