Subject: Organizations' Newsletter: October 23, 2015

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News and Opportunities for Cultural Nonprofits and Creative Businesses of Fairfield County, CT
October 23, 2015
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit service organization that supports its members by providing 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 300 individuals and organizations. Sign up here
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❖ Next Stop on Gallery Tour: Heather Gaudio Fine Art - Thurs. Nov. 12
❖ Check out our latest #CultureMaker
❖ Welcome New Members: Connecticut Choral Society, Sherman Historical Society, SM Home Art Gallery, and St. Philip Artists' Guild

❖ Member News from: Brookfield Craft Center, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Housatonic Museum of Art, Jim Royle Drum Studio, Norwalk Preservation Trust, and Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

❖ Theatre Forward Report: Unmasking Business Success: Arts Engagement and Workforce Skills 
The Kaiser Games
❖ Housatonic Community College Plans STEAM Conference
❖ Judge Overrules I.R.S. on Artist Tax Deductions

❖ CT Humanities+CLHO: Get Organized! - Oct. 26
CT Preservation Action 2015 Conference: Barnum Museum - Nov. 13
❖ New England Foundation for the Arts: Idea Swap 2015 - Nov. 10
Idealist Offering Free Job Postings for Nonprofits - Through October 31

❖ Mighty Quinn Foundation: Artistic Director, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford
❖ New Haven Symphony Orchestra: Box Office Manager

❖ Westport Arts Center: Education Assistant
❖ Real Art Ways: Grant Writer

Deadlines and Dates to Remember
The next stop on our Progressive Gallery Tour of Fairfield County commercial gallery members will be at HEATHER GAUDIO FINE ART in New Canaan on Thurs. Nov. 12, 6-8pm. The gallery recently re-opened in a beautiful new space at 66 Elm Street, and is currently showing New Arrangements: Contemporary Reimagined - an all–woman exhibition of works by Jaq Belcher, Cassandria Blackmore, Ann Gardner, Madeleine Keesing and Jae Ko, who "appropriate industrial materials in unexpected ways, reconfiguring them into a contemporary fine art context." 

Check in on our ongoing series on our Facebook page on the local #CultureMakers who work, often behind the scenes, to enable our members succeed in fulfilling their missions. This month it's Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Director of Exhibit Design and Delivery at Stepping Stones Museum for Children See what she says about her work, here.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS                             

The Connecticut Choral Society, Inc. (CCS), was established in 1980 by Christopher Shay as an ensemble of auditioned singers who unite in their commitment to provide a music resource for Connecticut, to encourage singing and performing choral music of the highest artistic quality, and to stimulate greater appreciation and enjoyment of choral music. Mr. Shay directed the group through its first 12 seasons, was succeeded by John Robert Liepold, who became Music Director and Conductor in 2000, and then by Eric Dale Knapp, who was appointed as conductor in 2007. From modest beginnings (less than 30 people attended the first rehearsal), CCS has grown in stature and accomplishment to become a renowned chorus of over 85 men and women. The Society has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall and has toured England, Canada, Australia, France, and Eastern Europe, but remains dedicated foremost to bringing beautiful and inspiring works to Connecticut audiences. CCS is known for its high musical performance standards, outstanding contribution to the arts, and community outreach. This April, CCS performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Lief Bjaland, with the New Jersey Choral Society and the Naugatuck Valley Community College Choir.  See CCS website here, follow them on Twitter and on Facebook.

A Preservation Member
President: Elizabeth Mard

The scenic Town of Sherman, incorporated in Oct. 1802, is the northernmost town in Fairfield County, located in the Housatonic Valley at the northern end of Candlewood Lake, with a population of 3,500 over 23.4 square miles. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Sherman Historical Society "continues to strive to be an active part of the Sherman town community," and is planning on expanding its programs in the year ahead. Its mission includes collecting, preserving, and enabling access to the historic artifacts relating to Sherman and its residents. Collections range from pre-Colonial Native-American artifacts to those belonging to 20th-Century Sherman. Without any financial support from Town Government the Society is reliant on its members and donors. the society operates two museums. The 1829 Federal-style Northrop House (above) presents exhibits of local historical interest, while the circa 1810 Old Store presents both local history and the contents of a general store circa 1867. See the Sherman Historical Society's website and Facebook page.

