Jazz Band, Tino and companyAHS Jazz Band, led by Sabato "Tino" D'Agostino, perform at Town Day. / Photo by Carla DeFord  More photos here >>

 UPDATED, Sept. 18: Town Day, an annual tradition here since 1976, was held Saturday, Sept. 14, under gray skies, which brought showers after 1:30 p.m., causing some to pack up early.

No fireworks fired off the evening before, as there was no Town Night, but much on Town Day thrilled the thousands who turned out. That included the Arlington High School (AHS) Town Day concert. Freelancer Carla DeFord provided a closer look at the musicians and their leaders in words and photos >>

Art on the Green draws thousands of visitors

Kim Nagy and Hank Phillip Ryan, with their latest creationsKim Nagy, left, and Hank Phillipi Ryan.The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum held its annual Art on the Green art and author festival on Town Day. This event is one of the museum’s largest programs of the year, and serves as an important fund-raiser.

“Dallin was always a big promoter of the arts, and this is our way of supporting the local arts,” says Chuck Luca, Dallin Museum advisor and Art on the Green director.

Geri Tremblay, museum president and founder, and creator of Art on the Green, says, “Because we’re an art museum, we sell various types of arts & crafts, and provide a vehicle for local artists to sell their work.”

Approximately 20 vendors each rent a 10-by-10 block of space in Whittemore Park, in front of the Dallin Museum.

Art on the Green, sponsored by the generous annual support of the John Mirak Foundation, also promotes visibility for the museum. Thousands of people stroll through the park, located on its property, who then have an opportunity to learn about and tour the museum. 

Artists

The park was filled with artists promoting their handcrafted wares – clothes, jewelry, pottery, soaps, note cards and more – creating a festive, family-friendly atmosphere.

One artist, Maggie Furtak, was selling homemade pottery that she creates in her in-home studio. “Everything I make is functional,” says Furtak, whose creations include bowls, mugs and vases. “Town Day is always one of my best shows of the year, and the museum volunteers are wonderful.”

Artist Helen Ray who offered soaps, note cards and shea butter, concurs that Town Day is one of her best events. “I get a chance to meet attendees who then invite me to other shows.”

Peg Casey was selling beautiful silver jewelry, including pendants made from leaves. “I try to follow forms of nature in my designs because I’m inspired by nature,” she says. Town Day logo

 Book signings

Several local authors were promoting and signing their latest works, including investigative reporter and best-selling author of 11 award-winning suspense novels, Hank Phillipi Ryan.

Ryan’s 11th novel, a national best-seller, The Murder List, is a psychological legal thriller. “I get my inspiration from being a TV reporter for 43 years. I’d been telling compelling stories on TV that were true, and I take what I learned as a journalist, then make stuff up and create a riveting story,” says Ryan.

Arlington author Whitney Sharer was presenting her first book, Age of Light, based on the life of photographer Lee Miller, an American photographer in Paris in the 1930s and World War II. “Arlington is an amazing town for writers; there are writers on practically every block,” says Sharer.

John Harrison and Kim Nagy, who produced Dead in Good Company, about the Mount Auburn cemetery, were promoting their latest offerings, a series of children’s books about owls and coyotes. “Town Day provides a great sense of community, and it’s nice to have people get together in a traditional gathering,” says Nagy. 

Music

Providing entertainment was Eliot Clarinets, a quintet of four clarinets and one bass clarinet, playing swing tunes, classical music, rags, and modern music. “We enjoy making music with our friends, and occasionally perform,” said member Tom Peisch. 

Dallin Museum

James McGough, Dallin Museum founder, said, “We’re having a nice flow of visitors to the museum who are enjoying the works of Cyrus Dallin.”

The Dallin Museum is open for visits on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays,  noon to 4 p.m. Larger group tours can be arranged by calling 781.641.0747 or at www.dallin.org.

Krepelka comments

Marie Krepelka, the Select Board administrator, said Sept. 16 the day's event "looked well attended." 

