Subject: Organizations' Newsletter - May 12, 2017

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and 
Creative Businesses of Fairfield County, CT
MAY 12, 2017
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit service organization that supports its members through unified marketing, capacity building, professional development, and advocacy services. This newsletter is sent to all who request it - but we ask that, if you are not a member, you explore membership benefits and consider joining this community of  more than 500 individuals and organizations. Sign up here
SIGN UP HERE for the next stop on our Progressive Gallery Tour at Elisa Contemporary Art Salon in Fairfield on Weds. May 17, 6:30pm. Join us for an evening of art and artists all set in a home environment. Featured artists include: Carol Bennett, Kimber Berry, Paula Brett, Stephanie Cate, John Conn, Alexis Duque, Carole Eisner, Ferdinanda Florence, Amy Genser, Melinda Hackett, Martha Hughes, Mitch McGee, Allyson Monson, Roxanne Faber Savage, Don Morris, Matt Story, Ken Peloke, Jason Wright, Heidi Whitman, Aurora Robson. Meet Elisa Contemporary Art artists in person: Amy Genser, Allyson Monson, and Roxanne Faber Savage. Includes Artist Talk by Allyson Monson and gallery owner Lisa Cooper. Enjoy a glass of wine and art-inspired tastings created by Jennifer Haythorn. Register here
Please join us for the Cultural Alliance's Second Arts & Culture Empowerment (ACE) Awards Breakfast to be held at The Shore and Country Club, Norwalk on Weds. June 7, 7:30am. Broadway star Kelli O'Hara is our guest speaker and Tony Award winner James Naughton will be Master of Ceremonies. Award Winners are: Corporate: Spinnaker Real Estate Partners; Artist: Shanna Melton; Nonprofit: Silvermine Arts Center; Educator: Pamela Kuhn; Citizen: Michael Widland. Sponsors include: United Capital Financial Life Management, Cohen and Wolf, Hobbs Inc., Shipman & Goodwin, Studio2pt0, and Berchem, Moses & Devlin. Buy tickets here.
62 spaces and counting - add yours to the list. Here are just 4:
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 258 Main Street, Ridgefield
The Aldrich's elegant facility will provide a striking backdrop and every essential amenity for your meetings, artist panels, photo, film and video shoots, performances, fundraisers, workshops. 

Danbury Music Centre: Marian Anderson Recital Hall 
256 Main Street, Danbury, CT, 06810. A flexible, historic space suitable for chamber music performances. Great for rehearsals of a variety of sizes -- from solo to symphonic orchestra. Fixed risers are typically used. Many musicians have made recordings here; Marley floor available for dancers.
Roger Salls Photography 80 Ferry Boulevard, Stratford.
Cyc wall 20x15x10, overhead door access for vehicles, full kitchen, dressing room, small conference room. Equip Available for rent: Nikon 810, D300S various lenses, Speedotron strobe lights, Lowel DP & Tota lights, grip equip, various soft boxes, 4x6, 3x4 and strip.' 10' camera stand. 
Suzuki Music School of Westport: Blake Recital Room
246 Post Rd East, Lower Level, Westport. 
A dynamic space with live acoustics - great for recitals and recordings. Seats up to 90 people and has a Boston Grand Piano (6'4"). Stage dimensions are approximate 13' deep and 23' wide. Kitchen and lobby (for receptions) are also available. 
A great way to support us is to click on the button and always use this link when you shop at Amazon. At no cost to you: you shop and Amazon contributes to us.

