Green Street Programs and Offerings

Green Street Street Arts Center of Wesleyan University (GSAC) offers a variety of programs for everyone! Here is a glimpse of what’s inside.

After School Students on a fieldtrip to the CT Science Center

After School Arts & Science Program – At the core of Green Street’s offerings is the After School Arts & Science Program. We have a wide array of opportunities for students in grades 1-8 to explore their creativity and develop practical skills for everyday life during after school hours. Students may enroll in a 4-day track to focus on one area of the arts, or may, with their parents, choose any combination of classes to engage in any number of the five artistic disciplines (Visual, Sound, Movement, Media, Literary) offered at Green Street. Classes are held from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM for grades 1 through 8. From 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, students may enroll in GSAC’s unique Academic Enrichment program. Friday programs take place at Macdonough Elementary School and represent an effort by Green Street and Macdonough to forge a closer bond between the North End neighborhood, the arts and the local youth resources.

Green Street works with the Board of Education to offer bus transportation from several public schools.  We provide a nutritious snack to students arriving before class time, engage the surrounding community through service learning projects, and give students a venue for biannual performances and displays of work. Need-based full and partial scholarships are available upon review for any student seeking to participate in Green Street’s programs.

Guests enjoying a talk with author Jamie Cat Callan.

Evening & Weekend Program Each evening and weekend Green Street offers courses in Movement, Music, Visual, Literary and Media Arts. Classes are generally offered in five or six week sessions and open to people through out the region. These classes are great for brushing up on old skills, learning new skills, socializing and having fun.

Friday Nights – Many Friday nights feature interesting and exciting events at Green Street. From local bands like Goodnight Blue Moon and Bus Hits Bridge to film screenings of Middletown B-Boys and To Brooklyn & Back: A Mohawk Journey and even cultural performances like the Music & Dance of Bali, there is sure to be something to spice up your Friday Night!

Sunday Salons – Led by Wesleyan professors, these information discussions present new research and cutting-edge information. You are invited join the conversation in a comfortable setting. Some of our previous discussions have included Reading the Nobel Prize Winners, Race & Politics, Music & Mystique of Downtown New York, and History in Sound & Motion. Coming soon, Thinking About Pete Seeger with Rob Rosenthal, April 25th!

Community Partnerships – Green Street continues to partner with the North End Action Team (NEAT) to offer free classes to community members including Computer Basics, Foreclosure Prevention, and First Time Homeownership.

Teacher Kerry and a student.

In addition to this partnership GSAC works with the Cromwell Children’s Home, Bielfield Elementary School, Portland Park and Rec, and the Boys Club at the CT Juvenile Training School offering classes and workshops.

We continue to reach into our neighborhood working in the Erin Street Community Garden, creating murals for the neighborhood, collaborating with Oddfellows Playhouse amongst many other projects.

That is just a glimpse inside Wesleyan’s Green Street. We hope that you will come visit us soon. And check the blog regularly for interviews, information and more!

A Brief History

In the late 1990’s the North End of Middletown began to undergo a revitalization to remove the blighted properties and clean up the neighborhood. The North End Action Team was formed in 1997 to help community members organize and have a voice. In 1998 a committee of North End stakeholders was convened to discuss a vision for the future. The committee expressed the community’s desire for a central gathering place. Conversations were held with then Mayor of Middletown, Dominique Thornton and an arts center was suggested. A feasibility study in 2001 suggested that the North End community and Wesleyan University would support an arts center, and identified the property of 51 Green Street as a critical piece of real estate due to its central location.

Arts Cafe during renovations.

The City of Middletown committed to renting the location to Wesleyan, who then began a fundraising campaign for renovations and operations, which resulted in support on the federal, state, and local levels. Renovations to the building began on May 2, 2004.  Originally the Johnson Street School in the late 1800’s and later St. Sebastian’s School, the building was a perfect fit for an educational center.

While renovations were taking place, pilot programs were run through the Green Street Arts Program at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Main Street in Middletown. Classes included Music Alive!, children’s dance classes, and an after school program of about 20 students. In partnering with Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts, workshops with artists in residence were also held. Green Street Arts Center officially opened its doors at 51 Green Street on January 5, 2005.

Through the essential partnership of the North End Action Team, the City of Middletown and Wesleyan University, Green Street continues to offer programming for preschoolers to adults and we continue to reach out to the surrounding community. Many of our participants have been with us since our programming at Holy Trinity Church. We will highlight their stories in upcoming articles.

Welcome to the Green Street Blog!

Green Street Exterior ShotHello and welcome to the Green Street Blog!

An emerald sitting prominently in Middletown’s historic North End, Green Street Arts Center of Wesleyan University is a gathering place for people from all walks and stages of life to join together and explore the arts. Through this blog we hope to introduce you to Green Street, inside and out. We will highlight our programs, students, Membership partners, classes and events and more!

Green Street is a three-story arts and education center currently celebrating its fifth anniversary. Here you can find an eclectic mix of events, exhibitions, classes and workshops offered to local individuals and families, as well as people from more than 25 surrounding towns. Green Street’s state-of-the-art facility includes a sound recording studio, black-box theater, computer and media labs, and dance and art studios. Since opening in 2005, more than 20,000 people statewide have participated in programs from the visual, performing and media arts to early childhood development. Through evening and weekend programming and special events, audiences sample a wide array of performances, lectures, and workshops from professional artists, Wesleyan faculty, and visiting and local artists.

With its mission of enriching lives through the arts, Green Street enables people from diverse backgrounds to converge in one special place.  Ours is a place that celebrates diversity, while encouraging us to learn more about our community.  The high-quality After School Arts & Science Program remains at the core of Green Street’s offering, providing youth with arts education, homework assistance, mentoring, and nutritious snacks, all in the context of a safe and creative environment.

Green Street Arts Center’s greatest asset and most unique quality are its origins. Evolving from a collaborative spirit of Wesleyan University, the City of Middletown, the North End Action Team and other stakeholders who recognize the potential in their community, Green Street was destined to become a beacon of change. Since its inception, Green Street has always been viewed as an extension of Wesleyan University. Green Street was fully embraced under the umbrella of the Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan in the Fall of 2008.

Green Street is open Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm for regular business hours and is often open later for events and classes. We hope that you will stop by soon for a tour, to get more information, or to participate in an event.

See you soon!