By SHERIDAN CYR
Four Southington nonprofit organizations are excited to announce the new program, Apples & Arts, which will provide funds for support services for Southington residents by inviting artists and sponsors to collaborate on designing and painting a large apple.
Much like the iconic painted cows in West Hartford, these fiberglass-polyester apples will be displayed around the town of Southington as well as be featured in the Apple Harvest Festival parade and then will be auctioned off in the annual Calvanese Foundation Gala.
All proceeds will be distributed amongst the United Way of Southington, Southington Community Services, Bread for Life, and Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA).
“You hear about projects like this all over the state. I’ve been thinking about doing this since 2010, but we’ve been so busy that the timing was just never there,” said SoCCA executive director, Mary DeCroce. “Now that the dust has settled, I have more time to devote to this.”
Artists are invited to fill out an application online at www.applesandarts.org. Once all applications are received, the planning committee will review and select artists to participate. Then, artists will be paired with sponsors.
There are four options for sponsors to select from. There are whole apples (38 inches tall, 28 inches wide) and apple cores (28 inches tall, 20 inches wide and a narrow 10 inch center).
For $5,000, they obtain ownership of one whole apple with the company name and logo displayed on all print and on-line advertising materials for maximum availability. This also comes with 10 tickets to the Calvanese Foundation Gala, and a full-page color, premium positioned advertisement in the auction program guide.
For $3,500, receive an apple core with the company name and logo displayed on all advertising materials, a half-page color ad in the guide, and four tickets to the gala.
Sponsors can also pick their own apple. For $2,000, they get the same advertising display option as above, a half-page color ad in the guide, and the opportunity to purchase the apple for $750. A $1,000 sponsorship will receive an apple core, with the same advertising materials offer, a quarter-page ad in the guide, and the opportunity to purchase the apple for $500.
For their work, artists will be paid $500 for whole apples, and $300 for cores.
“This is a great opportunity for sponsors because it’s a year-long marketing campaign for them,” said DeCroce. “Their money is helping to allow social services in town to service a lot of people, and give a donation to our nonprofit organizations. In return, they get a beautiful, hand-painted apple.”
The benefiting nonprofits all expressed excitement for Apples & Arts and credited DeCroce for her hard work.
“I really want to thank Mary for all the work she has done in putting this whole thing together,” said United Way of Southington director Jack Eisenmann. “We are so glad we can partner with a couple agencies in town, and help raise more money for them and for residents of Southington.”
Janet Mellon, Community Services director, said anything DeCroce does is an “incredible job.”
“I am very excited. I’ve seen the cows around and all the other similar projects in other towns, and I think it’s so great that Southington will now have the apples,” Mellon said.
Donna Ayer at Bread for Life said the project is an “exciting community venture that not only beautifies our town, but will also benefit the important work that we do to meet the needs in our community.”
Orders for the apples need to be submitted by SoCCA to Icon Poly in Nevada by the end of June.
To sign up to be an artist or sponsor, or to find more information, visit www.applesandarts.org, call SoCCA at (860) 276-1581 or stop by at 93 Main St.