President: Michele Turk

A Bloc of Writers is a Greenwich-based writing, editing and tutoring company comprised of a team of professional writers and editors. Staff specializes in assisting high school students with their college essays, and helping people, businesses and non-profits write compelling content in order to help them project a professional, polished image. Specific arenas A Bloc of Writers can help with include: books (ghostwriting, writing & editing); marketing material; tutoring (reading and writing); website content; blog posts; personal essays
Magazine and newspaper articles; op-ed pieces; speeches; and more. The company was founded by Michele Turk who has worked as a writer and editor for two decades. Her articles have appeared in Business Week, USA Weekend, Parents and Parenting magazines, among others. She has worked an adjunct professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University and is the author of Blood, Sweat and Tears: An Oral History of the American Red Cross, and co-editor of Ink Stained, a collection of essays published by members of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Class of 1992. See A Bloc of Writers website and Facebook page
Bernie Williams, a former Yankees center fielder and a trained classical guitarist, talks with Tisdale School student Charmari Lloyd.

Director: Tania Kelley

Turnaround Arts is a national program that uses arts education as a tool to help turn around America’s struggling schools. Led by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, working with local partners across the nation, it brings high-quality arts education resources to a group of the lowest-performing elementary and middle school in the country. The Turnaround Arts: Bridgeport program is a part of Bridgeport Public Schools, the second largest school district in Connecticut, serving more than 30 schools. Turnaround Arts: Bridgeport grew from the success and experience of Roosevelt School, one of eight schools that participated in the pilot phase of Turnaround Arts. With the support of the Bridgeport community, Turnaround Arts: Bridgeport is excited to help realize Bridgeport Public Schools’ mission of readying all its students to graduate college-ready and prepared to succeed in life. The Bridgeport Schools that are a part of the Turnaround Arts Program (and the artists working with them) are: Barnum School (Tracy Reese), Hall School (Thom Mayne), Hallen SchoolRoosevelt School (Chuck Close), and Tisdale School (Bernie Williams). CAFC members City Lights Gallery and Housatonic Museum of Art have worked closely with the program. Tania Kelley is Director of Performing and Visual Arts for Bridgeport Schools and Local Program Director for Turnaround Arts. See website; see YouTube of Hall School at the White House, Facebook page; Christian Science Monitor, The School that Art Saved
 See a List by Town of all Organization and Creative Business Members: here
See a List by Town of Artist Members: here
Bridgeport's Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) is to receive one of CT Main Street's Catalyst Awards that recognize initiatives that provoke or speed significant change. The award recognizes DSSD's Placemaking initiative at Historic McLevy Green. Combining beautification with open-air activities such chess, art, music and the Downtown Farmers Market, DSSD works to position McLevy Green as a welcome environment for Downtown Bridgeport's residents and visitors to the Park City. The CT Main Street Center will recognize all awardees at a reception at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on May 18th. More... Photo: Chad Anderson
The Greenwich Alliance for Education funded a "Petting Zoo" project as part of its effort to bring local artists to the schools to teach their craft and for students to visit local art museums and artist studios. This year CAFC member artist Joe Fucigna taught students how to create a menagerie of animals out of recycled paper and tape. "You can’t go wrong with it," said Fucigna. “There is something to be said about the process of creates a sense of community." More.
