Arts Center invites musicians to Open Jam

By KATE SNYDER

Community Arts Center 

What do you get when you combine an upright bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and a fiddle? A new program at the Community Arts Center!

The Arts Center has launched a new Open Jam program on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, from 7pm to 9pm. These informal gatherings are open to musicians of all skill levels and musical styles, including bluegrass, folk, country, rock and roll, blues, jazz, etc. Anyone with an acoustic instrument and desire to collaborate is welcome! Participating musicians are asked to donate $5, while appreciative spectators are free.

Open Jam came about at the urging of Arts Center instructor, Jonas Hurley. In addition to teaching ceramics and printmaking, Hurley is a musician and is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with others. “When you play with others you create harmonic/rhythmic complexity that you’ll not have playing solo,” says Hurley. “It allows for solos on top of the harmonic foundation the other guys are holding up.  Plus, when it clicks and sounds good, it’s a wonderful non-verbal system of communication.”

“We’re always interested in hearing programming ideas from the community,” says Executive Director Mary Beth Touchstone. “Our goal is to have the building humming with activity all day every day but we can’t do it alone. Some of our most successful programs – like the Lunch with the Arts lecture series – got started because a volunteer was passionate about an idea!”

The structure of the Open Jam sessions is deliberately loose and free-flowing. Hurley says, “If the songs are simple and we know them, we can just play them.  If they’re simple, but some folks don’t know them, just call out the chords changes beforehand and maybe go through them once.  If it’s hard and you like doing your homework, bring a chart or some sheet music.” The Arts Center’s Grand Hall is the ideal location for the jam sessions, with the high ceilings and wood floors providing rich woody acoustics.

The new program is sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda. Community Manager Robert Cunningham says of their decision to support Open Jam, “Across the United States, there are vital arts programs that are being cut due to growing budgetary constraints and lack of funding. When that happens, our citizens miss out on extremely valuable opportunities to expand their knowledge, diversify their interests, and have a little fun. We know funding for programs like these are difficult to come by, and we want to do our part to help make sure these programs remain available. “

IF YOU GO

Open Jam

2nd and 4th Fridays

Upcoming dates: March 24, April 14, April 28

7pm to 9pm

Suggested donation $5

On Exhibit

ReInterpret: Contemporary Landscapes by Billy Hertz

March 1 to April 29

Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm | Suggested donation $5

Coming Up:

Starry Night Studio: Hunny Bunny

Saturday, March 25 | 2pm to 4pm | $28

With Easter just around the corner, this cheerful bunny is sure to hop right into your heart! Personalize the background colors to match your spring decor. This kid-friendly class is great for beginners – or anyone with a fondness for seasonal whimsy. Recommended for ages 6+. Register online at www.communityartscenter.net

Starry Night Studio: Sign of Spring
Tuesday, March 28 | 7pm to 9pm | $28

Back by popular demand! Celebrate the promise of spring with this elegant painting. No experience? No problem! A professional artists will provide step-by-step instructions, helping you to create your own masterpiece. Recommended for ages 14+. Register online at www.communityartscenter.net

Starry Night Studio: Hummingbird

Tuesday, April 11 | 7pm to 9pm | $28

With its bright colors capturing the feeling of spring, this painting is sure to brighten up your home. Go from blank canvas to finished masterpiece in just two hours, thanks to step-by-step instructions from a professional artist. You’ll be amazed by what you can create! Register online at www.communityartscenter.net

Spring Break Camp

April 3 through 7 | 9am to 3pm

$50/day or $200/week

Staying in town over spring break? Your kids will have a blast at the Arts Center’s popular Spring Break Camp! Students in grades K-5 will explore a wide variety of art projects in mediums including drawing, painting, and ceramics. Sign up for a single day or come all week. Campers need to bring a packed lunch and should wear clothes that can get a bit messy! Register online at www.communityartscenter.net/arts-camps