THE LEGENDARY HYGIENIC ART NEW LONDON CT
Hygienic Art is a local non-profit arts and performance venue located in the heart of historic New London, Connecticut presenting fine art, music, theater, dance, film, poetry and more. In the past year, Hygienic Art has staged more than 70 exhibits and 100 music and cultural events in its gallery space and neighboring Art Park. The Hygienic embraces all forms of art and works to celebrate creativity and community while improving the quality of life in New London and the region. The Hygienic today stands as a shining example of grass roots community activism and historic preservation through the arts.
THE GOOD TO GREAT AMPHITHEATER PROJECT
The next phase of the evolution of Hygienic Art is the building of New London's first amphitheater, a covering for the Art Park stage and seating area. The structure with a budget of $300,000 will transform the Art Park from a one season performance venue to a three season destination. The project, funded with a $125,000 Connecticut Office of the Arts Good to Great Grant needs to be matched by sponsors and individuals. The design by internationally known architect Jason Holtzman will shelter both performers and audience and includes an enclosed sound-tech booth.
The Amphitheater project will help Hygienic Art provide cultural programming throughout the year and greatly enhance the opportunities to use the Art Park for the city and the artists of New London. Your backing will help match the state grant and raise the funds necessary to complete the Amphitheater in time for the summer season. Your support guarantees that art lives on today and for generations to come in New London. Please be part of this and pledge now to help build the amphitheater for 2017 and beyond.
The design features a 60-by-60-foot space in which prefabricated, custom-made 30-by-30-foot panels emulate the shape of trees and reference the city's architectural masterpieces, such as the train station and library. The architectural form is a large canopy that provides shade in the daytime and transforms into an exhilarating display of light and sound at night.
Meanwhile, it will collect rainwater for the art park gardens, trees and water for public washrooms. The "green" project will call for the recycling of water runoff, with a permeable turf that resembles real grass.
HYGIENIC ART HISTORY AND PRESERVATION
Hygienic Art was formed in the fall of 1979 when artists employed by a federal Comprehensive Education and Training Act (CETA) grant decided, as a final project, to hold an outsiders' art festival. The show was modeled after the Salon Des Independants, a late 19th century Paris art movement. The exhibition was presented at the Hygienic Restaurant, a 24 hour diner built in 1919. The rules were simple; no judge, no jury, no fees, no censorship, one piece per artist and all were welcome. The show was an immediate success and the Hygienic Art Exhibition grew into an annual creative arts festival attracting over 450 artists and an audience of thousands.
Hygienic Art has helped launch the careers of artists including YouTube star Casey Neistat
The Hygienic Restaurant closed in 1985 yet the show continued in other venues in the city. Hygienic Art was formally incorporated in 1987 to save the exhibition.
In 1996 the building that housed the Hygienic Restaurant was slated for demolition to become bank parking. Originally built as a whaling company's provisioning store and crews' quarters, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Hygienic Art led a statewide grassroots effort to save the building and enlisted the support of the Governor, State Attorney General, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Connecticut Historic Commission, the City of New London, the Chester Kitchings Foundation, Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, the Palmer/Bodenwein Fund and thousands of private donors and volunteers.
Hygienic Art bought and renovated the historic landmark into a residential artists' co-operative and public art gallery. The building opened in January of 2000 for the 21st annual Hygienic Art Exhibition and stands today as a testimony to community activism and historic preservation through the arts. The Hygienic was recently voted Connecticut's #1 Art Gallery by Best of Connecticut.
The Hygienic has provided thirty-eight years of quality arts and cultural programming to Southeastern Connecticut with the on-going support of volunteers and the community.
Having transformed the historic diner into an arts mecca for Southeastern Connecticut, Hygienic Art turned the adjacent vacant lot into an urban garden and performance venue with help from community volunteers.
Contributions have made Hygienic the premier arts organization in the region and provided thousands of people with access to the arts. The Hygienic exists to provide visionary arts programming to our community.
Photo Credits: A. Vincent Scarano
Risks and challenges
This project is backed by a $125,000 Connecticut Office of the Arts Good to Great Grant. The budget for completion of the amphitheater is $300,000. The funds from this campaign will supplement the project budget. Additional funds are being raised presently and Hygienic Art is confident the construction budget will be met. As with any construction project, the possibility exists that it may go over budget. Contingencies are in place in this event.
Hygienic Art has a long history of overcoming obstacles and has a great working relationship with the City of New London Connecticut, the State of Connecticut and numerous community organizations and volunteers. We are confident the risks and challenges of this project will be met and the Amphitheater will rise over the Art Park by early summer 2017. Thank You to all the supporters of Hygienic Art now and in the future.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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