A Creative Business Member
Founder and President: Sandra Morgan
Artistic Director: Nancy Yates

SM Home Art Gallery has been serving art collectors, art enthusiasts and interior designers in Fairfield County, Westchester County & New York City since 2006. The gallery features award-winning regional and national contemporary and emerging artists whose work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States. With several curated exhibitions a year, the gallery's goal is to provide original artwork in an array of styles, mediums and price ranges geared toward both the young and established collector. Nancy Yates, Associate Art Director, has over 20 years of experience in the art world, with broad expertise appraising and cataloguing art for private collectors, auction houses and institutions. Nancy works closely with SM Home interior designers, who have an artistic sense of color, and an educated passion for art, to carefully select an evolving art collection, from some of the best and brightest artists working today, that would enhance the décor of any room.  Combining the world of art and design, makes SM Home Gallery a unique experience for our clients and trade professionals. Art is available on a three-day in home approval basis to all clients. Delivery & installation services are available. We offer trade terms to designers and architects. Currently SM Home features the work of artist member Katherine Evans among others. Note: the next in the series of Focal Point Art - informal monthly gatherings examining the work of current artists on display - is Thurs. Nov. 12, 5:30pm-8pm. See the SMHome Gallery website, Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Co-Directors: Amy Bilden, Ralph DiMarco

The St. Philip Artists' Guild (SPAG) is a group of 13 artists who share studio space in the historic Manice Lockwood Mansion on the grounds of Norwalk's St. Philip RC Church. SPAG debuted on September 27, 2008, with an exhibit by the five founding artists, Duvian Montoya, Dave Morico, Frank Chiappetta, Steve Bagnell and Ralph DiMarco. Many of the original artists have moved on and the number of members has grown. When a new studio space becomes available, the current artist-members follow an application process to select and welcome new members. SPAG artist-members share a desire to explore and hone their artistic skills and vision through independent projects, collaborative shows and community service projects. SPAG artists collaborate with local galleries and artists in presenting a number of exhibits and events. For example, they have partnered with the St. Philip Youth Group in creating a 30-Hour Famine mural designed to call attention to the hunger-related diseases in many countries around the world and actively participate in the Arts and Environment Committee at St. Philip Church, a group that underscores the Church's various liturgical seasons and events though artistic installations. An important task of SPAG members is the renovation of the Manice Lockwood Mansion. Each artist has converted one of the upper level rooms within the mansion to his or her studio space. Work has also been completed throughout the rest of the mansion in order to create a gallery-like setting for displaying artwork. SPAG is proud to have been recognized by the Norwalk Preservation Trust in May 2009 with an award for work it has done in recapturing some of the mansion's former splendor. See the SPAG website and Facebook page
YOUR NEWS                             
Congratulations to the BROOKFIELD CRAFT CENTER for its recent $50,000 grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to expand the Good Forge, a center of excellence for traditional blacksmithing and steel blade crafting. Currently the Center has two coal forges, two propane forges, safety equipment, and hand and power tools. The investment from Windgate will, in the words of Center director Howard Lasser, “put us into the first rank of blacksmithing facilities in the tri-state area, and the largest in Connecticut in a dedicated craft school."
The CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY PRINTMAKING announces the selection of Robin Simon to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. A third-generation artist who has worked in the fine art field for over 30 years, Robin received her certificate in Appraisal Studies from NYU and works actively as an appraiser of contemporary art. She is currently curating a print/photo benefit for the Katonah Museum of Art. Comprised of nine members, the CCP’s Board of Directors is responsible for guiding and supporting the non-profit’s mission to create original prints and to educate the community to a better understanding and appreciation of prints and the process of printmaking.
The HOUSATONIC MUSEUM OF ART (HMA) has delivered arts education to 17 Bridgeport schools for the last 15 years - teaching art appreciation, art-making, and art history with onsite learning in the HMA as well as in institutions such as the Yale Art Gallery, The Met, and the Aldrich Museum. This year’s Peer Docent program includes architect Thom Mayne, a Turnaround Arts Initiative artist, working with the Hall School and with the Westport Library whose Maker Space will allow peer docents to participate in a 3-D printing orientation, Sketch-Up class, and 3-D printing of their own architectural designs. They will also have the opportunity to study architecture with the Westport Historical Society!
The JIM ROYLE DRUM STUDIO has an active scholarship program that enables Bridgeport kids to have full lessons and participate in the Drum Studio’s ensembles. This Saturday, Oct. 24, the Drum Studio's A-Team ensemble is participating in a COMMUNITY DRUM FEST at The Bridge Academy, 160 Pulaski St, Bridgeport 11am - 3pm. Marcus Santos and James Moss will also perform. The event is free but donations will build those student scholarships. The Community Drum Fest brings communities together with African, Brazilian, Mallet and Steel Pan performances and interactive sessions to give people a chance to try their hand at various percussion instruments. 
The NORWALK PRESERVATION TRUST and its supporters were pleased to discover at the Wednesday Norwalk Zoning Commission meeting that the proposal for a large apartment building behind the Norwalk Public Library had been withdrawn by the developer. NPT believes such a development would have an adverse affect on the Wall Street Historic District, would overshadow the library and would reduce the already-limited parking. The application will probably be re-submitted in the near future. NPT appreciates the support of those who attended and who wrote letters.
The NORWALK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA has moved. Thanks to a very generous offer to the Orchestra to use office space that would allow for easier access, convenient parking and room to have more people participating in keeping the organization going, the NSO has now moved away from Wall Street and can now be found at: 25 Van Zant Street, Suite 14-3, in Norwalk. You can reach Kate Altman, Office Manager at: 203-956-6771
REMEMBER, REMEMBER (if you are a member) to send all your press releases to Marketing Director Jennifer Bangser so that she can check that your events have been posted on FCBuzz and can build a store of images for social media use to help promote your events. AND remember to POST OFTEN to FCBUZZ.ORG
OTHER NEWS                             

An important new study exploring the role of arts education in workforce development, as perceived by those who hire and develop staff, has been released by Theatre Forward,
 formerly the National Corporate Theatre Fund. Unmasking Business Success: Executive Perceptions of Arts Engagement and Workforce Skills is based on research commissioned from Shugoll Research. Its leading finding is that executives believe there is a strong link between an person's exposure to arts education and their potential for professional success. Bruce Whitacre, executive director of Theatre Forward, writes on The Conference Board blog: "since executives confirm that the workforce demands the skills the arts develop, we are creating a key opportunity gap for students in poor schools who have little or no access to arts engagement."  However, despite believing arts education improves workforce skills, few executives believe it is the role of business to directly support expanded access to arts skills. Just 22% of those surveyed thought this justifies their business supporting the arts and arts education. Most feel that arts organizations are not communicating the benefits of these skills to them as employers: just 10% say arts organizations do a good job in educating businesses about the benefits of the arts in the workplace.


The University of Maryland’s DeVos Institute, under the direction of Michael Kaiser, has published a controversial new national study that paints a bleak economic picture of African American and Latino nonprofit museums and performing arts companies. Diversity in the Arts: The Past, Present and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies and Theater Companies proposes that donors may have to let weaker organizations wither so the strongest ones can grow. "Funders may need to support a limited number of organizations, with larger grants to a smaller cohort that can manage themselves effectively, make the best art, and have the biggest impact on their communities.” See the study here. Read a report on the study in the Los Angeles Times: Study sends 'wake-up call' about black and Latino arts groups' meager funding. The study’s findings prompted Jason Tseng, Community Engagement Specialist at Fractured Atlas, to critique the study in text and graphic forms. In The Kaiser Games: A Comic Response to Michael Kaiser, Tseng writes: ”The Devos Institute suggests that our response should be funding fewer Black and Latino organizations and have them duke it out Hunger Games-style so that only a few remain.” Read the full article for Tsung's own suggestions for policy changes and arguments for a change in foundations'  funding strategies - and check out the comic (detail below).

Housatonic Community College (HCC) is developing as one of the growing number of local centers for encouraging a STEAM focus in education - that is, for including the Arts in the better known STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum. Robin Avant, an Assistant Professor of Biology/Molecular Biology at HCC is the STEAM coordinator at the college.   The latest event planned is an interactive hands-on STEAM event Saturday Nov. 7, for grades 9-12 students. Fourteen hands-on exhibits representing the various disciplines will be available for students to try out over the course of two hours. These will be followed by an hour-long team challenge and, after lunch a tour of the incomparable art collection at the Housatonic Museum of Art. The STEAM conference coming up follows on from a STEAM summer camp organized at HCC for younger students earlier this year. Bridgeport students in grades five through eight got a taste of college in a program designed to motivate them towards STEAM careers. At the camp, classes were conducted by college students from the University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. The program included classes in robotics, nanotechology, 3D Printing, Amazing Art and Engineering Projects and Fun Math. The curriculum used for the day camp program was developed by NASA. STEAM campers also received campus tours of HCC, Fairfield U and the UConn Medical Center. For more information on the STEM to STEAM movement see the Rhode Island School of Design's STEM to Steam website.

An artist employed as a teacher can still claim tax deductions on her independent output. So ruled a judge in the U.S. tax court last week. Susan Crile, an art professor at Hunter College professor, is the artist at the center of the case. In 2010, the I.R.S. accused Ms. Crile of underpaying her taxes, based on the contention that her work as an artist was, for tax-deduction purposes, not a profession, but an aspect of her job as a studio art teacher. She affirmed that the right to claim an IRS income tax deduction on expenses related to your status as a professional artist is not jeopardized by low sales or other full time employment (in this case, teaching). The IRS had argued that Crile’s claim to be both an artist and a teacher was an "artificial" distinction, since, it argued, her work was produced as a corollary of her full-time job, not as an independent avocation, and could therefore not be grounds for deductions. Crile’s success in claiming the deduction secures the tax security of artists, at least according to Robert Storr, the dean of the Yale School of Art. He was reported by the New York Times as saying that the right to claim deductions on such expenses was “one of the last remaining areas where the federal government cuts artists any slack to allow them to do what they do.” Crile was relieved by the decision, both for herself and other creative professionals it might affect. The Times reported her as saying: "I think this was an attempt to get rid of a whole category of people from being able to take tax deductions. I’ve done a lot of political work that is not so easy, and it’s not easy to show or to sell. But I’m an artist. And if I’m not considered one, then I don’t know who could be."  More...


"The average office worker spends 1.5 hours per day looking for things. We are all surrounded by too much stuff, drowning under too much paper, and overwhelmed by too many things to do. But how do we begin to dig out?" To help us all out, CT Humanities and the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) have invited Marilyn Weiss Cruickshank, principal of Creative Simplicity Organizing & Productivity, to present a half-day program designed to help participants become more organized, professionally and personally, on Monday, October 26, from 9:30-12pm at theConnecticut Historical Society in Hartford. The session will focus on the basics of getting organized (principles that can be widely applied) and share tried-and-true strategies and simple solutions for dealing with the overload we all face on a daily basis. After engaging in a participatory session that highlights the essential skill of organization as a key professional success factor, Marilyn will leave ample time for questions and answers with program attendees. Marilyn brings more than two decades of nonprofit experience, helping museums and other cultural organizations fulfill their educational mission. She has helped hundreds of clients and workshop participants to get organized and be more efficient with their time and resources. A past recipient of the American Alliance of Museum's Nancy Hanks Memorial Award for Professional Excellence, Marilyn holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management.To register and learn more about this program, please visit the events registration page.


Connecticut Preservation Action (CPA), the statewide preservation advocate, will focus its 2015 half-day conference on changes and opportunities for grant funding from the state of Connecticut.
 The program will include a legislative update and review of the past legislative session with regard to CIA funding. Speakers include: Kathy Maher, Barnum Museum Director; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; John W. Shannahan, former Director of the Connecticut Historical Commission/State Historic Preservation Officer; Dr. Leah Glaser, CPA President; Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture at the Connecticut Office of Culture and Tourism, and State Historic Preservation Officer; Mary Dunne, SHPO; Laura Mancuso, former SHPO Construction Grants Coordinator; and Daniel Mackay, the new Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, who will discuss the many grant opportunities and programs that the Trust offers. Following an on-site lunch, the afternoon session will include a panel discussion about the future of CIA fundingAt the end of the afternoon session, Structural Engineer, James Norden, of GNCB Consulting Engineers, Inc. in Old Saybrook, will offer a hard-hat walking tour of the restoration and stabilization of the Romanesque Barnum Museum. Sign up at the admission desk. Register here by Nov. 6 ($40; $60 for nonmembers - includes 1-year CPA membership).

