The contributions of the arts in the development and future of East Hampton Town will be the subject of discourse in the lunch panel discussion "Arts: Creative Place Making" as part of the "Independent Thinking: The Future of East Hampton" conversation series.

Offered on Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton, NY, panelists weighing in will be Guild Hall Executive Director Andrea Grover; Pollock Krasner House & Study Center Director Helen Harrison; visual artist Scott Bluedorn; musician Inda Eaton; and children's author and arts educator Emma Walton Hamilton. The discussion will be moderated by The Independent Managing Editor Bridget LeRoy.

Tickets are $25 and include lunch, the panel discussion and the opportunity to voice an opinion. To register, email

The series is designed to bring together people who are based in East Hampton and can offer different optics based on their experience of living or working in East Hampton Town (includes East Hampton Village). In this way, the panel is a conversational one and can unfold as an organic exploration of ideas on different issues versus a prescribed agenda of hot button topics, LeRoy explained in an email.

The panel focusing on the arts may delve into the ways arts and commerce meld; how art draws business to an area as well as the benefits and impacts of art tourism on area businesses, including retail and service industries, LeRoy offered.

The conversation may also explore the challenges facing emerging artists in East Hampton, including housing and studio space. On the gallery side, talking about how to increase visitors to the galleries as well as spend their money while there are likely concerns for discussion.

Featuring the arts communities in a series that delves into life as we know it in East Hampton and helping to envision its future was a natural for the series, LeRoy stated.

“The East End has always been a vortex for the arts, and some of the places like Guild Hall and the galleries have created hubs for our year-round community, but also to help bring in summer dollars,” she wrote. “One of the questions is: ‘What can the village, and the town, of East Hampton do to honor its artists?’ Another is how to continue support and recognize the importance of arts as a place maker in the area.”

The first panel, held on May 16, 2019, led with "Village Vitality" and drew a sell out crowd, LeRoy offered. Also held at The Maidstone Hotel, attendees expressed concerns from the residential and commercial points of view on issues that included parking, rules on restaurants and music, sewers, the need for additional "wet" spaces and more. Click here to read coverage of the event.


"Village Vitality" Panel Discussion over Lunch at the Maidstone Hotel. Hosted by The Independent newspaper, the lunch discussion is a continuing series. Photo by Jenna Mackin. Courtesy The Independent.

"Village Vitality" debuted the "Independent Thinking: The Future of East Hampton" panel lunch discussion series on May 16, 2019 at The Maidstone Hotel. The continuing series explores the state of living in East Hampton Town and possibilities for its future. Photo by Jenna Mackin. Courtesy The Independent.


Each session aims to bring together five panelists with lunch and discourse taking place in 90 minutes. Even thought the subjects may be weighted, the tone is congenial like the way neighbors might greet each other and discuss life around town when running into each other at the post office.

"Independent Thinking: The Future of East Hampton" launched as the brainchild of Adam Miller of the Adam Miller Group, who is a sponsor of the series. Advantage Tile (and The Maidstone Hotel) also came aboard as sponsors in support of the in-depth look at life in East Hampton Town and the possibilities for the future for The Hamptons location.

Next up in the series is "Development and the Environment" and is planned for late summer. The installment may continue the discussion on issues raised in the first panel along with whatever points are raised in this week's panel lunch.

BASIC FACTS: "Arts: Creative Place Making" is the topic of discussion at "Independent Thinking: The Future of East Hampton" lunch panel on Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Maidstone Hotel, 207 Main Street, East Hampton, NY.

Tickets are $25 and include lunch, the panel and the opportunity to voice an opinion. To register, email


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