Changes are afoot at Bath’s beloved Chocolate Church Arts Center.

The first one is turning the gallery, the upper floor of the Annex, into a Community Art Studio. This space will be multifunctional, allowing it to continue to exhibit local artists while also being a fully stocked, functional art studio. In addition to art labs, lessons and workshops, use of the supplies and space for drop-in or scheduled time is free for the community. We welcome donations of supplies, materials and expertise. Contact the Chocolate Church to learn more.

Another change is upgrading the lower floor of the Annex. This space is undergoing a makeover for smaller, more intimate concerts, theater productions, dance classes and more. This summer, volunteers will be giving it some significant upgrades and touch-ups, including a new lighting and sound system, refinished floors, curtains, and new seating. The vision is to make it more accommodating for smaller, local shows and touring acts, community meals and sharings, and expanded workshop programming.

The summer Art Lab series will culminate with a Monster Garden and Procession with costumes, puppets and other forms of visual art created by local artists and participants in the weekly series.

With so much happening, the CCAC is requesting help from the community. Come out on scheduled volunteer days, on Monday and Wednesday mornings in July, or come another time. From interior and exterior painting, to inventorying stage equipment, to hanging lights and more, there are a number of ways to help the organization grow.

This fall the Chocolate Church promises a wide array of offerings — some old favorites, some new flavors. The renowned singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler will appear in September. And the award-winning, one-woman play “How to Survive a Civil War and Have Fun” by Somali theater and multi-media artist Ifrah Mansour will be presented.

Monthly appearances by the local contemporary jam ensemble, Groovetide, playing an “exploration of groovy music” will take place in the Annex for those who want to boogie to a mix of Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, The Beatles and more. Also slated, Coig from Ireland, some stand-up comedy, clowning, circus and world music for kids. Sign up to get regular emails at

Matthew Glassman is executive and artistic director of the Chocolate Church Arts Center.

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