Meet Me at the Bench

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development: Office of the Arts awarded the Milford Arts Council (the MAC) one of only 28 Project Grants for 2020. These grants encourage and support arts-based projects exhibiting artistic excellence aligned with the state arts initiative READI (Relevance, Equity, Access, Diversity, Inclusion).

The MAC’s project grant titled, “Meet Me at the Bench” called for creatives, artists, and craftsmen to create and install five unique benches re-imagined as artistic and community experiences throughout downtown Milford. These benches are not simply painted or decorated, nor are they temporary figurine campaigns. Instead, The MAC reached beyond its pool of artists to equitably challenge, engage, and hire individuals or groups of: engineers, architects, woodworkers, metal-forgers, tile-layers, masons, craftsmen, artisans who exhibit artistic excellence, ingenuity and inspiration. Grant Narrative

The Five Bench Selections

Why Am I Here?
Sitting in the Shade
Community Blocks
Face to Face
Final Adjustments
Ribbon Cutting
Bench Testing
Ribbon Cutting
Ready to Go

“To see art outside, up-close, tangible and accessible to so many people is very powerful. To be granted the ability to produce such experiences is immeasurable and very important to our organization’s mission to grow and impact our community through our vision. We couldn’t be prouder or more excited to bring this project to fruition, leading us into our 50th year. The MAC has started planning exciting events to celebrate our anniversary and we will begin to roll them out next year, culminating with a Gala in September. The  bench project is just the beginning!”  – Paige Miglio, MAC Executive Director

A committee of local artists, city representatives, downtown businesses, and service organizations reviewed submissions and matched them to suggested bench sites. Members include

State Senator James Maroney
Milford Alderman Bryan Anderson
Christine Angeli, Director Milford Public Library
Jennifer Paradis, Director BethEl Center
Tracy Bonosconi, owner of LOVET Shop and DMBA Chair
Carol Kuryla, Metro Star Marketing Director

Nell Moll, Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce
Curran Bishop, Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church
Bill Bevan, Parks Commissioner
Brec Morgan, local artist and muralist
George Amato, local artist and founding MAC Board Member
Paige Miglio, MAC Executive Director and “Meet me at the Bench” project manager

This project was also made possible by the generous financial support of these local businesses. Thanks You!

As the City of Milford’s premier arts organization (certified as a 501c3 in 1971), the MAC supports and presents every discipline of the arts to audiences of all ages. Their venue, a repurposed Civil War era train station in the heart of downtown Milford, has been offering exhibitions, theatre, music, lectures, written word and dance since 1995. With a vision to “see creativity happening everywhere” the MAC is now poised to bust open the walls and push art into the community and make it accessible to everyone.
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