The Guilford Performing Arts Festival (GPAF) was awarded non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service in July, enabling us to accept charitable donations and providing a possible tax incentive for people to invest in the festival and our community-building mission. With the expected expansion of our financial base, we’ll be able to present a larger and more diverse festival in 2019, build an infrastructure for sustainability and increase our impact on Guilford and the nearby community.

We were fortunate to have supporters such as the Guilford Foundation, Guilford Savings Bank, Bishop’s Orchards, Page Hardware & Appliance and other local businesses, which believed in the festival’s value to the Shoreline and were willing to invest without potential tax benefits. Now that we can offer individuals, businesses and foundations a tax incentive for donating, we can increase the scale and artistic range of the festival, extend our reach, and contribute more vigorously to the spirit and economy of Guilford.

The inaugural festival, held in October 2017, presented 44 performances and workshops in 17 venues. It featured 350 individual performers, attracted nearly 3,700 audience members and made a positive contribution to the economy of downtown Guilford.

Planning is underway for the second season, which will take place September 26-29, 2019. Centered around the picturesque Guilford Green, it will feature multiple genres of music and theater, opera, poetry and storytelling, ballet and contemporary dance, circus acts, buskers and spontaneous happenings. Performances and workshops will take place on the Green and in various other places in town—the community center, library, schools, churches, coffee shops, markets and bookstores, arts centers, farms and historic homes.

Our mission is to enliven the Shoreline, bring the community together, foster cultural diversity and illuminate important social issues, build audiences for live performance, provoke thought and encourage the creation of new work by Connecticut artists.

If you’d like to support the 2019 festival and our ongoing mission financially, please send checks, payable to GPAF, to Guilford Performing Arts Festival, 316 Little Meadow Road, Guilford, Connecticut 06437. Unfortunately, we’re not yet set up to accept credit cards, but we hope to be soon.

If you’d like to volunteer, or if you have any questions or suggestions, send an email to We promise we’ll be in touch with you quickly. Thank you for your interest and support!

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