Arts After Hours

On August 12th, I'm throwing a backyard bash with Corey Jackson and Seth Albaum right behind the gallery in the Lynn Museum park.  That's this Thursday, so mark it down.

Daniel Arcand
For the past few years, LynnArts, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lynn Item and others put together programming called "Third Thursdays" in downtown Lynn. I loved Third Thursdays, but they weren't really about art. There were pizza tasting events, dog parades, road races, haunted houses, etc. Don't get me wrong, my family attended almost all of them, and we loved going, but they weren't about art, save for the band that usually ended up playing in the background with few listening, and the dancers who performed during the international festival event. The only people who really put a heavy focus on art was RAW, each time opening up for children to create a piece or draw out on the street with chalk (one of my favorite things to do at Third Thursday events).

Michiko Imai
Finally, the program flopped with the partners going back to their respective corners, each picking their favorite event, and doing it on their own. The problem I have with this is that whether or not Third Thursdays was successful for the institutions, it was successful in many other regards. The events brought people out to the street to engage with each other in a meaningful way. They brought people downtown to see the new developments and to see that the neighborhood had changed, encouraging people to come back and take part in the heart of their community. It also pushed out those people who would like to see it turn back to ten years ago when everything was boarded up and people could go about their illicit business like no body's business.

When Third Thursdays went away, so did many of the families who had just started returning to the downtown. The commentators in the local paper started posting things like "Lynn isn't an artsy-fartsy town" or "nothing good goes on in downtown Lynn at night."  Arts After Hours is our response to the naysayers, and also a step away from the the reliance on local institutions which are financially stunted from the recession to join in on the atmosphere of creativity, celebration, and livelihood that is popping up all over the city between exhibitions, studio spaces, coffee houses, concerts, movie nights, etc. Lynn is, indeed, an artsy-fartsy CITY, we just haven't really been too loud about it.

Sean Lobdell
So, Lynn Artists Voices Alliance was formed to see what could be done, and from that, Arts After Hours was born.

We all went back and forth between calling the event Artsy-Fartsy and After Hours. I think we made a pretty good decision, but we need your artsy-fartsy self down to Central Square this Thursday to join the rebellion against the naysayers who would have us pretend that Lynn is going to stay just the way their lazy butts have liked it all these years.

When someone draws a line in the sand, it's in all of our natures to cross it, well, at least it is in mine and I'm pretty sure Seth and Corey's as well. They say Lynn is a dormant city because all they can see from where they are standing is the swell; the real storm has been building and the first waves are only just now starting to come to shore... We're ready to ride the waves, are you?

So, this Thursday night we have a bunch of artists coming to show you a sampling of their work, we have a couple of bands, and a fire performance art group. You'll have to go check out the website to get all of the names and info: http://www.artsafterhours.com. My favorite wine bar will also be serving up some of their stash, but it's the good stuff, peeps. We'll also have finger foods and some non-alcohol beverages.

Rumor has it that the next Arts After hours event is going to be pretty bad ass too, with some major twists on what you're used to. So show up and give us a reason to keep going, that's all we're getting out of this, is reasons, so keep them coming. Half of the proceeds are going to the Lynn Museum, for letting us use their space, and the other half is going towards the next event.

Bring your lawn chairs, bring your backyard fun and games, and bring your friends!

More about the artists coming soon.

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