May 14, 2009


Oddfellows Playhouse invites the public to celebrate the accomplishments in visual arts, writing, and theater of 17 talented Arts Explorers on Thursday, May 21 from 7-9 pm. Visual arts students in this innovative program will exhibit hand-dyed silk scarves, writing students will offer readings of their poetry, and theater students will give a short performance.

Oddfellows, in partnership with the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, received one of five statewide pilot grants from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism to offer creative, nonschool arts experiences to underserved youth. Arts Explorers, with additional support from The Hartford Courant Foundation, was designed to help middle-school students, particularly low-income and minority youth, experience the arts under the mentorship of a professional artist. Students chose to specialize in the visual, literary or performing arts and then spent the past 9 months working under the guidance of Oddfellows’ artists William A. Foster, III, Renee Soares, and Enza Giannone to develop their skills. This event on May 21 is the culmination of their program, and students will have their colorful scarves and a book of collected writings for sale.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. For more information about the Arts Explorers program and this event, please call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.