Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD The sights and sounds of the downtown green will be filled with the pulse of artistic ingenuity this summer.
In an dual effort to promote downtown revitalization and youth's exposure to the arts, Gerald Eugene Tracy, photographer and owner of the Tea Pot Gallery on Elm Street, has organized the first "Talented Tots and Teens on the Green," every Saturday from June 21 Aug. 30, 10 a.m. 4 p.m.
"Talented Tots and Teens on the Green," an extension of his annual "Arts on the Green" during Labor Day weekend, will allow the youth of greater Westfield a venue to display their art, perform and promote their creativity.
"What we are trying to do is give the children a summer home for the arts," Tracy said. "I'm trying to fill the gaps in the schools' curriculum and support the arts."
Performances on the Green's stage will include a 45-minute performance of "Alice in Wonderland" by the Floralia Children's Company.
Amy Parks, director of the Floralia Children's Company and owner of Huntington Dance Studio, said this venue gives her dancers ages six to 17 the opportunity not only to perform but also to gain exposure to peers also interested in the arts.
"To complete a person they must have more than sports and school. We're trying to encourage their humanity and to express themselves and help spread creativity," Tracy said.
He explained that the event is still looking for performers and artists looking to display their work. Tracy said every Saturday night "Talented Tots and Teens on the Green" will be followed by "Saturday Night Live," a summer concert series from 6 11 p.m. Musicians are also encouraged to sign up for this event.
Tracy said he has raised $3,000 of his $8,000 goal for "Talented Tots and Teens on the Green." Funds will go towards the stage, tent and sound systems, he explained. Donations are also welcome. He said he has received donations from several institutions including United Bank.
Dena Hall, vice president of marketing and community relations at United Bank, said the institution gave Tracy a $1,000 contribution for the event. She explained that Tracy appealed to United Bank through their Charitable Giving Program to promote community cultural activities.
Located in the epicenter of downtown, United Bank and the Tea Pot Gallery are looking to promote its revitalization. "We hope that people who come realize that we are trying to revitalize downtown and make it a destination as it was through so many other times in its history," Tracy said.
To sign up to perform, display art work or teach classes during "Talented Tots and Teens on the Green" or "Saturday Night Live" or to make donations call Tracy at the Tea Pot Gallery at 562-6966.
For more information about the Tea Pot Gallery go to www.3tg.teapot-gallery.com.