She understood that big turnouts took place at the Coast Guard boat; for Officer Michael Hogan and the police dog Eiko; Diane Welch, the animal-control officer; the Fire Department with their demonstrations of fire safety in the smokehouse as well as the "jaws of life" car demonstrations.

"The Animal Craze petting zoo, for the second year in a row, was also a huge success," she said.  

Town-related booths

Arlington Police Department table is near Robbins Library for public safety information and discussion. The Family Services Team is available to provide assistance on a wide range of topics and the APD mental-health clinician will be sharing facts on the Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative and treatment resources available for residents.

Animal Control Officer Diane Welch is on hand providing information on pets and wildlife, and K9 Officer Michael Hogan along with the APD's K9 “Eiko” conducts demonstrations throughout the day in the Robbins Library parking lot. 

Planning and Community Development: Stop by and meet the staff and volunteers. Spin the wheel for a bookmark, and learn about our work and upcoming planning activities, including the Net Zero Plan, the Sustainable Transportation Plan and zoning initiatives.

Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition is dedicated to preventing and reducing youth substance use and other risk behaviors. Meet friendly members, to learn about parent workshops, and to get prevention materials. Test your knowledge of the recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey results and win a prize.

Garage band: A Town Day pop-up dance party 

Saturday, Sept. 14, 4 to 6 p.m.

Arlington Global Service Station, 334 Mass. Ave. 

Free and open to all.

After experiencing the best that Arlington has to offer at Town Day, head over to GARAGE BAND, an After Party organized by Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture and hosted by Arlington Service Station. Bring your dancing shoes to fully enjoy a diverse program of swing, Latin, and Japanese musical traditions performed by master musicians in the town’s hippest new venue for the arts – an old-time neighborhood garage covered with polka dots!

ACAC is grateful to our sponsors, Arlington Service Station and Column Health, for bringing these amazing talents to the party:

Odaiko Drumming Odaiko New England

A dynamic ensemble performing and preserving a traditional Japanese form of drumming, based in Arlington.

The Dan Fox Foxtet

Dan Fox Foxtet 
Arlington band leader and educator Dan Fox of numerous ensembles and the Morningside Music School brings a swing band dedicated to getting folks on the dance floor.

Grupo Fantasia

Grupo Fantasia
A panoply of Latin/Caribbean styles, Grupo Fantasia is the brainchild of Dominican multi-instrumentalist Angel Wagner. With Grupo Fantasia, Wagner and his band demonstrate a mastery of Latin music through the styles of merengue, salsa, Latin jazz, cumbia, bachata and vallenato. When he isn’t performing at shows, Wagner heads the Angel Wagner Musical Workshop, providing students with hands-on lessons in the sounds of the Caribbean and Latin America. 

BACKGROUND

Arlington’s arts scene has been gaining momentum in the last 3 years, bringing a cultural renaissance to the town. A newly reformed and energized Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture is working to bring artists and cultural organizations together to share goals, coordinate programs, and achieve synergy. www.artsarlington.org/, www.facebook.com/artsarlingtonMA/

GARAGE BAND is an excellent example of the commission’s mission. The first such event, held on June 8, 2019, drew more than 1,000 people of all ages from throughout the region to a free, family-friendly dance party that was the perfect culmination the town-wide Porchfest. 

Arlington Global Service Station serves as a perfect venue for the celebration. The station’s owner, Abe Salhi, was awarded “Business of the Year” by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in recognition of this innovative practice of privately sponsoring public art, in this case, engaging artist Johnny Lapham into transforming his establishment into a colorful array of polka dots and stripes.

For further information, contact Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture (ACAC): 
www.artsarlington.org/livearts/,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 781-646-1071

As of Friday, Sept. 6, the deadline for the town to arrange a contract with a fireworks provider, no one had come through with a way to contribute. Last year, residents Katie Garrett and Pasi Miettinen spearheaded the fund-raising effort and collected $8,679.89, which covered the cost of the contract with the fireworks vendor, Assistant Town Manager Jim Feeney wrote Aug. 28. 


This news announcement was published Friday, June 7, 2019, and updated Sept. 18, to add Dallin copy and photo.