WESTFIELD-A unique “art party,” hosted by ArtWorks of Westfield, is slated Dec. 3 in conjunction with the global generosity movement – Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday, created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, has a simple premise – set aside a day after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to find a way to give back.
“To celebrate #GivingTuesday, the kick off of the season of charitable giving, and help fund our art and cultural activities for 2020 and beyond, we are having a fundraising Art Party at Hutghi’s at the Nook,” said Bill Westerlind, ArtWorks president, adding the event is suitable for adults, children and families.
“We aspire to bring a broad and diverse mix of free cultural experiences to Westfield,” said Westerlind. “The art party is a time to celebrate the arts in our city and look ahead to 2020 and funding new arts and cultural events and activities.”
The Giving Tuesday Art Party is planned from 6 – 9 p.m. with live music, and guests are welcome to remain after the party. A raffle will take place at 8 p.m., featuring artwork by local artists and donations from local businesses. Free appetizers will be served periodically throughout the evening and guests are responsible for their own beverages.
“The idea is to bring together artists and creators of all stripes and community members to celebrate our community and all the possibilities,” said Westerlind.
Westerlind noted the art party is a free event and a membership information display will also be featured.
“The fundraising part happens through the raffle and any donations made,” said Westerlind. “Donations can be made at the event or online on #GivingTuesday.”
Westerlind said the ArtWorks board chooses downtown locations to host the yearly Giving Tuesday event.
“We have an affinity to the Gaslight District of downtown Westfield,” he said. “Our very first Giving Tuesday event was held at the Skyline Trading Company, and last year we held it at Two Rivers Burrito Co. We landed on Hutghi’s at the Nook because it is located in the Gaslight District and the owners of the restaurant have done a wonderful job transforming the old Nook into an eclectic establishment very similar to the look and feel of the famous Dream Away Lodge in Becket.”
Westerlind said Hutghi’s owners are “very eager” to support the arts in Westfield and fully engage with the community.
“It is a very popular place and very well suited for live music and group events,” said Westerlind.
Westerlind said events such as Giving Tuesday are important to promote the “rich and talented artistic diversity of Westfield and the surrounding communities.”
“Our mission is to create and promote the widest variety of cultural arts, literary arts, musical events, and performing arts for the Westfield community and to collaborate with businesses and invested groups to develop and maintain venues for presentations and performances,” said Westerlind, adding, “We are committed to creativity and community!”
Westerlind noted that ArtWorks board members and volunteers are already planning 2020 events for the Greater Westfield area.
“We plan on holding our signature Articulture Westfield event again in early May and will continue the Downtown Live! Friday Night Concert Series from late June through late August,” said Westerlind. “New for 2020, depending on funding and space, we plan on creating several murals in the city.”
Westerlind added that the inaugural Youth Art Show at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield was a “huge success” and will once again showcase the event in 2020, “possibly” in conjunction with Articulture Westfield.
“Our impact on the city has been accretive and overwhelmingly positive,” said Westerlind. “Never before have so many art and cultural activities taken place on such a consistent basis in the city. The ArtWorks team is committed to make it better and better year after year.”
Westerlind also credits the ArtWorks board for working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the Art Party happen.
“Treasurer Cheryl Crowe has been very active in the operational aspects of the event while Tom Sawyer is the key player orchestrating the musical entertainment for the evening,” said Westerlind. “Donna Carmel and Shannon Chiba have devoted lots of time and energy to the fundraising raffle planned for the evening.”
Westerlind is hopeful that area residents will seek out community organizations that are important to them and support Giving Tuesday – including ArtWorks.
“For ArtWorks of Westfield, we work on very small budgets so every penny is very, very important to us to fulfill our mission in Westfield,” he said.
For more information on Giving Tuesday, visit givingtuesday.org. For more details about ArtWorks of Westfield, visit artworkswestfield.com.