Arts Festival Off to a Good Start

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Photo by Lester Smith

As dusk fell, a big crew of the individual performers gathered on stage for an enthusiastic “We Are the World” finale for the Arts Festival.

The wide-ranging presentations at the Suffield Arts Festival offered the town an opportunity to enjoy a free sample of local music, dance, drama, mime, comedy, painting, crafts and more. The Suffield Youth Theater (SYT), always adventurous, tackled this as their summer event on Saturday, July 14. There was much to enjoy.

In addition to SYT regulars, there were performers from the Around Town Two singers, Red Door Theater, Springfield Drama Studio, Moxie Dance Center (West Hartford), Suffield High’s Improv Club, the “Time Was” trio and musicians and artisans and artists of various genres. Several large tents were set up, and as this was an all-day affair, SYT arranged for a variety of food vendors and other amenities.

Helpful support for the event was provided by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving with a $3,250 grant from the Astrid and Fred Hanzelek Fund II and the David L. Coffin, Jr., Memorial Fund (both Suffield families). In a press release, the Foundation quoted SYT co-founder Dominic Colangelo saying, “These donor-advised funds from the Hartford Foundation helped us to create our first large-scale project… The funding went a very, very long way to help us achieve our dreams and bring our community together for a truly spectacular event.” From the festival stage, Dom also thanked other supporters and spoke of his gratitude for the help provided by the Suffield Highway crew and the Connecticut inmates who volunteer regularly to help with Suffield projects.

The young impresarios of the SYT are now entering their senior year. If our town is lucky enough, these young men, or their successors after graduation next spring, can learn from this good beginning and do even better next year. 

Photo by Lester Smith

Lyle Pearsons, proprietor and director of the Red Door Theater, brought a talented group of his students to the festival and offered a sample of his own performance skill with an entrancing mime sequence.

Photo by Lester Smith

Jenna McCue and Ben Grigoriou sang and strummed beautifully.

Photo by Lester Smith

Throughout the Arts Festival, some of the presentations were impromptu, as this one seems, with the singers reading their lyrics off a cell phone. From the left: Liam Duffy, Kush Shah and Dom Colangelo, all co-founders of the Suffield Youth Theater.

Photo by Lester Smith

Colin Parrow, a 2018 graduate of Suffield Academy, was one of the artisans present. He set up a potter’s wheel from his alma mater to demonstrate how to create some artistic ceramics. Clockwise from front right: Elizabeth and James Strong, Sabrina and Arianna Plaz.

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