Franklin Street Works Benefit Party Set for Sept. 16

Stamford, CT -- Franklin Street Works, a not-for-profit contemporary art space in Downtown Stamford, will honor Connecticut arts advocate Tamara Dimitri and Chicago artist Cheryl Pope at its benefit party, “Get Out! Making Art Public” on Saturday, September 16, 5:00-8:00 pm

The party, which takes place on Franklin Street Works’ tented back patio, will celebrate Dimitri and Pope’s commitment to expanding contemporary art beyond the gallery and into the public sphere.  Tickets start at $65 and can be purchased HERE.

“Both of our honorees work to bring art out of the microcosm of the gallery and museum system and into environments where people live their day-to-day lives,” says Franklin Street Works Creative Director Terri C Smith, “We’re looking forward to honoring them and their vital work, which improves the texture and fabric of communities through contemporary art projects.”

Tamara Dimitri has been the Public Art Program Specialist at the Connecticut Office of the Arts in Hartford for 12 years. She has spearheaded more than 30 public art projects in Connecticut, working with architects, universities, artists, and galleries to bring existing and commissioned works to campuses across the state. Trained as an artist with an MFA in sculpture from Cornell University, Dimitri believes that public art humanizes a space, and forges a unique connection between viewer, artist, and setting.

Cheryl Pope, whose work will be on view in Franklin Street Works fall exhibition, "I hear it everywhere I go," creates collaborative projects that challenge dominant media and political narratives about life in Chicago, shifting perspectives through a combination of poetry, storytelling, and visual art. She believes listening is an important tool in making art, often working with young writers in Chicago to create discursive spaces, performances, and artworks that reflect their experiences.

“Get Out! Making Art Public” is Franklin Street Works’ biggest fundraiser of the year, making it an important event in sustaining their award-winning exhibitions and free, public educational programs. The party will include dinner by the bite, an open bar, music with EXPLOIT AND INDUSTRY (the DJ team of artist Emily Larned and producer Chris Ruggiero), a silent auction of unique art items and experiences, and more!

The event is generously sponsored by: Fifield Piaker Elman Architects; Reckson, A Division of SL Green; and Sharon and Steven Chrust.  Moffly Media and WPKN 89.5 listener supported radio are the event’s media sponsors.  Special thanks to our in-kind sponsors Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Santa Energy, TIto’s Handmade Vodka, and The Farmer’s Cow.

General admission tickets are $65 with a member and student discount of $55. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information, to donate in an honoree’s name, or to become an event sponsor, email Franklin Street Works Executive Director Bonnie Wattles, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Tamara Dimitri has served as the Public Art Program Specialist with the Connecticut Office of the Arts in Hartford for twelve years. She has led projects that benefit the Connecticut community via public art initiatives. From arts-based projects grants to the Artist Fellowship Program, which supports blossoming artists and the creation of their new work, Dimitri acts as a champion of the arts within the Connecticut state government. She oversees the Art in Public Spaces Program, in which she has led 30 public art projects over the past twelve years, and the Connecticut Artist Collection, a program that acquires and exhibits the work of Connecticut artists on a rotating basis in public locations. These projects and exhibitions add life and color to community colleges and state universities all over Connecticut. Apart from the visual arts, she also supervises the position of the State Poet Laureate, and acts as the Accessibility Coordinator for the Connecticut Office for the Arts. To further her impact on the art world, she is involved in the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5 for the Americans for the Arts, which analyzes the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry.

Before shifting her focus towards arts administration promotion of arts in public spaces and local Connecticut artists, she earned her BFA from Arizona State University in 2001, and her Master’s in Sculpture from Cornell University in 2004. As an artist, she has been represented in both solo and group exhibitions. Throughout Dimitri’s career, she has espoused the belief that public art humanizes a space, and forges a unique connection between viewer, artist, and setting. Dimitri believes that art brings creativity, pride, and intrigue to a community and has dedicated much of her life to transforming Connecticut’s cultural landscape with art projects.

Chicago-based visual artist Cheryl Pope, whose work garnered she and her collaborators an invitation to the White House by President Barack Obama, specializes in sculpture, installation, and performance art. Pope is known for her collaborative exploration of identity in relation to race, gender, sexuality, class, history, power, and place. Her work melds seamlessly into the city of Chicago, as she collaborates with young poets in her project entitled “Walk With Me” -- an effort to amplify the voices of young artists in Chicago through one-on-one poetry recitations with adults. She also raises awareness about gun violence, the state of youth penitentiaries, and the impact of race through performance art projects such as “Just Yell” Pope asserts that her art emerges from the “practice and politics of listening” and she hopes to create a space for the viewer to become a “performer of listening.” Pope has raised awareness of the voices of young people in Chicago, creating through contemporary art, an outlet for social change.

Pope earned her BFA and MD from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and currently serves as a full-time professor in their Fashion Department. Her artwork is represented by the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago and Galleria Bianconi in Milan. While studying under sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave for twelve years, Pope worked as a teaching artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art for seven years. She also trains as a boxer, which has found its way into her artwork as a metaphor for the dynamics of seeking mutual understanding. The artist won the Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in 2014 and continues to train and teach boxing to youths at the SOHO House in Chicago.


Franklin Street Works is a not-for-profit contemporary art space and café whose mission is to manifest contemporary art projects in a professional and welcoming setting. Franklin Street Works aims to broaden community participation in the arts, contribute to a larger arts dialogue, and cultivate emerging artists. To date, the organization has exhibited the work of more than 350 artists, curated 24 original exhibitions, and organized approximately 120 programs, including talks, tours, and performances. Their work has received national and regional support, including two, multi-year grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as well as grants from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and more. Exhibitions have been recognized with positive reviews in major publications such as Artforum online, Art in America online, Art New England, Art Papers, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, Bomb blog, the Daily Serving, and artcritical.com.


Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15-minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On-street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 7:00 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. Hours: Café: Tues-Fri, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sat/Sun, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Gallery: Tues-Sun, 12:00 pm–5:00 pm.


Franklin Street Works has a temporary ramp for accessing our gallery. Please call 203-595-5211 or 203-253-0404, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for access requests. The ramp is connected to the back entrance, across approximately 4 feet of mulch and a parking lot next door. Once inside there is an elevator and bathrooms are large and clear but do not have access bars. Franklin Street Works is in the process of finishing a permanent ADA ramp in the summer of 2017.



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