From Cosby to Hawai’i and Back

Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center’s Homecoming/Family Weekend events were an enormous success. The building was bustling with community members and Wesleyan families, thank you to all who participated during this weekend of wonderful events.

On Friday, the entire neighborhood hummed with excitement, as jazz wafted from Green Street’s entry way out into the cool, Fall night. The space at 51 Green St. was transformed to a warm and inviting autumn oasis of rich browns and crisp oranges for a night with the one and only Dr. Bill Cosby. With the arrival of Dr. Cosby, a line quickly formed of people waiting to meet, shake hands, and take pictures with the famous comedian, actor, author, and educator. Guests were treated to delicious food, marvelous entertainment, and fine art as they enjoyed the event. After the reception, guests were treated to Dr. Cosby’s on-campus performance at the Center for the Arts.


Saturday afternoon, Green Street hosted an Open House and welcomed over 125 attendees. Popular Wesleyan band Buru Style filled the Performance Studio with fun and entertainment, while Jocelyn Pleasant and Lovette Caesar-Johnson lead guests in the sounds and rhythms of West African drumming and dance in the Dance Studio. Later on, Green Street’s resident salsero, Jason Pepin, introduced people to the sultry sounds of salsa dance and music. The community drum circle was also a popular choice for all ages as was the visual arts projects. This event was featured in an article in The Middletown Press.

Our Sunday Salon Series continued with Professor J. Kehaulani Kauanui’s “Hawaiian Nationhood & Indigenous Rights”.  With 30 attendees, this intriguing event offered insight into the outstanding Hawaiian independence claim and persistent issue of sovereignty facing the Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiian) people. Said one participant, “This was a fascinating topic and a dynamic presentation. Kehaulani truly engaged the audience in an intellectual and passionate conversation void of pretension. I was riveted the entire time.”

Dine & Donate, Green Street’s delicious weekend-long fundraiser, provided Homecoming/Family Weekend attendees with a great excuse to sample many different Middletown restaurants. In a true show of community partnership, seven local restaurants (Esca, Fiore, Mikado, New England Emporium, Puerto Vallarta, Thai Gardens, and Typhoon) generously agreed to donate a portion of their weekend proceeds to Green Street Arts Center.

If you weren’t able to join us this weekend, don’t worry, we are already planning our next big benefit event. Be sure to mark your calendars for “A Feast for the Senses”, our second annual auction benefit, on Thursday, February 17.

Submitted by Lisa Bruno, Development Assistant