Joeline Connellan photo

We started the Guilford Performing Arts Festival in 2017 to energize the Connecticut Shoreline every two years with a free, multi-day, multi-venue festival that provides great entertainment, innovative education and positive economic, social and cultural impact.

In each of our first two seasons, we presented as many as 70 free events in some 15 Guilford venues. We’ve staged concerts, plays, readings, workshops, discussions and spontaneous happenings on and around the picturesque and historic town Green.

Covid-19 upended our plans in 2021 but offered a unique opportunity to commission new work by Connecticut performing artists and premiere it at the festival. We’ll present six world premieres in dance, drama and music, created for the most part during a tumultous year of pandemic shutdown, cultural flashpoints and political turmoil. The artists will also teach workshops and master classes, as well as take part in community conversations about their work and its inspiration. We expect the festival to return to its usual scale in 2023.

The Guilford Performing Arts Festival is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization managed by an all-volunteer board of directors. With the exception of some contracted expertise in marketing and production, the organization is staffed and the festival staged entirely by volunteers. We couldn’t do this without the tremendous support of a wonderful, creative, arts-loving, tight-knit and generous community.