One year after opening, MCC on Main has full slate of summer events

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Wed., Jul. 10, 2013
Kenyon Grant, program coordinator of MCC on Main, with Quron Brown, founder of Quest Arts. The two organizations are presenting '100 Mile Village,' an art exhibit celebrating artists who give back to the community, which opens Thursday, Aug. 8. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
Kenyon Grant, program coordinator of MCC on Main, with Quron Brown, founder of Quest Arts. The two organizations are presenting '100 Mile Village,' an art exhibit celebrating artists who give back to the community, which opens Thursday, Aug. 8. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

A year ago from July 13, Manchester Community College made an important inroad into the downtown Manchester community with the opening of its satellite location, the Arts and Education Center, more popularly known as MCC on Main. Since then, it has lived up to its founding mission of being a host to art, music, spoken word and film, and has served as a venue for a wide range of events in the past year.

Kenyon Grant, program coordinator at MCC on Main, is delighted with the community's response to the art and education center. “We've had 8,000 people in and out of here over the course of the year,” Grant said. Around 200 people visit each week – many of them newcomers who are surprised to discover the Main Street art gallery. “Overall, it's been fantastic. People are just happy that we're here,” Grant added.

There are plenty of artistic offerings throughout the summer, not least of them being an exhibit featuring the works of members of the Manchester Art Association at the Dehn Gallery. The exhibit, which opened June 27, will run until Friday, Aug. 2.

On the Thursdays of July 11 and July 25, emcee Kemet Maroon will invite poets, musicians and performers of the MCC community to express themselves at a free open mic night. Fans of spoken word as performance will look forward to the beginning of the Urban Storytellers Series, starting Saturday, July 13, in the Dehn Gallery with Warren Hawk, also known as Hawk T Poet, of North Carolina.

Music-lovers will certainly want to make MCC on Main a summer hang-out spot, as there will be multiple live performances hosted in the Dehn Gallery during July, as part of the “Live on Main” series. On Friday, July 12, MCC on Main will host the “Eight Mile River Band.” The band, comprised of Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers, Del McCoury and Jimmy Martin, has performed in Connecticut for nearly 35 years. It offers a traditional style with original vocal and instrumental arrangements.

On Wednesday, July 24, the Dehn Gallery will host East Hartford native Chad Browne-Springer. Browne-Springer performs with bands “Orice Jenkins” and “The SoulTransRelations,” as well as with the vocal group “Momentum.” His music is a blend of alternative, electronic and R&B.

The next “Live on Main” performance brings “The Isaac Young Quartet” to MCC on Main on Friday, July 26. The award-winning quartet was named the 2012 Connecticut Advocate's Grand Band Slam Winner for Best Jazz in Connecticut, as well as the 2013 New England Music Award Nominee for Best Jazz in New England. “The Isaac Young Quartet” will bring its own special brand of bebop, funk and jazz.

“Live on Main's” last July performance will feature vocalist Julie Beman and her band, “The Dress-Ups,” who will be joined by husband-wife duo “The Sawtelles,” whose unique sound combines two voices, an alternate-tuned guitar and stand-up drum kit.

One last musical event will close the month, as the monthly Jazz Jam will be held Wednesday, July 31, featuring vocalist Theresa Wright. Musicians are invited to bring their own instruments for a chance to perform with the house band at this free event.

Artists hoping to hone their skills are invited to an open figure-drawing session every Friday and Saturday at the MCC on Main Seminar Room 1, from 12 to 3 p.m. Easels, tables and chairs are provided, but visitors should bring their own materials.

MCC on Main is collaborating with Quest Arts to present “100 Mile Village,” an event that will celebrate art and the community service those artists have participated in. The show opens Thursday, Aug. 8, and Friday, July 19, is the last day for interested artists to submit a portfolio for consideration. Contact Quron Brown for more information at questartsorg@gmail.com.

MCC on Main is located at 903 Main St. For more information about July offerings at MCC on Main, visit www.mcc.commnet.edu/mcc-on-main or call Kenyon Grant at 860-647-6030.


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