2015 was a banner year for the Narrows Center on many different levels. From an artistic, musical, spiritual and community engagement and enrichment, 2015 was the most successful year we have ever had. I’m pleased to, once again, tell you about the many triumphs of the past twelve months. In 2016, we will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary. We have some surprises in store for you as well as our ongoing commitment of Music that Matters and Art that Inspires.
While we are widely known for our concert series, the Narrows Center has always been committed to improving our community. We are strongly committed to making the arts accessible to all in our community. We also believe that educating our youth in all forms of the arts is vital. Arts and music classes in our public schools have been greatly diminished or eliminated and the Narrows Center is here to fill that critical void.
- We are very proud of our Music and Art classes for the consumers of People, Incorporated. The classes began in January and we now offer 9 hours weekly of interactive and creative We have hosted two music recitals and two visual art exhibitions showcasing the great work of the People, Incorporated consumers. The instructors, Mark T. Small, Mark Cutler, Vania Noverca Viveiros and Tony Henriques, have been remarkable and they are literally transforming lives on a weekly basis.
- In September, we hosted our “14th annual Narrows Festival of the Arts.” Once again, hundreds of people of all ages enjoyed high quality visual and performing arts for free.
- We hosted the “Fall River Portraits” exhibition, a collaboration with U Mass Dartmouth, Durfee High School, Resiliency Prep and Senior Champion volunteers with Healthy Cities of Fall River.
- We partnered with People, Incorporated to host the “3rd Annual Block-a-Palooza.” This event brought hundreds of people to the city and created a vibrancy and fun atmosphere to the downtown area.
- We partnered with other non–profits for the “2nd Annual Kids-a-Palooza.” This free family-centric event provided a fun and educational afternoon for many in our community who would normally not have such an opportunity.
- We presented the “Recipe for a Better World” exhibition by 4th Graders at Moses Brown School.
- We collaborated with the Arte Institute of New York, a non-profit that promotes culture and showcases art from Portugal, to present Rita Redshoes, a contemporary musical artist.
- We hosted three concerts with TJ’s Music All-Stars providing an opportunity for budding musicians and vocalists to perform onstage in front of a live audience.
- We hosted an Arts Forum with Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Senator Mike Rodrigues. This event highlighted the importance of the arts as an economic engine and improving the quality of life in our community.
- We held fundraisers for the Mastery School and Michael Troy, and hosted the Angie Dolan Memorial Foundation Fundraiser. Each event raised over $20,000 for their respective charities.
- We conducted a very successful canned food drive that helped many Fall River families in need.
These events and activities cemented the Narrows Center for the Arts’ reputation as a true community resource. The visual and performing arts need to be accessible to all. They are essential to expanding our mind and nurturing our soul. Your financial support of the Narrows has allowed our organization to make the Arts accessible to many in our community who would normally not have the opportunity to do so.
The Narrows Center continued to make improvements to our facility to improve the experience of our concert attendees and musicians. We made improvements to our sound system, installed a state-of-the-art video system, and improved the backstage experience for our performers. These improvements were made possible through a Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Grant and your financial support.
The Narrows’ two preeminent art galleries hosted 12 different exhibitions of fine art from both locally and nationally renowned artists. A wide variety of media were showcased including Illustration, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Costume Design and Poster Art. The first exhibit of the year “Lyrical Resolutions” was an interactive exhibit that asked Narrows’ visitors and school kids from Durfee High School, Somerset Middle School, Henry Lord Community School and The Met School in Providence for their lyrical inspirations. In March we hosted the “Pouring Arts” exhibition in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. This teapot exhibition featured nationally renowned ceramic artists. Another outstanding exhibit, “Smokestack Studios,” featured artists with studios in the Metacomet Mill – Fall River’s oldest standing textile mill – who draw inspiration from each other and the post-industrial landscape they inhabit together.
Patrons can visit our Art Galleries free of charge during regular gallery hours. The Narrows regularly welcomes students from area schools e.g. Meadowridge Academy in Swansea, consumers from area human services agencies e.g. Looking Upwards and many senior groups to view artwork in the galleries.
In 2015, the Narrows Center cemented its reputation as one of the finest places to experience live music in the country. We hosted 142 concerts from various genres with over 26,000 attendees. Musical luminaries like Peter Wolf, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Rush, Judy Collins, Dave Mason and many others played to sold-out audiences. Up and coming acts, Barnstar!, Cabinet, The Brothers Comatose and Kat Edmonson played to enthusiastic crowds who appreciate high quality music. The Narrows’ audience proved, once again, that it is one of the most respectful and knowledgeable audiences on the planet.
Engaging and educating the community and presenting world-class visual and performing arts is what we do at the Narrows Center for the Arts on a daily basis. We are proud of what Team Narrows accomplished in 2015. You, our patrons, are an integral part of our team. Without your financial and moral support we would not be able to provide such a wide range of programming. Support from our patrons is essential for our long-term stability and vitality. Whether you are a current Friend of the Narrows ready to renew your support, or you are a frequent concert or gallery attendee, please don’t let the year end without making a contribution.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Deb, Kathy, Olivia and our great team of Volunteers, I thank you so much for your friendship, support and patronage. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.