It was a very exciting night on Main Street in downtown Manchester last Thursday. Not only was it ‘Imagine Main Street – First Thursday’ but also the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of the grand opening of the Viscogliosi Entrepreneurship Center (VEC). Professionals from UConn, University of Hartford and other area universities attended to support and share in the unveiling of this new small business space.
First I visited Main Street to see what was going on up and down the area…I spotted Scarecrow art that dotted the businesses open to greet and welcome visitors, very creative and themed to each of the businesses. They screamed fall and Halloween! Next was square dancing street side. Several ladies and gents were in traditional costume with bolero’s and frilly skirts that kicked out beautifully as they moved ‘grande left’ and so on…including live music and good energy! Next back to MCC on Main for the later evening’s events.
I parked myself outside MCC on Main for a bit as people poured into the event. Groups of people passing by outside looked in to see what all the activity was about and just as I snapped the shutter, the Mayor of Manchester, Jay Moran, was making his way in and added the perfect touch to the shot. What do you think?
The venue filled up with a lively crowd as the time drew closer for the ribbon cutting and special guest speakers. Live music, servers passing food, and beverages were served. The room was buzzing!
The ‘storefront’ of this gallery space is a welcoming Wi-Fi cafe – perfect for sitting with friends or those you meet up with during a gallery opening or special event like this one. Seeing people use and enjoy the gallery space brings it to life.
The evening began with opening remarks and an inspiring speech given by Tom Chappell, entrepreneur and co-founder of Tom’s of Maine and Ramblers Way Farm.
Following his amazing, highly positive presentation, MCC President Dr. Gena Glickman introduced, shared the organizations gratitude for, and presented Anthony Viscogliosi with the honorary degree he was given by them earlier in the year, but he wasn’t able to attend that earlier ceremony. He received an Associate of Humane Letters degree that evening and then gave a few words along with introducing wife Paula.
The name of the VEC was unveiled and the purple ribbon was cut while Tom & Kate Chappell looked on with the rest of the guests filling the gallery space.
All-in-all an exciting evening and the start of something huge for entrepreneurs in Greater Hartford, a space to work and collaborate in that offers conference and training rooms in addition to the AXIS901 workspace located directly above MCC on Main. Shown below is one of the conference/work spaces in the new center as guests were taken on tours.