Green Street’s 6th Annual Arts Fest: from Popcorn to “Pickles”

Popcorn Arts Fest '10On Saturday, June 12th, the Green Street Arts Center was filled with excitement.  The 6th Annual Arts Festival took place and, despite the rain, was a great success.  With performances like “Pickles” from the Songwriting class and the debut of “Middletown: Our Town”, an animated video created by the Digital Animation class, the entertainment was energetic, captivating, and certainly inspiring.

Even before entering the building, the festival’s energy was already evident.  Teaching artist Anna had a line of eager kids waiting to get their faces painted, the neighborhood ice cream truck was popular as ever, and Frank was busily handing out free popcorn.  Upon entering Green Street, you could already smell delicious food provided by our partners at Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar, Iguanas Ranas Taqueria, and Firehouse Steakhouse.  Jerry’s Pizza had a table with free pizza that was always surrounded by hungry Arts Fest attendees.  Broad Street Books brought a great assortment of arts supplies and books, and DeFabrica Therapeutic Massage was very popular, constantly providing people with refreshing massages.

Arts Fest Drumming '10
Drumming at Arts Fest '10

After satisfying their hunger, guests could choose from a variety of amusements.  The African Drumming classes were set up in the Multipurpose Room, providing hours of rhythmic entertainment.  Adults and kids alike were invited to do arts and crafts in both the Wet and Dry Arts Rooms.  Meanwhile, across the hall in the Performance Studio there was constant action, with breakdancing, musical performances, salsa dancing, animated videos, hip-hop, and more, continuously provided enjoyment for an exuberant audience.

Students in the Breakdancing class staged a breakdance battle to showcase their unbelievable moves.  Young musicians displayed their talents in solo performances, as well as collectively in the Songwriting class’s amusing song “Pickles”.  The salsa class inspired the audience to move and grove to Latin beats, and the Digital Animation class highlighted their skills with a video called “Middletown: Our Town”.  ThoroEnergy also wowed the audience with a dramatic and engaging hip-hop performance.

Breakdancing Battle

When Arts Fest ended, attendees left with smiles on their faces, students left with a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and the staff were pleased with the success of the event and happy to have made new friends.

For more great pictures of the event, check out our Facebook page here.

If you are interested in learning more about how your child can get involved in one of these (or other) great classes, call us at (860) 685-7871 or email For more information on upcoming events and classes, visit our website at

Submitted by Lisa Bruno, Development Assistant

A Taste of Green Street’s New Membership Program

Green Street Arts Center of Wesleyan University recently sat down with

Outside Iguanas Ranas

local business owner and Green Street partner, Polo Martinez to find out more about business at Iguanas Ranas Taqueria. As a partner in our Membership Program, the restaurant offers a free soda with every $10 purchase to our Members. Read on to learn about their fabulous dishes and community connections.

Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Polo came to Connecticut 20 years ago. His wife, a native of Mexico City, and children followed soon after.  After years of experience in the restaurant industry, the Martinez family decided to try their hand at business.  Iguanas Ranas Taqueria opened in 2008 and has been making a name for itself ever since.

Nestled in Middletown’s North End, Iguanas Ranas offers deliciously authentic Mexican cuisine at economy-friendly prices.  Of all their delicacies, Polo tells Green Street, the burritos and the tacos are the most popular.  The Oaxaqueña a 15-inch creation, originally called “tlayuda” in Mexico, is something you have to see to believe.   Everything is homemade and fresh, which makes all the difference when you are competing with the multitude of restaurants in Middletown.  While they do have a set menu, Polo says that Iguanas Ranas is able to make other dishes to order. So if you’re craving enchiladas or mole, just give them some notice!

“We are happy, because everybody is happy.” –Polo Martinez, owner

Polo thinks that the large Latino population combined with Iguanas Ranas’ commitment to authentic, homemade foods are key in their success.  It is clear that this taqueria is in demand; Polo routinely receives requests for other Iguanas Ranas locations around the state.  While expansion is not currently on the menu, Polo hasn’t ruled it out.  When asked how he thinks another Iguanas Ranas would fare, the owner said, “I’m not scared. You make good food, people look for you.”

Are you taking full advantage of our partnership with Iguanas Ranas? If you are a Green Street member, show your membership card and get a free drink with every $10 purchase.  If you’re not a member, call us at (860) 685-7871 or email to join! Visit for a full list of membership benefits.

Submitted by Lisa Bruno, Development Assistant