Music for Youth's Building Bridges is a music exchange program for 7th and 8th grade string students at the High Horizons, Multicultural Magnet Schools in Bridgeport and the Weston Middle School. Believing that music is the perfect means of bridging gaps between people from different communities and cultures, MFY orchestrates this opportunity for students to move comfortably from their own environment into a new one by making music together. At right, The Music for Youth Exchange Orchestra, April 28.
Congratulations to the The Norwalk Historical Society on receiving a #StEPsCT pre-planning grant for their Norwalk Before 1835 exhibition. #StEPsCT is presented by CT Humanities in partnership with the Connecticut League of History Organizations, Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library, and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and is based on the "Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations" (StEPs), a national model curriculum developed by the AASLH. Click photo for larger image.
Hear Jonathan Yates, artistic director and conductor for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in his interview with Kate Remington of WSHU Public Radio about the performance May 20 of the epic Mahler Symphony No. 2. The NSO will be performing this monumental work at the Norwalk Concert Hall with The Mendelssohn Choir. With a 300-page score and the logistics of off-stage musicians, the work is both challenging and compelling. Listen here. At right, soprano Amelia Watkins and also Ann McMahon Quintero with Jonathan.  More...
The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) which is preparing for its weekend festival next weekend, May 19-21, is thrilled that father and son local artists Hans and Joshua Fischer have collaborated on creating this year's RIFF Awards, to be presented at a ceremony at the conclusion of the Festival, May 21st at 2p.m. at the Keeler Tavern Museum's Garden House. The father and son team used paint, paper and graphite to create the eight awards, which vary by color. When displayed together, the awards present a spectrum effect. The duo also designed the cover for the RIFF Festival Guide, which is a sketch based on their RIFF Award design. More...
Westport Country Playhouse (WCP) has announced that Fairfield's Broadway Method Academy (BMA) will be Resident Conservatory of WCP, presenting a series of programs on the Playhouse campus. BMA provides comprehensive training for young people in musical theater, including acting, singing, and dancing, bringing in Broadway professionals to work with students. A non-profit, founded in 2014, BMA offers classes, private coaching sessions, and performance opportunities at its Unquowa Road studio in Fairfield. At right, Michael Barker, Westport Country Playhouse managing director; and Connor Deane, BMA co-founder and executive director. More...
Westport Writers’ Workshop is thrilled that one of its students, former New Canaan Country School teacher, Kristen Ball, on selling her debut middle grade novel, A Calf Named Brian Higgins, to Red Chair Press. Kristen based her book on a 2005 trip that she took to a remote, rural town in Kenya as a volunteer teacher. With a foreword written by Jeffrey Sachs, world leader in economics and sustainable development and senior UN adviser, A Calf Named Brian Higgins will inspire young readers to reach beyond their comfort zones and to discover their own passionate causes for improving the world.
Wilton Library is having an unusual and meaningful exhibition of local paintings. Recently deceased Paula and Lou Reens, Wilton residents for the past 49 years who owned the successful Branchville SoHo Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, recently passed away but made a decision to have the remaining paintings from the gallery exhibited at Wilton Library and donate the proceeds to the library. Works include those by Benn, Youngerman, Hayes and Heindel, among others. At right, detail of Wild Horse by Ben Benn. More...
Now that you have read our NEWS...
Check for listings of all EVENTS by our members!
OTHER NEWS                  

