SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid. The district has partnered with 1550 Main Street, New England Public Radio (NEPR), and the UMass Center at Springfield to open three galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks, drinks, and appetizers, there will be street performances and other surprises.
“There’s always a demand for more community-based events, and we’ve been working hard to make this something special,” said Morgan Drewniany, director of the Cultural District. “It’s not just a gallery opening; it’s going to be an exciting event that shows what the district hopes to see more of downtown.”
The SCCD, along with organizing the curation of art in all three spaces, has hired unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. There will be activities between the locations ranging from live mural making, to an indie-jazz duo, to traditional fiddle. Inside the galleries, visitors can ask the artists questions one on one and key down from their workday.
Art Stop was launched in October 2016 as a pilot program. “The response from the community was huge,” Drewniany said. “I spoke with people who hadn’t been downtown in years, and they simply effervesced with enthusiasm for infusing more art into the rapidly developing district.”
A call for art was issued in February from the SCCD, asking for local artists interested in selling their work downtown to submit proposals. The RFP closes Friday, March 17. Art Stop was designed to both activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, but also create economic opportunity for artists.