Grace Farms nears unveiling
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, September 17, 2015
Grace Farms is 80 acres of open space at 365 Lukes Wood Road being developed as an environment for visitors to “experience nature, encounter the arts, pursue justice, foster community and explore faith,” according to organizers.
“We are excited to announce our partnerships with these renowned artists from across the globe, who have responded so positively to the aspirations of Grace Farms and who are taking us a big step forward in realizing our mission,” Prince said in a statement. “As we begin the countdown to our October opening, it is inspiring to see how the landscape and architecture are now coming together so beautifully with the arts and our inaugural programs.”
The commissioned works are part of Grace Farms’ broader plan for programming across its core program areas: nature, arts, justice, community and faith. Additional programs will include art and architecture tours; book signings and discussions with authors; film screenings and discussions with filmmakers; an Earth Day weekend symposium; a community pantry and kitchen; lectures and conversations with thought leaders; a year-end Festival of Lights and special courses given in collaboration with the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Grace Farms also will serve as a year-round public recreational area with walking trails, picnic areas, an athletic field and food from community purveyors.
Known as “The River” because of the way it meanders through the rolling terrain, the building at Grace Farms begins on a knoll and flows down the slope in a series of bends, forming pond-like spaces. The building of glass, concrete, steel and wood is in essence a single long roof, which seems to float some 10 to 14 feet above the surface of the ground as it twists and turns across the landscape. The walkways, courtyards and glass-wrapped volumes that form beneath the roof are transparent.
The non-profit organizations the foundation has supported, and that may be invited to use space in ‘The River,” include Arts for Healing, A Better Chance, New Canaan CARES, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Yale Center for Faith and Culture, International Justice Mission, Love146, Next Generation Nepal and Hope for Haiti. The Foundation is also in the midst of establishing an animal-assisted therapy program and has created a Grace Farms Heavenly Roast coffee blend that supports justice and community programming by sourcing from the women-owned Rainforest Alliance Farms.