Focusing attention on the present, but with the long term in view, the CT Arts Alliance issued a final Position Statement on the State Budget and the Office of the Arts this past week. On the immediate level, for this year's state budget we are all urged to call our legislators on the Appropriations Committee (find yours here) and request that they:
1. Support maintaining total arts funding of $5,183,087 (less than .02% of proposed budget)
2. Fund the state's "Arts Commission" (Connecticut Office of the Arts) that leverages Federal NEA matching funds. 
In addition, we are encouraged to use the hashtag #CTArtsMatter on all social media to raise awareness and produce more contacts with legislators.
Longterm, the CAA recommends, "to best support the social, cultural, educational and economic revitalization of Connecticut moving forward:"
1. Restore, over time, the total state arts funding to the levels of 2008 ($10,000,000) and to currently support total state arts funding at $5,183,087.
2. Support the Connecticut Office of the Arts (listed as “Arts Commission”) and its diverse initiatives.
3. Change the way allocations are made from the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund. CAA endorses Connecticut Bill 7226, which will enable the Arts Endowment Fund to operate more productively and more similarly to standard endowment funds at no additional expense to the state budget.
4. Support state bonding to finance the capital improvement, restoration and modernization of cultural facilities.

Believing it is crucial to gather anonymous demographic information about its constituents  across the nation, Americans for the Arts has issued its first major survey that closes at midnight Friday may 12. You may access this short and anonymous survey here.  Seeking 100% participation of members, boards and advisory groups, and staff members, Americans for the Arts remind us why this is important:
 "This survey will provide us with a baseline understanding of the demographics of those we serve, which is a picture we currently lack. We hope to be able to use this to craft and deploy more effective services, set and pursue goals and objectives around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provide transparency about Americans for the Arts, those we serve, and the field at large.
Americans for the Arts will utilize the results of this anonymous survey to inform ongoing strategic planning, program development and design, and governance of the organization. We believe that as full and accurate an understanding of the demographics of those we serve as possible is crucial to institutional change and growth, and to serving you better.
This survey is expected to be conducted every 2 years to take snapshots of our organization, those we serve, and the broad field. It is entirely anonymous, designed to be completed in 5-10 minutes, and the data are maintained on a secure server. While everyone’s individual responses are completely confidential, we will report the data in the aggregate." Please help out.

The New England States Touring (NEST) grant program provides support for performances and activities by New England artists in the New England states, with grants ranging from $400 to $4,000NEST grants are awarded through a competitive selection process. Grants are available in amounts of up to 50% of the artists' fees, and typically range from $400 to $4,000. Requests below $400 will not be accepted. Artists’ fees may include costs for creation of new work, travel, and per diem.The next deadline for the New England States Touring program is June 1, 2017, to support projects taking place in September and October 2017. After that point, the program will move to three deadlines every four months per year to streamline administration; deadlines will take place on the first business day of August, September, and April.To be eligible for NEST funding, applicants must: be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, school, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, or unit of state or local government; be based in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). A presenter may apply for an artist within their state if: they have booked the artist as part of a New England tour with at least two other presenters; and at least two other presenters on the tour are from outside of the artist’s home state.  Artists must be listed in NEFA's directory Creative Ground. Preview application questions here. Start your application here.

Since its inception in 1981, the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) has helped over 4,600 small and mid-sized museums of all types strengthen operations, plan for the future and meet standards. The program is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the American Alliance of Museums. It is designed to help museums assess their strengths and weaknesses, and plan for the future. A MAP assessment requires members of the museum staff and governing authority to complete a self-study. After completion of the self-study, a site visit is conducted by one or more museum professionals, who tour the museum and meet with staff, governing officials, and volunteers. The reviewers work with the museum and MAP staff to produce a report evaluating the museum's operations, making recommendations, and suggesting resources.
There are three types of MAP assessments:
Organizational Assessment: Reviews all areas of operations. Collections Stewardship Assessment: Focuses on collections policies, planning access, documentation, and collections care within the context of the museum's total operations. Community Engagement Assessment: Assesses the museum's understanding of and relationship with its communities as well as its communities' perceptions of and experiences with the museum. Eligible organizations should select one of the assessment types and prepare an application. See more here. Apply here.

April 28-29: Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects: Olmsted Parks in Transition: Respecting the Past, Planning for the Future. Conference + BusTour. $160
May c4: Governor's Conference on Tourism, Hartford.
May 18: CT State Historic Preservation Office Conference. UConn, Storrs. Free.
June c5: CT League of History Organizations Conference, Meriden. Registration in April.
June 8-9: Creative Communities Exchange (CCX), New London. 
June 16-18: Americans for the Arts. San Francisco. Early Bird
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT                             

In a recent Wild Apricot blog post, The Simplest Way to Get Board Members to Help with FundraisingAmy Eisensteinone of the country's leading fundraising consultants posits a strategy to help counter board members who do not like to fundraise:  "When it comes to fundraising, every extra hand helps, so what do you do when a board member isn’t cooperative?" She reports a colleague who said: "Some of my board members have said they are “hurt and offended” when I repeatedly ask for their cooperation in generating new leads. How do I get them to understand how important this is without sending them into the “fight or flight” response?” Her response: stewardship. With increasing evidence that the faster you thank your donors, the more they will give, Eisenstein lists the ways to equip and encourage board members to become your "Thank You Army." Supporting this view is Joan Garry's podcast with fundraising consultant Gail Perry: Stop Asking Your Board to Fundraise!  She essentially says the same thing: building relationships with existing donors (by thanking them and giving good customer service) is more effective than going after new donors. Consider the statistic that 50% of donors are lost - and you'll see why the pressure is on to thank the donors you already have. 

