Guests will have an opportunity to experience everything the Fitton Center has to offer when the “Center of it All” 2017-18 Season Launch event returns to the Fitton Center on Friday, Aug. 18 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the third year for the annual Fitton Center Season Launch party, which is free and open to the public.
The Fitton Center has had an overwhelming response to the season launch events.
“Our very first year, we honestly didn’t know what to expect. We catered for 250 people, and 700 guests showed up. Our membership went up 40 percent that week,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.
Here are a few reasons to go to this year’s event:
1. GET TO KNOW THE FITTON CENTER
Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center, said the event is an exciting opportunity to experience everything the Fitton Center has to offer — from the basement to the ballroom.
“This is the third of our annual season launches, so we are excited to be back again this year. We’re getting bigger and better each year,” he said.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the building. Every gallery, studio, classroom and event space will be open. The theater will be open.
A brand-new tenant that works in the Fitton Center called InkEngines — a digital production company — will be open, MacKenzie-Thurley said.
Building on the season’s theme, “Center of it All,” MacKenzie-Thurley said the Fitton Center continues to be a place for the community to gather.
“Obviously, the arts are our focus, but for other community partners to work alongside of us, and draw people in, we find that really exciting. The engagement has been extremely positive from throughout the community, and we’re delighted by that,” he said.
2. SEE ARTISTS AT WORK
Additionally, there will be artists working and creating, and if guests would like to ask about a certain class or activity, staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions or to provide them with more information.
3. GET FIRST LOOK AT NEW FITTON CINEMA
“We saw over 1,000 people at last year’s Season Launch event and once again, we encourage people to bring someone to the Fitton that has never been here before… We will also be unveiling the new Fitton Cinema in the Fitton Family Theater, and short films will be playing throughout the evening,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.
4. TONS OF ART, ENTERTAINMENT
The evening’s highlights will include a full open house, along with live music by the 25-piece P&G Big Band from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Other features will include class demonstrations, an exhibition opening and the presentation of the 2017-18 season of performances, exhibitions and events.
The current “Crossing Over” exhibition will be celebrated with a gallery opening. The exhibition will remain on display through Sept. 22. There will be four major art exhibitions that make up the season, including the 6th Biennial Fitton Center Member Showcase, which opens on April 14.
Appetizers will be provided throughout the evening with a cash bar available on the Riverview Terrace.
5. THERE’S AN AFTER PARTY
New this year will be the Fitton Center Season Launch Official After Party at Municipal Brew Works, from 9 p.m. to closing. The event will feature food trucks and an official “Center of it Ale” beer.