Welcome to the 2018 season of First Fridays!

PUTNAM, CT – For the 8th season of First Fridays, The Putnam Business Association invites the public to celebrate the mosaic of diverse local history and culture with a celebration of Northeastern Connecticut’s mill towns.

Driving through the scenic towns of the region, it is commonplace to pass brick and stone mill buildings set alongside powerful rivers. Some mills have been revitalized, but many have been lost to time. These structures represent more than just a bygone era of industrialism; they symbolize much of our local cultural heritage.

At the turn of the 19th century, Samuel Slater introduced the concept of inviting entire families to move to factory towns. Next to the factories, houses were built for the new workers. Company stores and company-financed civic buildings filled the streets of the towns.

Many current residents of our community are a product of our small mill towns, with roots and deep memories extending to Canada, Poland, Greece, Finland, and other parts of the globe.

Each month, First Fridays will celebrate the mosaic of our Quiet Corner Heritage, with art, music, food, dance, family memories and more!

Be sure to visit our Cultural Celebration Station each month!

Friday, May 4th
Mill Town Mosaics:
Polish-American Heritage
MAY 4th celebrates Polish-Americans

First Fridays Mill Town Mosaics: Polish-American Heritage event line up:

• 6pm – festival starts with National Anthem, performed by: singers from The Woodstock Academy on the stage at the Congregational Church of Putnam lawn. (plan to stick around for the evening as these talented performers will also do a few scenes from their upcoming show “Shrek”!

Entertainment: Be ready to enjoy the chance to kick up your heels and dance the night away, sing along, clap, tap & snap at TWO locations! Bring a lawn chair so you can sit & rest for a bit, too!

• On the Congregational Church of Putnam Lawn: Eddie Forman Orchestra.

• Next to The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub: Junkyard Heartstrings.

• Other entertainment:
-The Woodstock Academy performs snippets of their upcoming show “SHREK”
-Quest Martial Arts will bust out energetic and amazing demonstrations!
-Kid’s Fair/Craft on the Putnam Congregational Church lawn
-The Complex Performing and Creative Arts Centre Ballet Company will celebrate May with a maypole dance on the Congregational church lawn at 6:05 pm just after the National Anthem!
-Later in the evening, The Complex Performing and Creative Arts Centre will perform a scene from their theatre department’s spring performance, an original devised piece entitled, Red

• Community Arts table (hosted by local artists Rena Masson and Laura Taylor) for the kiddos will offer:
Beautiful and colorful Polish Paper Cuts (Wycinanki)

• Volunteer Superstars of the Month: Green Valley Crossing

• Cultural Celebration Station, hosted by The Last Green Valley (look for their green tent) and engagement with:
-The Mill Museum
-Aspinock Historical Society of Putnam CT

*** Featured artist of the Month: Nick McKnight:
Nick McKnight is an emerging artist in New London, Connecticut working in painting, sculpture, and neon.

He received a BFA from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 and has exhibited across New England through juried, group, and solo shows.

His work has been featured in the South County Independent, Norwich’s The Day newspaper and highlighted in their artist video series ‘Artists in Motion.’

McKnight’s work has been exhibited at the TF Green Gallery, Bristol Community College, and the One Way Gallery in Narragansett, RI.

He recently curated a two person exhibition at Quinebaug Valley Community College entitled Ghost House.” He also runs an Etsy and shows at art fairs where he sells prints, paintings, and limited edition shirts as the entity PULP Prints.

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