Middletown: an art town? A follow-up to last year’s series

Listen to the episode

Lee Godburn and Sandra Russo-Driska share what’s new in the arts. You can find listings at https://www.downtownmiddletown.com/ (The furry screen over the mic buffers the wind but is helpless against the noise of passing heavy trucks on Main Street! Part of the city’s charm?)

Today, in my continuing quest to make Middletown, CT, an arts destination, I offer a follow-up to last year’s three-part series on the subject. In that first stab at it, we heard from artists and local art leaders, plus the mayor, about what it would take to have a few art galleries along Main Street or, at the very least, art displays in some of the vacant storefronts there. People agreed that would be great but weren’t exactly optimistic. Apparently, for all its charms – a wide main street, a world-class university, a lovely river – Middletown lacks an important element; namely, a benefactor with deep pockets. Also, a populace of art-buyers.

So what to do?

As you’ll hear in this first episode of the new series, all is not lost, as creative stuff is happening. Sandra Russo-Driska, coordinator of the Downtown Business District, and Lee Godburn, chairman of the Middletown Arts Commission’s 50th anniversary planning committee, recently met me downtown in the spacious alleyway next to BrewBakers on Main Street to catch me up on the latest developments in our mutual mission.

Mark your calendar, btw: the final First Friday arts fest of the year is on Sept. 2nd.

In the next episode, on Aug. 28, we’ll hear again from the mayor, who, I was delighted to learn, has a few artistic pursuits of his own. And in the third installment, on Sept. 11, we’ll talk with the originator of Middletown Arts Fest, Rachel DeCavage, and take in August event, chatting along Main Street with vendors and visitors.

But first, let’s meet Sandra and Lee.