NEW CANAAN — Seeking to provide a peaceful and productive hub for the wider community, officials of Grace Farms will open the complex to the public Friday and Saturday with a range of musical and dance performances and activities for residents.

The opening is the culmination of a five-year process of fundraising, planning and construction overseen by the Grace Farms Foundation, an off-shoot of the non-denominational Grace Community Church, which was gifted the 75-acre property at 365 Lukes Wood Road.

In addition to an amphitheater sized to hold 700 spectators, the centerpiece of the center for “nature, arts, community, justice and faith,” is an 83,000-square foot multi-use building with covered walkways called, “The River,” a name that references the design of the building flowing with the contours of the slopes and hills of the property’s woodlands.

“We look forward to welcoming the public and sharing the multitude of programmed and unstructured experiences that Grace Farms offers,” said Sharon Prince, president of Grace Farms Foundation. “The intersection of landscape, architecture, art, faith, justice and community will create a new kind of space for visitors and non-profits to collaborate for good.”

The two-day celebration begins at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, and include artistic performances, speeches, and other events, including the debut of site-specific artworks by Thomas Demand, Teresita Fernandez and Susan Philips.

More Information

Below is an outline of public events scheduled throughout the opening celebration of Grace Farms on October 9 and October 10.

October 9, 5:30— 9:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Performances by Jake Goldbas Ensemble

Open Studio hosted by non-profit partner Arts for Healing

5:45 p.m.

Justice program conversation with Krishna Patel

Indie pop gospel The Welcome Wagon featuring Andrew Gregory

6:15 p.m.

Paul Taylor Dance Company performance of Promethean Fire

7:30 p.m.

Benefit Concert featuring Aloe Blacc (ticketed)

Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun solar-powered lamps will be displayed on site and sold to benefit the 1.1 billion people without access to electricity.

October 10, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.—Community Day

10 a.m.

Open Studio hosted by non-profit partner Arts for Healing

Mad Science Workshop: Alternative Energy/Art/Nature for Kids

10:30 a.m.

Children’s reading and bulb planting

11:30 a.m.

Community BBQ

11:30 a.m.

Performances of Brazilian-influenced jazz by Anne Boccato Ensemble

12:00 p.m.

Justice program conversation on child trafficking with Krishna Patel and Conor Grennan, Founder of Next Generation Nepal

1 p.m.

SANAA lecture and Q&A

1:45 p.m.

Poetry reading and book launch of and souls are candles with editor Christian Wiman

2:30 p.m.

Live video shoot with indie pop gospel band The Welcome Wagon

2:45 p.m.

Screening of Don’t Foil My Plans, film and discussion with Director Ben Stamper

Kids hand drum making workshop by James Moss

3:45 p.m.

Collaborative performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices and Matthew Rushing

Below is an outline of public events scheduled throughout the opening celebration of Grace Farms on October 9 and October 10.

October 9, 5:30— 9:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Performances by Jake Goldbas Ensemble

Open Studio hosted by non-profit partner Arts for Healing

5:45 p.m.

Justice program conversation with Krishna Patel

Indie pop gospel The Welcome Wagon featuring Andrew Gregory

6:15 p.m.

Paul Taylor Dance Company performance of Promethean Fire

7:30 p.m.

Benefit Concert featuring Aloe Blacc (ticketed)

Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun solar-powered lamps will be displayed on site and sold to benefit the 1.1 billion people without access to electricity.

October 10, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.—Community Day

10 a.m.

Open Studio hosted by non-profit partner Arts for Healing

Mad Science Workshop: Alternative Energy/Art/Nature for Kids

10:30 a.m.

Children’s reading and bulb planting

11:30 a.m.

Community BBQ

11:30 a.m.

Performances of Brazilian-influenced jazz by Anne Boccato Ensemble

12:00 p.m.

Justice program conversation on child trafficking with Krishna Patel and Conor Grennan, Founder of Next Generation Nepal

1 p.m.

SANAA lecture and Q&A

1:45 p.m.

Poetry reading and book launch of and souls are candles with editor Christian Wiman

2:30 p.m.

Live video shoot with indie pop gospel band The Welcome Wagon

2:45 p.m.

Screening of Don’t Foil My Plans, film and discussion with Director Ben Stamper

Kids hand drum making workshop by James Moss

3:45 p.m.

Collaborative performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices and Matthew Rushing

On Saturday, Oct. 10, all will be welcome to discover Grace Farms on Community Day, which will include family friendly events such as a cookout, an acrobatic performance by the Red Trouser Show, a hand drum making workshop, and screening of “Don’t Foil My Plans,” a film by Ben Stamper about growing up with autism.

On Friday night the property will host a benefit concert by singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc with proceeds benefiting the foundation’s justice and peace initiatives which will be overseen by Krishna Patel, a former deputy chief of national security and major crimes for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the State of Connecticut.

The initiative plans to use proceeds to help pay for the cost of additional enforcement to help find and prosecute child traffickers who operate in the state of Connecticut.

Unique design

The multi-use building is designed by SANAA, a Tokyo-based architectural firm and past winner of the Pritzker Prize, considered “the Nobel Prize of architecture.”

The building’s contours are comprised mainly of large glass panels leaving the property’s landscape visible and break down the sense of separation between the inside of the building and the outdoor landscape, foundation officials have said.

The facility includes a staffed 4,550 square-foot library focused on materials on the arts, nature, justice, architecture and faith with a glass enclosed conference room, a dining room and living room with capacity for 300, and a commissary where they expect to sell tea and other small food items.

Built into the structure below grade will be a gymnasium multi-purpose space with an adjacent media lab and game room where the foundation expects to host local recreation and youth group activities.

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he will take part in part of the dedication celebration and was eager to see the facility serve as a resource for groups and individuals in town.

“They’ve been extremely proactive in letting the town know the citizens and organizations in the town can avail themselves of using the property within reason,” Mallozzi said. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what they’ve done up there.”

Public hours for Grace Farms will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. The center will be closed Mondays.