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25 August 2018 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Chelsea North Common
The Chelsea Arts Collective (CAC), in collaboration with First Branch Community Collaborative, is set to host the first annual Arts on the Green Market & Festival Saturday, August 25th (10am-5pm), on the North Common green in historic Chelsea Village. This one-day community event will be free and open to the public and will feature more than twenty-five New England artists and vendors, musical performances, and culinary treats from Green Mountain Pizza Co., Sweet Doe Dairy Gelato, Chicken Wiggle Farm, and Cornerstone Catering. Art activities for children and families will take place throughout the day, along with a silent auction of regional works. The festival schedule will include music by: singer-songwriters, Jason Baker and Doug Perkins; Arabalon drumming ensemble; the all-female trio, Tamarack; and Jazz Tweed Duo.
“I really believe in the power of the arts to lift a community,” says Carrie Caouette-De Lallo, founder of the Chelsea Arts Collective; a group dedicated to supporting and promoting opportunities for artists in Chelsea, VT and from the surrounding region. “I have seen transformations occur in places where I have lived, when people embraced the arts and committed to making the arts available and accessible. Visual arts, craft, music, theater—are all celebration of what resides inside us and should be shared joyfully with others.”
“The Collective is very much an action group,” says Sarah Caouette, co-founder of First Branch Community Collaborative (FBCC), the partner organization that has been collaborating with the CAC for the last few months to plan the event. “There are many ideas being exchanged these days about ways we can enhance and revitalize our town. Actually putting ideas into action is both challenging and exciting.”
The Collective is made up of multi-talented, working artists from around the First Branch region who already understood how art invites people to dream. Through their collective experience and expertise, they have felt empowered to develop arts projects and events that could help restore a sense of vibrancy and vitality to their community, as well as potentially stimulate sustainable rural growth. An example of one of their projects that has really taken off and has been embraced by the community is their Chelsea Barn Quilt Project.
The FBCC had followed a similar path to organizing— recruiting civic-minded residents from different sectors, skill-sets and backgrounds, who wanted to and who were ready to, facilitate, advocate and create opportunities for economic development and social impact in their local community. “It just made sense for us to join forces,” says Caouette. “They [CAC] had the great ideas, and we were able to provide support around those ideas—administrative support, marketing and outreach support, moral support.”
Chelsea, like many small towns in Vermont, has felt dynamic changes in recent years due to regulatory and economic factors. Stores have closed, the high school has closed, and high flood insurance premiums have made a great impact on the local housing market. Not to mention homeowner taxes have increased, while homes within the historic village designation have been devalued to a fraction of what they were once worth. Despite these challenges, the Chelsea Arts Collective and the First Branch Community Collaborative see art as a way to bring alive and bring together their community, once again.
In the spirit of Chelsea’s Old Home Day, which was traditionally held in the month of August, their hope is the Arts on the Green Market & Festival offers a new tradition that is inspiring, interactive, and inclusive. They invite art lovers of all communities to come share the day and celebrate the innovative spirit that aligns naturally with creative endeavors.
For more information about the Arts on the Green Market & Festival, please visit the festival website: https://www.chelseavt-arts.com/about-the-festival.html