From the Commission on the Arts.
The Commission on the Arts will honor a longtime theater group and visual artist on Monday during its annual Arts Advocacy Award ceremony at City Hall.
This year, commissioners chose the city-based Vintage Players troupe and resident artist David Schulz for its annual recognition of those who have significantly contributed to the cultural and artistic enrichment and/or have shown extraordinary support and initiative for the arts in our city.
San Francisco-born Schulz, who is primarily self-taught, took his first formal art class in Sioux City, Iowa, at 7. He studied art at the University of Wisconsin and began as a graphic designer/illustrator until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967.
Schulz, who has lived in the city with his wife Carol for more than 40 years, spent many years designing and building sets for Oddfellows Playhouse, Artfarm and Watkinson School in West Hartford.
“These days I mostly draw and paint whatever is of interest to me at any given moment,” said Schulz, who has most recently focused his work on creating portraits. His art hangs in many private collections, including the city arts collection at City Hall.
The first staging of the Vintage Players, founded in 1993 by Jane McMillan, was a staged reading of "Dancing at Lughnasa" at the original Buttonwood Tree on Rapallo Avenue.
Over the years, original members John Hall and Lynne Ficudia were joined by Richard Kamins and Dorris Hallie. In 2003, veteran Broadway dancer and actress Carolyn Kirsh joined the group
Past productions have included "Mornings at Seven," "The Torchbearers," "Juno and the Paycock," and "Chasing Manet."
All funds raised over the past 25 years have gone to local nonprofits such as Oddfellows Playhouse and the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center.
The first awardees, in 2004, were the Middletown High School Band Goes to the Symphony and Public Schools arts programs.
Those honored in 2017 were artist Pierre Sylvain and the Middlesex Hospital Vocal Chords. In 2016, Arthur Meyers, Pam Tatge and MAC650 art gallery were commended for their efforts. For a complete list of annual awardees, contact the City Arts Office.
This local ceremony will be held March 12 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in lobby of the Council Chambers at City Hall. It coincides with National Arts Advocacy Day taking place the following week, March 20 to 21 in Washington, D.C.
Refreshments will be served and all are invited to the ceremony at City Hall, 245 deKoven Drive. For information, contact City Arts Coordinator Stephan Allison at 860.638.4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.