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Nearly 500 attend 'Open Arts Day' in Watertown, show support for local police

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  May 16, 2013 02:14 PM

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OADay 2013 OnStairs.jpg

Photo courtesy of the Arsenal Center for the Arts

Local children sing along with the center's old-timey band Crazy Neighbors, led by New Repertory actress Paula Langton, at the Open Arts Day event earlier this month.

Nearly 500 people attended "Open Arts Day," a free open house at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown earlier this month, showing a strong display of community following the events of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt occurring locally, according to organization officials.

The May 4 event, which was geared toward families, included art activities like making clay pots, designing paper kites, and other sorts of art projects. Some dressed up in Watertown Children's Theatre costumes and had their picture taken on a fanciful set. Others partook in quilting demonstrations, three art exhibits, and music entertainment, including the New Repertory Theatre's Camelot cast and the old-timey band Crazy Neighbors, organizers said.

However, the harrowing events of April 15 and the week that followed were still at the forefront of the celebration. Many who attended signed a large white banner thanking Watertown law enforcement and first responders. Residents added comments like "Your bravery will never be forgotten. Stay strong!" and "Incredible YOU!"

Still, many enjoyed the art activities and summer camp previews the art center's staff provided, officials said.

“Since we opened our doors in 2006, we have truly become the multi-disciplinary arts center that the founders envisioned, filled with the energy of people attending performances, creating art, acting, singing, dancing and participating in workshops and classes,” said Sharon Glennon, executive director of the center, in a statement. “The greater Boston community has been incredibly supportive of the Arsenal Center for the Arts, so it gives us pleasure to reciprocate by hosting Open Arts Day - a free, fun way for families to experience the arts."

The open house was funded in part by grants and donations from Belmont Savings Bank, the Watertown Cultural Council, and the Waltham Cultural Council.

The Arsenal Center for the Arts is located at 321 Arsenal St. in Watertown. For more information on the center and the programs, performances and services it provides, visit the organization's website.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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