SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street-festival hybrid on Wednesday, Aug. 2, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The district has partnered with venues downtown to open five galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks, drinks, and appetizers, there will be street performances and other surprises. Art Stop was designed to both activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art and create economic opportunity for artists.
“Guests who attended Art Stop in April or last October will be pleased to see we’ve scaled the program up substantially,” SCCD Director Morgan Drewniany said. “In response to the feedback of our audience, we’ve added two new venues to the existing three spaces, to allow for more art and music.”
Galleries will be located at 1550 Main Street, New England Public Radio (NEPR), UMass Center at Springfield, Community Foundation of Western Mass., and TD Bank. Each individual gallery opening will feature a reception with food and drink, and the artist will be on site to both sell and talk about their work.
The SCCD, along with organizing the curation of art in all five spaces, has hired unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. August’s performers are all focused on jazz, in celebration of the upcoming Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival on Saturday, Aug. 12. All five locations are accessible by foot or otherwise, located within a block of each other.
On the evening of Aug. 2, White Lion Wednesday, a program of the Springfield Business Improvement District, will be taking place in Tower Square Park, right in the middle of the gallery walk. Drewniany noted that “this is a great example of the work the SCCD does — bringing organizations, resources, and people together in a way that feels genuine to Springfield and its many assets.”