Fitton Center introduces 2024-2025 season with early announcement

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts has announced the 2024-2025 season lineup with a series of posts on social media, which is earlier than in the past when the news was shared at the annual Season Launch Party.

This year’s “Community Block Party” Season Launch will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fitton Center and outdoors, along Monument Avenue.

“We wanted to tease people and let them know what’s in store for the season, and we’re not waiting until the Season Launch Party anymore. We are getting the information out as soon as we can,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at the Fitton Center.

He said the 2024-2025 season will kick off with a Pickleball BBQ on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 11:30 a.m. as part of the “Celebrating Self” Luncheon Series.

“The first event of the season is a ‘Celebrating Self,’ and we will see pickleball out in our parking lot. Our good friends from Pickleball Lodge here in Butler County will be hosting that event, and instead of showing a video, or talking about pickleball, we’re going to set up a pickleball court and we’re going to have a Pickleball BBQ,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

With four signature series — “Celebrating Self,” “Fitton Showstoppers!” “Fitton Family Fridays” and “Jazz & Cabaret” — the Fitton Center’s 2024-2025 performance season is expected to be packed.

The season will kick off with a full slate of performances that will begin in September and continue through May 2025.

“Hamilton is the busiest small city in the United States. There is so much happening in the city of Hamilton, and we want to be able to stake our claim. We wanted people to know there are shows going on all the way through May, so they can mark their calendars and make choices,” said MacKenzie-Thurley.

One performance on the “Fitton Showstoppers!” Series will include “Back2Mac, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac” on Saturday, Oct. 19. Other highlights include “Classic Country” on Saturday, Feb. 1, and “Just Strange Brothers Blues Explosion featuring Noah Wotherspoon” on Saturday, May 17. All “Fitton Showstoppers!” performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Guests can celebrate the holiday season with shows such as “Calypso Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 6, and “A Motown & More Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 14. The “Celebrating Self” Luncheon Series will feature “Decorating for Christmas” with professional Christmas tree decorators on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 11:30 a.m.

Fitton Family Fridays will kick off on Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. with “Winnie the Pooh” presented by Lexington Children’s Theatre.

“Because we have a lot of literary themed shows this year for Fitton Family Fridays, our friends from Hamilton Lane Library will be here. We’ll also have Metroparks of Butler County with a lot of Bee and Honey related things. We’re calling it a Kid’s Opening Night,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

In January, as part of the Jazz & Cabaret Series, “Good Grief” on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. will feature The Phil DeGreg Trio, who will return to the Fitton Center to perform “Peanuts” music by Vince Guaraldi.

The Fitton Center’s annual “Community Block Party” Season Launch will be held Aug. 17 from 3 to 8 p.m. The event is free to attend and open to the public. Tickets to all performances will go on sale to Fitton Center members on Aug. 12, and non-members can purchase tickets beginning on Aug. 17.

The open house-style Season Launch event will provide attendees with an opportunity to experience everything the Fitton Center has to offer, including class demonstrations in the art studios, featuring mosaics and ceramics, as well as a variety of hands-on activities for attendees of all ages.

“This is a great opportunity to see the Fitton Center, and maybe for some, it’s the first chance they will have to experience the Fitton Center.” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

Guests can also meet the Fitton Center staff, artists and teachers, and view the brand new “Keepsake” exhibition, which will be opening in the Fitton Center Galleries.

The block-wide celebration will not only feature indoor festivities at the Fitton Center, but there will be additional activities outdoors, and community partners will join in the celebration on Monument Ave. (Monument Ave. will be closed for the event.) Patrons are encouraged to bring a family member, friend or neighbor.

“We are also doing an outdoor, community art event, and you will be able to draw on the side of the Fitton Center … It will not be permanent. It will be washed off the next day, but if you ever wanted a chance to draw on the Fitton Center, this is it,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The event will also showcase what’s ahead for the 2024-2025 season of performances, exhibitions and events. For a complete schedule of programming, events, activities, and classes, visit www.fittoncenter.org. Patrons can also purchase tickets for the upcoming shows and pick up a printed program brochure.

“It’s a casual conversation. You can get involved, or sign up to volunteer,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Fitton Center will offer a membership promotion throughout the month of August. Patrons who purchase a membership will receive 20 percent off the regular membership rates. Through the end of August, individuals can purchase an annual membership for $28, and the cost of a family membership is $56.

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