Too often I hear people complaining about New Haven’s art scene. For some locals, living close to New York City is enough. Think about it, in just under two hours you can easily get lost in the Chelsea art galleries or watch a performance at one of the many concert venues the city has to offer. However, though New York is home to an eclectic arts collection, don’t discount the Elm City just yet. There are more than 15 galleries here in New Haven and even more in the surrounding Greater New Haven area towns. If you look in the right place you will find that performances, movie screenings, comedy shows, collective art events, and exciting workshops are happening every day.
Throughout my undergraduate studies I became inspired by radical arts movements like the Beat Generation and Italian Futurism. There was something special about the unity between writers, artists, and musicians that awakened the generation to new ideas and changed history forever. I always wondered how we could recreate this in a world that has become so technological.
According to Mashable.com, in 2012 social media had become one of the top news resources coming in at 1% less than print news. The hashtag (#), which can now be used on all social media sites, has helped to categorize posts making them easily searchable to others interested in that topic, thus eliminating the social media headache of “selfies,” new puppy photos, and plagiarism. In basic terms, the hashtag directs you to the information you are looking for.
In 2012, Seattle became a trending topic on Twitter’s homepage thanks to help of the city’s hashtag, #artSEA. When artists and organizations began sharing their events, artwork, and ideas, it created a voice so loud that all of Twitter’s 140 million users could take notice. As a result, the Seattle art scene was enhanced and the local residents who didn’t think art was alive in their city were in for quite a surprise.
We, too, can create a new artistic movement using the hashtag #ArtNHV. If organizations, artists, and musicians in the Greater New Haven area join the conversation, we can showcase the value art has in this city and the benefits it has for our communities. It is possible to create an art movement in today’s world!
Article by Stephen Grant, Communications Manager for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven