Madison Beach Hotel Manager John Mathers says the hotel plans to launch a Grassy Strip Music And Art Series Thursday night on the grassy strip in front of the hotel, near the town's West Wharf Beach.
The grassy strip is being used by the hotel that provides the town with some money and the use of part of a beach, adjacent to West Wharf Beach, that is owned by the same people who own the hotel.
The hotel has used, and will be using the grassy strip for private events, at which point it will not be available to the public. Other than specific events, the space will be open to both the public and hotel guests. For the Thursday night music series, the hotel is specifically inviting neighbors and town residents, free of charge, Mathers said.
"This is a free music series, every Thursday, called the Grassy Strip Music and Art Series," Mathers said Tuesday morning. He said it was initiated at the behest of Dawn Duques, who owns the hotel with her husband, Ric Duques. "Dawn is a real patron of the arts and we'd like to give back to the community. It will be a low-key, relaxed event."
The first in the series will feature a New York-based duo of female singers called Lucius, but the hotel is actively seeking out local entertainers who might be appropriate for the series, which will specialize in acoustic or lightly amplified music. Mathers said it is designed to have a low impact on the surrounding neighborhood and will be appropriate weeknight entertainment.
He said the hotel also plans to set up a small, juried craft fair of sorts, with a few booths featuring local artists, artisans and similar businesses. "They will be free booths, we will jury it a little bit to make sure we have high quality, and we hope to focus on local artists," he said.
The art show will start at 6 p.m., and the music from about 7 or 8 to 9:30 p.m. "We hope this will be a way to help revitalize West Wharf," Mathers said. In addition to the small, town-owned beach at West Wharf, there is a long stone pier, which was badly damaged in Tropical Storm Irene. The Duques family has announced their intention to help with the repairs of West Wharf, which is a popular fishing and hanging-out spot for locals and visitors alike.
Mathers said the music series will feature "subdued lighting" and should have very little impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
Mathers said additional information about the series will be released soon.
Editor's note: Do you have any recommendations for local bands, artists or artisans? Let us know in the comments below.