Fitton Center announces upcoming performance arts season: What to know

Fitton Center for the Arts in Hamilton. COX MEDIA GROUP
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Fitton Center for the Arts in Hamilton. COX MEDIA GROUP

Live sharks event will kick off season that will also offer music, shows and more.

Fitton Center for Creative Arts has announced the 2021-2022 season of performances, exhibitions and events, which will kick off on Wednesday, Nov. 3, with the first Celebrating Self luncheon, “Live Sharks!” with the WAVE Foundation at 11:30 a.m.

“We are going to go big. We’re starting with live sharks at the Fitton Center. The WAVE Foundation will be here for our Celebrating Self Series, and they are bringing live sharks to kick off the season,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

Accompanied by lunch and local live music, the “Celebrating Self” luncheon series will feature a number of regional speakers, including Christmas Lights with the Hormans on Wednesday, Dec. 1; Saad Ghosn, founder of SOS Art, on Wednesday, Jan. 12; Evan Millward from WCPO Channel 9 on Wednesday, Feb. 2; Kathleen Kern of Churchill’s Tea on Wednesday, March 2, and Trace Fowler from the Hamiltonian Magazine on Wednesday, April 6. Celebrating Self programs will begin at 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday.

“We are incredibly excited to have performances, exhibitions and events live at the Fitton Center again. As you know, we’ve been working very hard with our community partners to bring performances outside such as ‘Fitton Outside the Box,’ ‘Fitton on the Hill,’ the Wings of Hope project and the Hamilton Current digital exhibition, but we are incredibly excited to have live performances back inside the Fitton Center,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Jazz & Cabaret, Fitton Showstoppers! and Fitton Family Fridays series will continue to feature local and national performers in the Fitton Family Theater as well as in the Carruthers’ Signature Ballroom.

“Little Mermaid” on Friday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m., presented by Lexington Children’s Theatre, is one of the highlights in the Fitton Family Fridays series. Tickets are $5 for members and $7 for non-members.

Boogiejuice Funk n’ Horns will bring a collection of funk soul and R&B Tunes from artists like Stevie Wonder, Prince, Barry White and Marvin Gaye to the Fitton Family Theater on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Fitton Showstoppers! series. Just in time for the holidays, and featuring jazz vocalist Mandi Gaines, “A Swingin’ Christmas with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra” will be held on Friday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Other popular performances on the Fitton Showstoppers! series will include Shades of Buble, a three-man tribute to Michael Buble on Saturday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” featuring Just Strange Brothers on Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The Jazz & Cabaret series will feature Professor Dan, Rio Van and the Jazz Co-Op on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue: Live on Saturday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Fitton Showstoppers! and the Jazz & Cabaret events are $29 for members and $37 for non-members.

Additionally, Fitton’s art galleries will offer several exhibitions throughout the performing arts season including the 8th Biennial Member Show that opens on Friday, April 22, with a free gallery opening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The gallery opening will be followed by a Fitton Family Friday performance of “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” presented by Lexington Children’s Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

“We are looking forward to having people back in the building. The energy in this is derived from our patrons, guests and members being here. One thing we learned during the pandemic, as much as we could do things online, you can’t download that feeling, energy and excitement you have from a live performance and bringing people together,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Fitton Center lost a partial season in 2019-2020, and a full season in 2020-2021. This year’s season will also be shortened due to the pandemic. Typically, there is a season launch event in August, followed by shows and events that begin in September and run through May. This year’s season will run November through May, and there will not be a season launch party.

Fitton Center members will receive early access and discounted tickets, which are benefits of a Fitton Center membership. Single and family memberships are currently being discounted 20% off the regular membership prices through the end of October. Fitton Center members will receive a printed season brochure in the mail. The complete season brochure is also currently available online at fittoncenter.org.

The Fitton Center will continue to work closely with the City of Hamilton Health Department and City officials. Currently, there is a requirement for all participants to wear masks while attending performances, exhibitions and other events at the Fitton Center. (There is currently no vaccination requirement at the Fitton Center.) A complete outline of COVID-19 policies and guidelines are available at www.fiittoncenter.org.

Tickets will go on sale for members on Monday, Oct. 11. Tickets will go on sale for the general public/non-members on Monday, Oct. 18. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.fittoncenter.org, call 513-863-8873, ext. 110, or email frontdesk@fittoncenter.org.

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