Fitton Center plans block party for its Season Launch event

Hamilton arts center to host community block party style event

Fitton Center for Creative Arts will change things up in 2024 with its annual Season Launch party in August. The event will move to a Saturday night, have an earlier start time and be a community block party-style event.

“The Season Launch will no longer be on a Friday night and be a Friday night event at the Fitton Center. Season Launch this year will be on Saturday, August 17. We are going to do a block party. We are going to close off Monument Avenue, that’s our plan, and have a block party for the entire community,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

He said the time will also change and the event will be held from 3 to 8 p.m.

“With football season starting earlier, and so many other things happening on Friday night, it’s time for change. Hamilton is changing all the time. The dynamic here is positive, there’s so much going on, and we want to be a part of that. We’ve done remarkably successful Season Launch events over the years, but we’re trying to change it up, and have even more fun,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Fitton Center’s first Season Launch event was held in 2015. On average, 800 to 1,500 people have come out each year to celebrate the Season Launch.

The Fitton Center will host the Season Launch: Community Block Party 2024 from 3 to 8 p.m. Aug. 17. The event is free and open to the public. Guests can arrive anytime during the event hours and stay for as much time as they like.

Guests will enjoy a fun, festive night out while they explore everything the Fitton Center has to offer. Every gallery, studio, and classroom as well as performance, rehearsal and event spaces will be open for guests to enjoy and explore.

The event will offer guests a chance to walk through the building, meet the staff, meet instructors and performers, meet Fitton Center members, and to find out more about what’s going on at the Fitton Center throughout the season.

As part of the evening, 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 and provide additional information.

The evening’s highlights will include the block party, an open house at the Fitton Center, live music, and other special performances. Additional features will include class demonstrations, art exhibition openings, and a presentation of the 2024-2025 season of performances, exhibitions, and events.

The box office will also be open for those who would like to purchase tickets to upcoming events.

There will be demonstrations in the art studios, including the ceramic and print- making studios.

“We’re looking to have some fun around the arts,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “It’s about continuing to open the doors to the Fitton Center. We did that radically in 2015, but we can’t stop.”

The Season Launch: Community Block Party 2024 will offer even more opportunities to engage with the arts in the community.

“The block party is all about the community. We really want to project out toward the city, open all of our doors, and we want to let everyone know that the community is invited, that they are welcome and intrigued by the Fitton Center,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

Outdoors, there will be live entertainment with involvement from community partners, for example.

“We love Hamilton. We are Hamilton. Hamilton is a part of us, and we are part of it. We would like to invite all of Butler County and Northern Cincinnati to be a part of the Fitton Center and enjoy all of our other arts organizations here in Butler County,” said MacKenzie-Thurley.

With four signature series — “Celebrating Self,” “Fitton Showstoppers!” “Fitton Family Fridays” and “Jazz & Cabaret,” — the Fitton Center’s 2024-2025 performance season will be packed with a strong line-up.

One highlight of the upcoming season will be a Pickleball BBQ in the Fitton Center parking lot with The Pickle Lodge as part of “Celebrating Self.”

Fitton Center’s 2024-2025 season will kick off with a full slate of performances that will begin in September and continue through May 2025.

For a complete schedule of programming, events, activities, and classes, visit, or pick up a copy of the season brochure during the event.


What: Season Launch: Community Block Party 2024

When: 3-8 p.m. Aug. 17

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

More info: or call 513-863-8873.

About the Author