It’s late April, and things are warming up, looking up and opening up on the Shoreline—as we busily plan this fall’s Guilford Performing Arts Festival! We believe it’s essential that we finally come together again for live performance, though because of the impact of Covid-19, we’re going to do things differently this time. We’ll feature six artists whose work is informed by their experiences in one of the most culturally fallow but socially and politically explosive periods in recent American history. We’ll celebrate human expression, live-and-in-person together, as a kind of cultural vaccine. Let’s see if we can put the lingering effects of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror.

You may recall that we provided $15,000 in grants to six Connecticut performing artists to create new work and premiere it at the 2021 festival. Our funding has helped them stay creative during challenging times, and we’re going to build the festival around them.

Over a weekend in September, you’ll see, hear and feel how these talented artists have dealt with the past year and the deep, human issues brought to the surface: isolation, fear, love and connection; racial and gender bias; the fragmentation of a society long seen as a global model of health and stability. We’ll follow each show with a conversation in which audiences can dialogue with the artist, learn about the performance and what inspired it, and discuss and reflect on the issues raised, how they were affected and what they take away.

We’re planning the safest and highest-quality festival possible, holding all events under an open tent on the Guilford Green. Shows will take place from Friday night, September 24, through Sunday evening, September 26.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for the third biennial Guilford Performing Arts Festival (Cultural Vaccine Edition!). Even better, become a financial supporter, business sponsor or volunteer. Contact us at gpafest@gmail for more information.