A sweet song playing out in Westerly

August 26, 2018 GMT

Westerly — The good news keeps coming for downtown Westerly.

The project to create a regional center for the arts and art education across several downtown venues is gaining additional support in the second push of its 6 million, including community pledges, historical state tax credits, cultural bond funds and support from board members. Now, they have just launched a capital campaign to raise an additional 6 million to bring the project to fruition.

“The sky is the limit,” Nunes said about the arts and arts education that will be available in downtown Westerly when the project is completed and fully up and running. “With these partnerships, there is a lot we can do. We will be able to bring artist here who otherwise would have bypassed this area.”

As an example, he noted Deer Tick appeared at The Knick in July while in the area for the Newport Folk Festival.

Regarding the collaboration with Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust, Nunes said eventually a film education center will be established and students will use footage from Ballard’s explorations in a pilot documentary film-making program.

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“There’s great momentum right now,” Nunes said. “A lot is happening.”

“We need the community in both states (Connecticut and Rhode Island) to bring this project to fruition,” said Fitzgerald, The United board’s chair, emphasizing that while the physical location of the arts campus will be downtown Westerly, the draw for the arts and arts education will be from all of southern New England. “This is a very unique and wonderful opportunity and we need the time, talent and treasure of everyone to succeed with the vision and mission of the United Theatre.”