The following is an article that was posted in the Danbury News Times, Friday, July 6, 2012
Bethel arts center for young people set to open
Published 10:37 p.m., Friday, July 6, 2012
Wendy Mitchell holds Harry, left, and Molly, puppets from the new theater arts program she will offer when renovations are completed on Studio 10 Center for the Arts LLC, in Bethel. Photographed Thursday, July 5, 2012.Photo: Michael Duffy / The News-Times | Buy This Photo
A Bethel building that began as a hat factory and then served as a flower shop is being transformed into a fine- and performing-arts center for youngsters and teens.
Bethel native Wendy Mitchell plans to open Studio 10 Center for the Arts at 10 Nashville Road on Aug. 1 and offer programs for moms and tots, home-school groups and students in elementary, middle and high school.
“I grew up down the road on South Street, and as an artsy teenager, there was no place for us to go and hang out and be productive and creative,” said the 42-year-old mother of three.
Mitchell, who runs the Ultra Violet Productions Theater Troupe and has a Connecticut early childhood teaching certification, said she lost three friends to drugs and alcohol as a teen, and she doesn’t want to see a recurrence among area youth.
Programs will include open-mike events, karaoke, live bands and improvisation. Staff members will teach art, musical theater, jewelry making, yoga, and voice, guitar, piano, drums and flute. The center has a calendar of events posted at www.studio10bethel.com, which includes two weeks of camp in August.
Next month, there will be free weekend of family workshops to introduce teachers and their programs.
Mitchell said her oldest son, Dillon, was shy until sixth grade, when he performed a small part in a play. Now, at 23, he’s pursuing an acting career.
“When I saw the change theater had in his life, it made me more passionate about this center,” she said.
The building was Whaley’s Flower Bowl for more than 60 years. Eight months ago, Stephen and Ilarina Pomazi, of Redding, purchased the property, which is two doors down from Stephen Pomazi‘s father’s company, Solar Sheet Metal and Roofing Co. He has worked in Bethel for 20 years for his father and also with his own contracting company.
“This became a good opportunity for us,” said Pomazi, who is landscaping and remodeling the property, which will have a 1,200-square-foot studio and office on the ground floor and an apartment upstairs.
“My whole mission for this center is to give teens and kids a safe haven to encourage their individuality and build self-esteem through the arts,” Mitchell said.
Studio 10 Center for the Arts, 10 Nashville Road, Bethel, 203-826-7194, www.studio10bethel.com.