Open House Exposes Variety Of Activities At Cultural Center

By: William F. Galvin

Emelia Paine, 3, hands out Ukrainian resilience book marks during the Saturday's “Resilience – Art In Times of Crisis” exhibit at the Harwich Cultural Center. The book marks were created in the Stitchology studio at the center. The event was part of the “Prelude to ArtWeek” festivities put on by the chamber of commerce. See page 13 for a story and more photos. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH – “A Prelude to ArtWeek,” sponsored by the chamber of commerce at the community center over the weekend, celebrated the beginning of ArtWeek, a statewide event. 

Chamber Executive Director Cyndi Williams said she had been thinking a lot about how to get the community more involved in cultural center activities and to get residents to better understand the potential the center has for the town. The two-day event featured arts and music with an open invitation for residents to visit the studios within the center, talk with artists and craftspeople and learn more about the availability of the auditorium available.

Late Saturday afternoon the “Resilience – Art in the Time of Crisis” art exhibit was held in the second floor library of the center. The theme of the exhibit focused on the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag and the humanitarian crisis occurring in that country. On Sunday the chamber hosted “Plug and Play” in the auditorium, providing music from nine bands that perform during the Port Summer Nights series in Harwich Port.

The open house on Saturday was well attended, according to Talitha Abramsen, who oversees the operation. She said 110 people signed in when entering the center, and there were also guests who missed the sign-in sheets.  The studios were busy with people talking with artists and crafters. For the studio occupants, access to the facilities at the center was of primary importance to their endeavors.

“It’s a great space, a great place to work,” said artist Nina Gagarin. “There are a lot of artists here and we feed off each other.”

“Everybody in here is really happy,” said artist Ellen Davies. “I would be really sad if I had to leave. I love the space.”

It’s not all artists. There are technological minds at work in the Cape Cod Maker’s LaunchPad Makespace studio where members chip in to purchase the technology in use. At the beginning of the pandemic Cape Cod Healthcare turned to this group to use 3D printers to help produce more than 8,000 face shields.

There are a number of education opportunities for people of all ages in the center. Jane Bessette operates Stitchology, the artful science of sewing, teaching people 7 years of age and older basics to advanced sewing skills. The six-week learning programs are held at the end of the school day, offering additional after school opportunities for students.