Making the Case: Advocacy Basics for Arts Leaders, is a new free online course, just one in a series, developed by DataArts, which, formerly the Cultural Data Project, was founded to bring the language and leverage of data to the business of culture. This series of courses is designed to introduce data-informed management skills to arts professionals. Created in partnership with Julie Hawkins, director of the Arts Administration program at Drexel University, who has said: "With all the current challenges facing the systems of support for artists and cultural organizations, it's important for everyone who cares about the arts to take an active role in arts advocacy," The course is designed to do this by "helping people learn how to use data and stories to speak out about the impact of the arts in their life and the life of their community." The course covers subjects like building a relationship with elected officials, tips for creating persuasive messaging, and best practices for using data to understand and justify your organization’s position on an issue. Find out more and sign up here.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts of Fairfield University seeks an Events Liaison (Part-time) who would report to the Technical Director and Sales and Events Manager. Duties include: management of University events including schedules, technical requirements, presentation materials, Box Office information, Front of House information, and details related to the success of the event; supervision of University events, acting as primary liaison to the client and performing tasks including setting up stage and technology requirements, ensuring set-up of any auxiliary space needs (i.e. lobby, dressing rooms, etc), serving as stage manager for the event including calling lighting, running computer presentations, and mic-ing presenters, and reporting afterward on event; oversee all aspects of communication channels pertaining to University events including Front of House staff/Sales and Events Manager; provide on-site leadership for selected QCA events/rentals to manage the flow of the event including supervision of student workers and volunteers, concessions, safety of audience, patron services, etc.
Qualifications and Necessary Skills:
An effective Event Liaison is well-organized, confident, and team-oriented. S/he can handle activities that are both planned and unexpected and is fully reliable, ethical, and supportive of the Quick Center for the Arts mission and expectations for excellence. S/he must have ability and be comfortable learning computer applications and software including: Excel, Word, Power Point, Key Note, Q-Lab, Drop Box, Prezi, You Tube, EMS, etc. In addition, the Event Liaison should feel comfortable communicating to a wide range of people from students and volunteers, to artists and renters, as well as donors and University VIPs when necessary.
Position includes evenings and weekend hours and is considered “Temporary” by the university. To apply: email your cover letter, resume, and three references to Lori Jones at no later than May 31. No phone calls please.

The Westport Country Playhouse seeks a Digital Content Manager (DCM) to be responsible for all of the Playhouse’s digital media and content needs. The DCM reports directly to the Director of Marketing and will work closely with the Graphic Design Director, Marketing Assistant, and Public Relations Manager in support of all events at the Playhouse. Principal Responsibilities will include: 1. SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT GENERATION AND MANAGEMENT - The DCM will ensure that all Playhouse digital needs are fulfilled and in line with the brand, create and manage content (i.e. post video, blogs, photos, etc.), implement a cohesive social media strategy (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others), develop digital reporting analysis and make recommendations to increase website traffic and revenue potential. 2. VIDEOGRAPHY AND VIDEO EDITING - The DCM will create compelling content by capturing video of rehearsals, interviews and special events. The DCM will edit footage for show trailers, short documentaries, and social media content. 3. WEBSITE DESIGN & MANAGEMENT - The DCM is in charge of making the current design of the Playhouse website and all pages look creatively unified and branded. The DCM will also ensure that all digital copy and images work on both mobile and desktop computing platforms. 4. E-BLAST DESIGN & MANAGEMENT - Working closely with the Graphics Design Director and the Marketing Assistant, the DCM will design and send all Playhouse marketing emails (“e-blasts”). The DCM will also help manage the e-blast communications calendar. 5. DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING - The DCM will work with the Director of Marketing on all digital media planning strategies and will help create reports to track effectiveness. The DCM will also follow digital media trends and modify the Playhouse media strategy accordingly.
Qualifications include: Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of four years’ experience; experience in the arts or the non-profit field; demonstrated experience in video editing, photography, graphic design, and creative writing. For complete description, click here.


