Gateway City Arts Connects Community and Creativity

Gateway City Arts Connects Community and Creativity

Previously in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+, Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays and Turners Falls RiverCulture, all of which support a community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, many communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.

This month, we spotlight Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, a creative co-working space intended for making, teaching, and performing art of all kinds. Gateway City Arts is much more than a maker space, however – the organization’s mission is not only to provide work spaces but to strengthen local community, culture, and the arts by providing space in addition to infrastructure. Community-based learning opportunities abound at Gateway City Arts, thanks to the myriad of diverse events, performances, and learning opportunities. 

Located at 92 Race Street in Holyoke’s Arts and Innovation District, Gateway City Arts has been an important part of the community for three years. Filled with co-working spaces and individual studios alongside spaces for performances and community events, Gateway City Arts combines the making of art with the sharing of art – pairing artists and their creations with opportunities for sharing and teaching the arts. Creativity of all kinds oozes from the building, and a full calendar of events catering to all ages and a variety of interests draws the community in.

Of particular import amongst Gateway City Arts’ many community-based learning opportunities are weekly bazaar markets, at which local artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs share their wares. Held on Thursdays from 11am-7pm, each bazaar features both new and returning vendors, and offers visitors a chance to peruse offerings that range from art and craft products to books, clothes, and antiques. A visit to the bazaar can result not only in the purchase of handcrafted goods, but also in learning about the skills of local artists and artisans, as families can take advantage of the opportunity to converse with vendors about their skills and the resources used to make each product.

In addition to marketplace events, Gateway City Arts engages the community through classes, volunteer opportunities, and community discussions. Class offerings at Gateway City Arts include applied arts, wood carving, tango, percussion, and tai chi for adults, and a special technique-focused junior artists class for tween and teen artists.

Families interested in supporting the organization can donate their time to ensure that art events, performances, and celebrations continue to take place by volunteering their time to work at an event. Additionally, families can help Gateway City Arts to further its mission and to continue to effectively connect artists and community members by participating in weekly salons – discussion-based events that bring together artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and families for centered around building connections between art, business, and the community. Held on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm, salons follow a pre-determined topic rotation, with each event focusing on a different side of art, business, and/or community.

For more information about Gateway City Arts’ community offerings, work spaces, or upcoming events, contact the organization at 413-650-2670 or by e-mailing hello@gatewaycityarts.com.

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