As the ice and snow begin to thaw with the coming of spring, the Hamptons Arts Network prepares for the second year of its arts weekend, THAW Fest, launched in 2018. The festival returns Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, with the goal of promoting arts and cultural destinations of the region and making these destinations more accessible, and stimulating the local economy.
Nineteen arts organizations from Westhampton to Springs will participate in the event. “This is just the beginning of THAW,” said Andrea Grover of Guild Hall. “We can see this growing to the point where we’ve got local business involved, local chambers, and this being a big weekend that people look forward to annually.”
Currently, THAW Fest has partnered with Southampton Inn, White Fences Inn in Water Mill, The Baker House in East Hampton, and 434 on Main in Amagansett for special discount rates, in addition to the tourism boards I Love NY, Discover Long Island, and East End Getaway.
Elka Rifkin, director of The Watermill Center, noted of the diverse group, “Our main mission is to support and get word out about what we do year-round and also try to support the economic industry out here during the off season. The whole idea is that there are ways that we should be working together, could be working together.”
A kick-off event held at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor with the Southampton African American Museum on Friday will feature an invitation-only cocktail reception at 5:30 PM, followed by the All-Star Comedy show at 8 PM.
In addition, there will be complimentary transportation through a free trolley service. The trolley, on Saturday, March 23, leaves Guild Hall in East Hampton at 9:45 AM and explores Mulford Farm, LongHouse Reserve, Madoo Conservancy, Southampton History Museum, The Watermill Center, Parrish Art Museum, The Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Southampton Arts Center, and returns to Guild Hall at 8:30 PM.
Trolley option two for the day departs from the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton at 10:30 AM and visits Bay Street Theater, Southampton Historical Museum, LongHouse Reserve, Mulford Farm, Madoo Conservancy, and back to Parrish at 4:30 PM.
Option three for the day takes off from Southampton Arts Center at 12:45 PM to Southampton History Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall, The Dan Flavin Art Institute, Eastville Community Historical Society or Guild Hall, and back to the Arts Center at 8 PM.
For Sunday, another free trolley departs Guild Hall at 12:30 PM for Pollock-Krasner House, Parrish Art Museum, or Southampton Cultural Center, The Dan Flavin Art Institute, and ends at Guild Hall at 5:45 PM.
“Cultural production is not just about pictures on a wall. We’re the architects, the designers. We are the people that infuse creativity into every part of our lives here on the East End. So, we’re also trying to think well beyond our impact within our local institutions,” Grover concluded.
For a full schedule of events and to learn more, visit www.hamptonsartsnetwork.org or @hamptonsartsnetwork.