It’s officially the holidays, which means it’s gift-giving season! Over the past few years, I’ve realized that we, as a society, have an excessive amount of “stuff”. This is why I want to encourage all of you to save yourselves the pain of driving and parking at the mall or big box stores, as well as the crowds and lines. (I swear it’s not because I want that good parking space for myself.)
Instead, give something a little more special for the holidays this year–give your friends and families the arts. Experiencing a performance, a night out with the girls, or a family outing gives so much more than say, a scented candle or bath salts or the dreaded obligatory tie…or worse, a chia pet. Make a memory together that will be something that will bring joy for years to come. Who knows? Perhaps you will start a wonderful tradition for you and the people special to you. As an added bonus, you’ll be contributing to the vibrancy and success of your local arts organizations! (Be honest, you know that chia pet will not give you a nice family memory.)
We at the Hartford Symphony have concerts that are perfect for just about everyone (of course). If you want to create that holiday tradition, bring the family to the Holiday Cirque Spectacular right around Christmas–it’s perfect for everyone, even your little ones. The music is fabulous, yet familiar for those not “into” classical music. For those who find comfort in the familiar classics, make an outing to our performance of Handel’s Messiah with CONCORA.
If you want to give someone the gift of the concert experience later in the year (and I’m telling you, you do), our Masterworks series is perfect for the classical music lover–from Mozart to Gershwin, even some unexpected programming. For the all-out romantic, we’ve got it covered too. Our Pops! series has concerts for the food lover (so don’t buy those rooster pot holders), the baseball fanatic, and the musical theatre lover.
One of our newer series, Jazz & Strings is perfect for your funkier friend who will love concerts featuring tributes to Wes Montgomery and Billie Holiday–which means you don’t have to buy that Jerry Garcia tie. You have an art lover? We have our Sunday Serenades chamber series at the Wadsworth Atheneum which features programming inspired by art in absolutely lovely surroundings. Do you have an ardent environmentalist? A photography buff? Our special multimedia event, LIFE: A Journey Through Time is perfect for both.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you can also make a donation to the HSO In Honor of of your favorite music lover for the holidays, or In Memory of a beloved music lover who has passed. This will help us to bring the gift of music to everyone in our community. And, it’s really easy to wrap (hello, going green!).
We also want to encourage you to support our fellow arts organizations throughout the season–there’s so much going on and we don’t want you to miss any of it! The HSO is part of Christmas with the Hartford Chorale. The impressive CONNetic Dance Company has a funky production of The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy. Both Hartford Stage and Theaterworks have great holiday productions. If you want something a little less holiday-themed, check out Playhouse on Park’sDriving Miss Daisy.
However you decide to gift your friends and family this year, we do hope that you will remember your local arts organizations as perfect options for just about everyone! I promise, your loved ones will thank you for not buying them more scented lotion or fruitcake but giving them something a little more special. The arts never go stale…but then again, I’m not sure fruitcake does either. Happy Holidays!