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    (New Haven, CT) –Today an empty lot on Winchester Avenue, between Starr and Division Streets, will transform into a vibrant, lively community gathering space with plenty of free activities for people of all ages. Running from 2 to 6 pm, there will be live music, poetry, cartooning, painting and cooking demonstrations courtesy of CitySeed. CitySeed’s mobile market will also be on site to help launch the third season of Arts on the Avenue.

    Arts on the Avenue is the summer programming component of the Winchester Revitalization Arts Project (WRAP). After this Friday’s kick-off, Arts on the Avenue will take place every Wednesday and Friday from 2 to 6pm through August 23rd. Events for the duration of the summer will include open mic sessions, live music, interactive media training, chess instruction, with CitySeed’s mobile market onsite every Friday from 4-5 pm.

    WRAP, now in its third year of existence, is a collaboration between the City’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, the Office of Economic Development and Livable Cities Initiative. The neighborhood-based program is attracting and engaging community members in activities which use the arts by activating vacant city-owned lots and other community spaces throughout the Newhallville section of the city - using existing resources in a new, creative and productive way.

    “With so much going on in Newhallville—Science Park, the construction of housing at Winchester, residents organizing the most active community gardening program in the City and the construction of a new community greenhouse—its great to have an community space where neighbors can drop in and get to know each other,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.

    “Bringing the community together through the arts reverberates not only through the community, but among businesses as well. WRAP reinforces the notion that we are all in this together, and everyone can play a role in helping a community to flourish,” said Kelly Murphy, the City’s Director of Economic Development. “We look forward to growing these efforts, as past participants look to stay involved, and even more people from throughout the community come forward to get involved.”

    Since its inception, WRAP has hosted over 40 Arts on the Avenue sessions, in total reaching over 1,500 people. These free offerings aim to ignite artistic creativity within Newhallville especially among residents who may not otherwise have exposure to the arts.

    “WRAP is actively helping to strengthen the community through the use of arts and culture,” said Vivian Nabeta, the City’s Director of the Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism. “By offering hands-on experiences, WRAP helps to develop personal connections that make a difference in the life of the community well beyond any specific project.”

    WRAP’s winter programming runs from November through April and features Coffee House & Open Mic nights. Just like Arts on the Avenue, the Coffee House & Open Mic nights are open to individuals of all ages and skill and provide a venue where the community can gather in a safe, welcoming environment to share and hone their skills and talent.

    For more information about WRAP, contact Vivian Nabeta at (203) 946-8378.


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