Lisa Scails, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut joins Comcast Newsmakers host Nathan O’Leary to discuss the importance of the Arts in communities, including the Healing Newtown Project.
NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -
On the two-month anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, an art gallery held its grand opening as a way of helping the community heal.
A vacant storefront on Queen Street will now serve as the Healing Newtown Arts Space.
"It came about from tragedy, but came as healing center," said artist Jennifer Johnston, who was involved in a similar type of healing after 9/11.
On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother at their home, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 children and adults.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made an appearance at the grand opening Thursday afternoon along with singer/songwriter Jim Allyn and Ballerina's, which is Newtown's children's chorus and acrobats.
"It really helps families, adults and children to get creative and express themselves," Johnston said.
One Newtown mother said the gallery is already helping the healing process.
"It's brilliant I think it's a wonderful thing for us, to help heal," sais Saba Quraishi.
A fundraiser was held so Healing Newtown can find a permanent place to call home.
They plan on using all kinds of art resources from near and far including donated displays, art therapy and even teaching art, to name a few.
Healing Newtown will be open every day.
Celebrating a day of love in Newtown, News8, wtnh.com, Updated: Thursday, 14 Feb 2013, 10:55 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 14 Feb 2013, 5:56 PM EST
NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) -- On this valentine's day, a day when we celebrate love, the focus at the grand opening of "Healing Newtown" is showing love and healing hearts.
From magicians making cards disappear, to jugglers teaching tricks and kids making jewelry out of clay, "Healing Newtown" is a new space that hopes the arts will mend hearts broken by tragedy.
Artist Pedro Yanowitz brought this wall where visitors create art out of healing words. The New York City resident says a similar interactive project was affective post 9/11.
"When a tragedy strikes on a place, it's just nice to have a creative outlet," said Yanowitz.
For Carlo Tischio's daughter, Teresa, singing helped her heal.
"I think there are all different ways to express our grief and when we find outlets for it, then we can let it go," said Tischio.
She was one of dozens of kids to attend the grand opening of the arts space this Valentine's day, exactly 2 months after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and 6 adults.
For Newtown children like Ryan Greguski, this is a place where kids can be kids.
"It's fun for everybody to have something fun to do," said Greguski.
It is just a temporary space. The purpose of the event is also to fundraise so Healing Newtown can move into a permanent space and continue the work many say is so necessary.
"I think art is always good for everyone, in every circumstance. It's a way to express yourself, so it's a good idea," said Newtown resident Janice Tarten.
And through art they show the world after Tragedy. They "see the sun shining again."
"Everyone that's up there right now is just breaking my heart. They're just such beautiful expressions and words. I couldn't pick just one but there's magic going on," said Yanowitz.
The School of Visual and Performing Arts Instructional Center is on schedule to be completed in March 2014. SVPA departments will move into the facility in summer 2014 and classes will begin in the building in the fall 2014 semester.
The structural steel is progressing and scheduled to be complete in September 2012. A topping-off ceremony, the symbolic placement of the last piece of steel, took place on Friday, Sept. 7. During the fall 2012 semester, work will continue on the roof, floor slabs and exterior brick wall construction.
When completed, the building will boast a 350-seat concert hall, 350-seat theater, art gallery, recording studio and state-of-the-art rehearsal, classroom and studio art facilities.