The Westport Arts Center seeks a part-time graphic designer/marketing assistant. This role reports to the Director of Marketing & Communications, and provides responsibilities in both graphic design and marketing. Graphic Design: Design and manage all Westport Arts Center (WAC) print communications in support of departmental (Visual Arts, Development, Education, and Performing Arts) needs including direct mail, program guides, gallery materials, invitations, calls for entry, and other supporting materials; design and execute all updates to WAC website and digital presence, including homepage, calendar, membership and fundraising information, exhibitions, classes, and event registration; design and deliver print and online advertisements in accordance with overall WAC marketing plan. Marketing: Manage and optimize WAC social media plan, including Facebook and Instagram presence and campaigns, in accordance with overall WAC marketing plan; manage WAC e-blast program, including email design, database management, and analytics/analysis; create and manage internal communications timelines; manage and optimize relationships with marketing vendors, including print production and digital agencies. Skills: strong proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite; prior experience with WordPress; ability to multi-task in fast-paced environment. For full description and application instructions, click here.

The Ford Foundation seeks a Program Officer (PO) to help shape and advance the Foundation’s work at the intersection of art and social justice. The PO assesses and analyzes the field of the arts to identify its key ecosystems and work with various actors to shape and influence agendas to address diagnosed problems and opportunities. S/he is expected to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues, and collaborate broadly across the Program Division. In addition, s/he will also serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees, and work with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGO and corporate sector leaders, and other donors on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. This job is based in our New York office. Ford Foundation is focused on challenging inequality in all its forms. This goal is reflected in all seven of the Foundation’s program areas, and in all of the regions and places where it works. The work of Creativity and Free Expression (CFE) explores how cultural narratives affect and shape contemporary reality, and how the arts, journalism, and film can contribute to fairer and more just societies. The CFE team seeks to elevate voices that have been marginalized, distorted, or ignored. In addition, it supports the organizations and networks that best sustain a just and equitable arts, film, and journalism sector; that ensure the safety and security of artists, filmmakers, and storytellers and that enable these fields to thrive. The Foundation’s current goal for its work in the arts field is to empower artists, cultural organizations, and networks. In keeping with its commitment to challenge inequality, the Foundation is developing an integrated multifaceted strategy to address the structural drivers of inequality in the arts landscape. CFE carries out its work through grant-making; support for programs and convenings for the field; and research and learning.

Jobs Previously Listed and Still Available

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum: Education Programs Assistant; and Head of Marketing
The Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University: Events and Sales Manager
Maritime Garage Gallery, Norwalk: Curator
Wadsworth Atheneum: Donor Relations Manager   
Westport Country Playhouse:P/T Box Office and Concessions Associate
MEMBERS: Please post your Job Opportunities in FCBuzz Classifieds:

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OPPORTUNITIES CALENDAR                             
May 18: SHPO Conference, Preservation in a Changing Environment - UConn, Storrs
May 30: DoE: Arts Educator Professional Development Grant: Application Deadline

June c1: New England Touring (NEST) Grant Deadline
June 8-9: New England Foundation for the Arts: CCX Conference, New London
June 27-30: Aldrich Museum Summer Institute: Text+Context

July c1: NEH/IMLS Museum Assessment Program Application Deadline
July c1: HOT Schools Summer Institute Registration Deadline
July 13: NEA: Art Works Deadlines

August c1: New England Touring (NEST) Grant Deadline

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are very grateful for the support of our individual and organization members, our individual donors and the following organizations.
Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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