Attendees of a Thursday, Jan. 28 planning meeting for an August arts festival.
Attendees of a Thursday, Jan. 28 planning meeting for an August arts festival.

TORRINGTON — An in-person arts festival is being planned for Saturday, August 14 by the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council.
At a Zoom meeting where members of the Council discussed its plans, which was held on Thursday, Jan. 28, council program director Maddie Stenson said that the objective of the festival is to celebrate the creative energy of artists in the region.
“We want to bring everyone into one central location for this festival,” Stenson said. “We want to have a lot of stuff all day for people to explore in downtown Torrington. We want people to see what the Northwest Corner has to offer. We want people to also explore businesses in the area.”
She said that the festival would be held in Franklin Plaza, Water Street, Main Street, and several other potential locations, including Coe Park.
“We would like to have booths of artists and creatives at Franklin Plaza so they can sell their work and do demos if they want to, and people can walk around and buy arts and crafts,” Stenson said.
As for Covid safety, Stenson said that masks would be required for all attendees, a sanitizing station would be available, there would be adequate distance in-between booths, and there would be one-way walking paths and directional arrows on the festival site.
“We are going to be following the guidelines from the state, no matter where it goes,” organization executive director Steph Burr said. “We want to do this event. If the Covid rates are spiking, we’re going to reconsider our plans and make decisions as we go based on the information we have. We’re going to do everything we can. If it is spiking, we will be scaling back our marketing efforts. We’re not going to try to get a large crowd if that’s the case.”
Burr said that the council is motivated to hold the event this year.
“We want to get this event started and to give people something to look forward to,” Burr said.
Stenson said that as part of the festival Red Room Studio would be organizing live music for the festival.
Meeting attendee Rufus de Rham, executive director of the Warner Theater, said at the meeting that the theater would hold a production of “The Stinky Cheese Man” for free at the event.
“This event is what we need to be doing outside downtown Torrington,” de Rham said. “Torrington is the cultural hub of Litchfield County, and I’m excited to get people from all over the region down here to show them how awesome it is here.”
Other local organization representatives that showed interest in assisting with the event at the meeting included Our Culture is Beautiful, Rock Yer Block, KidsPlay Children’s Museum, Nutmeg Conservatory, and Five Points Art Gallery.
For more information about the festival go to