Special To The Herald
NEW BRITAIN - The No Boundaries Youth Theater will be holding its first art show and auction this summer, featuring work of all mediums from artists of all ages and abilities.
The event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 25, in hopes to celebrate visual arts and raise money as part of its five-year strategic growth plan for the company’s highly anticipated future.
“We thought it would be a great idea to hold an art show to kick off,” Cindy Donaldson, artist and chairwoman of the Board of Directors said. “Our goal is to not only raise money, but raise awareness to who we really are.”
According to Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington, the event came to be after the idea was mentioned by some of the newest team members for the Board of Directors.
“Many of the kids and some parents are artists and would be interested in this. After talking about it with several people, it seemed to be the most popular idea for a fundraiser,” Farrington said.
Formerly known as the New Britain Youth Theater, the NBYT was selected by Connecticut Magazine as Best Children’s Theater in 2017 and prides itself on its acceptance of children from all communities, backgrounds and abilities.
Art entries of all skill levels are welcome.
“One of our core missions is to really be very inclusive and diverse and I think that includes all forms of creativity,” Donaldson said. “It would be great to discover artists, both new and old.”
An entry fee of $20 per piece will be charged for adults, though students up to the age of 26 can enter pieces free of charge. Art can be submitted Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 24 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. According to Farrington, all art must be original display ready and available for sale. A commission of 30 percent is recommended to the theater.
Cash prizes for winners will be awarded for students ninth grade and older and for adults in the categories of Best in Show, First, Second and Third Place. Non-cash prizes will be given to students below ninth grade.
“We hope for several dozen submissions and hope to have one to 200 people,” Farrington said. “We are still putting together a panel of judges. It will not be myself or board members, it will be people who really have some expertise in judging art, especially for the cash prizes.”
Farrington said that he also hopes the money generated from the event will help expand the 8-year-old theater for the years to come.
“We’ve had office space, classroom space and rehearsal space … but one of our goals over the next several years is to get a space that is entirely our own to perform in and bring everything that we do all into one room,” Farrington said. “[The money] will also help us to build a staff, which will help build capacity. Right now, I am the only full-time staff member.”
Farrington and Donaldson emphasized that the event will benefit the entire community.
“It’s going to be a really fun late-summer event and it’s assisting a nonprofit that’s been important in our community,” Farrington said. “We’ve reached children in 60 different towns in Connecticut, largely in New Britain and the surrounding towns. We’ve served over 6,000 in our past eight years and this just helps us grow in capacity to do more for the community that we serve.”
“There’s so much amazing stuff happening in the city, so we’re pretty excited to just showcase all of this,” Donaldson said. “It’s all about community and bringing awareness to the visual arts.
Tickets for the show and auction are $20 apiece, $10 for students and free for those under the age of 10.
The NBYT also offers a variety of other programs and opportunities, including drama and individual “coaching” lessons for children and young adults.
For more information, visit www.nbyt.org/artshow.html .