On Saturday, February 15, the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation presented its second annual free Family Movie and Crafts Day at the Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. Kicking off the start of winter vacation for Gloucester’s schools, the day-long event provided a perfect opportunity for families to share time together over movies, crafts, and activities.
“This event is an integral part of the programming that the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation presents each year,” noted Charles Nazarian, president of the GMF. “As a civic hub, cultural venue, and community center, we provide programs and events that appeal to a wide range of ages, interests, and musical tastes. The free Family Movie and Crafts Day is one way that we have of thanking the local community for the participation and support that they show us each year.”
A cluster of brightly colored balloons marked the entrance to the event which started off with a warm welcome and morning refreshments. Within a few minutes, the face painter from Aerialicious Entertainment was busy at work creating stunning designs from fantasy and cartoon characters to realistic impressions from nature. Participants of all ages got on board with the crafts project – creating and decorating snow figures from athletic socks. And representatives from Maritime Gloucester brought live sea creatures and fascinating exhibits to share with families.
The morning’s activities continued with the screening of the popular animated feature film Toy Story 4. By lunchtime, the downstairs social hall of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church was buzzing with activity. Following the pizza lunch, Mr. Nazarian brought the group of 25 children on a tour of the Meetinghouse and pointed out many of the building’s architectural and decorative features. Among them is the bell made by Paul Revere and Sons which each of the children was able to ring. For many, this was their first time inside the historic 1806 building. The tour finished with a demonstration of the 1893 Hutchings-Fisk pipe organ and each participant was given an opportunity to play a few notes on it. The afternoon movie Abominable was shown while face painting, crafts projects, and demonstrations continued for all.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to welcome families to this program and to our partners Pathways for Children, Maritime Gloucester, and the Cape Ann Community Cinema for their role in organizing and staffing this wonderful community event,” said Mr. Nazarian. “We counted 45 children and 30 parents who participated throughout the day.”
The free Family Movie and Crafts Day is one of many monthly events and programs offered each year by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation. The 2019-20 winter season included a festive holiday concert with The Musicians of the Old Post Road, a symposium on affordable housing, and the annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “We are looking forward to presenting the fifth season of Music on Meetinghouse Green,” said Mr. Nazarian. “The nine-week series of free Friday evening concerts on the Meetinghouse lawn showcases outstanding musical talent, local food vendors, and, most of all, a great sense of community. There will be something for every musical taste and each week we will feature a local nonprofit organization and the work they do for the residents of Cape Ann.”
Photos provided by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation and Maritime Gloucester.