A Digital Stage for Community Arts
The local arts stage is a new place to experience community artists at The Bushnell. The performances take place on a digital platform of video screens installed on the exterior of the building in the spring of 2021 to compliment the projection wall implemented in the foyer in 2019. The local arts stage performances will take place on show nights throughout the 2021-2022 season. While new technology provides the platform for the performances, the installation is part of a larger initiative to bring community arts to The Bushnell.
Meet the Artists
The West End Wizbangers
The West End Wizbangers began as a trio in the summer of 2020. With their saxophone, accordion, and drums, they started outdoor musical parades to bring joy to the community amid the pandemic. They have expanded to six jazz players to perform a jazz version of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and a West End Wizbanger original for The Bushnell.
Maxx Meether, Dan Mac-Holt, Nathan Edwards, Dan Rice, Akin Hobson, Sarah Uyar
Storrs A Cappella
This group of singers originally began performing together at E.O. Smith High School in 2010. While some members have left Connecticut to pursue a variety of careers from financial advising to video game design to fashion photography, they have remained close and continue to practice their craft. They came back together to perform “What A Wonderful World” for the local arts stage.
Patrick Belanger, Joe Mohrbacher, Chester Allan Martin, Bibi Mama, Labib Fasihuddin, Ellen Yang
Stafford Handbell Society, Wildring HandBell Ensemble, St. Luke Lutheran Church Handbells
Members from three different renowned handbell groups create a beautiful chorus of sound as the largest group to perform on the local arts stage with nearly 40 musicians participating. Musical director of The Stafford Handbell Society, Phillip Lanier, conducts the bell ringers with the help of assistant director, Neesa Hart. The SHS is internationally known for its performances and is one of the largest handbell communities in the United States. These dedicated and passionate musicians perform a set of Holiday tunes and two different medleys with songs you're sure to recognize!
Learn more about The Stafford Handbell Society and its partners.
Phillip Lanier, Neesa Hart, Jennifer See, Constance Tyler, Katie Kennedy, Lucy, Wendy Luikart, Marquis Hodgson, Thomas Lanier, James Pryor, Brian Lamb, Taylor Keith, Anthony Bongolan, Mary DeLeon, Cooper Shaw, Kim Whitehead, Larry Berdensey, Carolyn Krake, Laurie Crawford, Alice Carter, Peter Keefe, Betty Caruso, Debbie Burgess, Christopher Derjue, Daniel Derjue, Logan Dame, Grace Eldridge, Maddie Jolly
Orquesta La Yuqueña
Orquesta La Yunqueña was formed in 2010 in Meriden, Connecticut and has since become one of the premier salsa bands in New England. They frequently perform at Hartford area stages and festivals and even weddings. The thirteen members specialize in Salsa Gorda, where the instruments are emphasized over vocals. Percussion, bass, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, guitar, and vocals are all used to create the impressive sound of Orquesta La Yunqueña.
Learn more about Orquesta La Yunqueña.
Luis Torres, Nate Rodriguez, Hector Rodriguez, Damion Curtis, Robert Torres, Alvaro Maldonado, Tiro Planas, Brian Wallace, Drew Ploud, Marcos Torres
The POSSM at Hartbeat Music Festival
The Hartbeat Music Festival is a free, day-long celebration of local and regional music, hands-on music activities, and local food along the Connecticut River. Now in its fourth year, organizer Earl Henrichon allowed our cameras in to capture his band, Professors of Sweet, Sweet Music aka The POSSM, for the digital experience. Their original songs are a surprising collection of songwriting and arranging that harkens back to groups and musicians who have become icons in the industry.
Learn more about The POSSM.
Earl Henrichon, Jeremy Haddad, Craig Huntington, Dave Counterman, Bryon Verdone, Ben Paden
Sonia Plumb Dance Company
Since 2012, The Sonia Plumb Dance Company has served more than 8,000 constituents throughout Greater Hartford and the Northeast as part of the Hartford Performs roster to integrate access to art programs into Hartford schools. Sonia Plumb and her dancers perform on the projection-mapped architecture on the Lobby Wall and beyond, creating a fusion of classical and contemporary movement.
Learn more about the Sonia Plumb Dance Company.
Sonia Plumb, Savana Jones, Rachel Calabrese, Brian Syms, Jr., Julia Maranzano, Jaydin Dejesus
Air Temple Arts
Formed in 2013, Air Temple Arts has become the number one studio in Connecticut to experience community circus arts. Youth and adults can learn aerial silks, straps, juggling, Lyra, balance work, and more in their 4,200 square foot studio in Woodbridge. They perform a new piece for The Bushnell Grand Foyer wall, showcasing all the varied talents of circus artists.
Learn more about Air Temple Arts.
Stacey Strange, Nicholas Strange, Jillian Marchenko, Kate Gonzales, Dani Bobbi Lee, Holly Gilligan
Savana Jones is a Hartford native with decades of experience as a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She is the founder and director of “Rhythms in Color,” a current company member of “Dimensional Dance,” and instructor for Ballet Theatre Company’s Outreach Program in partnership with “The Miracle League.” Jones brought six Hartford children together to dance and paint on the walls of The Bushnell.
Olivia, age 6; Nathan, age 4; Malcolm, age 7; Dre’Anna, age 7; Isabel, age 12; Elijah, age 13
United Outkasts began in 2006 as a group of breakdancers and bboys who regularly performed in the Hartford area, at skate parks and at Riverfront Recapture. United Outkasts design events that bring people together to experience music and dance. Don't miss their dance-off right on our digital displays, plus a music video of Tangs’ local hit, ‘That’s funk right there’ - complete with a bboy battle.
John “Tang Sauce” Manselle-Young, Randorn “Tiger” Luangpraseuth, Taris “Poptart” Clemons, John Paul “JP” Henares, Henry “Savage” Olivo, Nic Fortenbach
RiseUp for the Arts / CT Murals
RiseUP was founded in 2012 by a group of young professionals who realized that there is a lack of support given to our youth in urban communities. It was expanded in 2015 to RiseUP for the Arts, an organization that designs, plans, and implements public art projects through the State of Connecticut. They partner with local artists, businesses, municipalities, and the community to develop place-making strategies and create large scale public art. You've probably seen some of their murals in downtown Hartford! Six of their artists create a collective gallery of colorful art for our digital displays.
Ben Keller, Corey Pane, Jillian Goeler, Deka Henry, Julie Bergergeron, Jaii Marc Renee