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is holding its 14th Annual Idea Swap on November 10, in Worcester, MA. The Idea Swap is an annual event for New England-based nonprofit presenting organizations to network and share project ideas that may qualify for funding from NEFA's Expeditions grant program. Each year NEFA’s Idea Swap attracts over 150 participants. Together with Expeditions grant funding, Idea Swap stimulates opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in arts touring and presenting, while broadening the range of arts projects and activities available to New England communities. The Idea Swap begins with networking over breakfast, followed by five-minute presentations of high quality performing arts projects that may be available for touring, a networking lunch, and facilitated small groups to informally discuss project ideas. Register here. $50.


Until the end of the month of October, Idealist, the opportunities site, built with a vision of creating "a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives by making sure that no opportunity for action or collaboration is missed or wasted, is offering free jobs posting to all nonprofits in CT and NJ. That's right, until the end of the month, you can post as many position openings and internships for free. The plan is to collect a record number of jobs and career opportunities - so post, and spread the word! More...


The Mighty Quinn Foundation seeks an engaging, creative, visionary and qualified theater educator to serve as the Artistic Director of the Foundation’s Shakespeare Academy@ stratford six-week summer program in Stratford. The ideal candidate will be an experienced theater educator and director, with a background in creating and implementing curricula for the teaching of Shakespeare as well as extensive experience in ensemble production. The Artistic Director must have a commitment to the mentoring of young artists, and demonstrate the creative drive and abilities to lead an ensemble of college aged students and work collaboratively with Board members and staff. The Mighty Quinn Foundation offers a competitive salary and is prepared to facilitate housing in Stratford or provide a housing stipend for the duration of the program. Click here for a complete job description. Candidates should submit a resume to by November 15. We are an EOE.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra seeks a Box Office Manager to ensure the hospitable, smooth and efficient day-to-day operation of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra box office and to support the marketing effort to enhance earned income. The Manager will be responsible for programming and monitoring the Choice ticketing system, tracking daily sales and deposits, ticket account management and fulfillment, and annual subscription campaign. This role is highly visible and interacts with sponsors, vendors, and NHSO’s audience, providing excellent customer service to all. In addition, the box office manager assists with financial record keeping. This position reports to the General Manager. Click here for detailed job descriptionApplicants should submit a cover letter that describes interest and qualifications for the position with a resume, the names of several professional references, and salary history or requirements. Please send to Aric Isaacs

The Westport Arts Center seeks an Education Assistant to work with the Director of Education, and to develop curriculum for the Westport Arts Center's Youth Education programs. The Assistant is responsible for designing lesson plans that emphasize process over product, breakaway from traditional classroom experiences, and invite students to innovate with high quality arts materials. Click here for detailed job description. This is a part-time position with potential for growth and extended hours based on performance. Hours vary based on season, but a full year's schedule is already available. During Summer Camp from late June to late August full-time hours will be required. Bachelor's Degree preferred from an accredited four-year college. Those without a four-year degree who have equivalent experience are invited to apply, but should put into their cover letter an explicit explanation of their experience teaching and qualifications. Candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and sample lesson plan that they believe represents their ability to innovate in the classroom to: Lindsay HeffernanDirector of Education, Westport Arts Center.

Real Art Ways (Hartford) seeks a part-time Grant Writer to manage its grant applications. This role can be fulfilled remotely. The right candidate will produce grant applications and reports in accordance with the organization’s development plan and research new prospective funding sources. Specifically, this person will: gather information that will easily allow him/her to grasp the concept of a project or program for which funding is sought; acquire and maintain knowledge and understanding of Real Art Ways, and use that knowledge and understanding to better comprehend all projects and programs for which grants will be sought; research grant-making organizations and analyze them to identify likely funding sources for specific projects and programs; compile, write, and edit grant applications; keep in contact with grant-making organizations during their review of a submitted grant application in order to be able to supply additional supportive material; manage the process of supplying progress reports when required by a grant-making organization that has funded a project or program. Qualified candidates will possess strong expository writing skills, attention to detail, research ability, and proficiency with Microsoft Office. Previous grant-writing experience required. Interested applicants should send cover letter and resume, in a single PDF to Resumes will be reviewed until the job is filled.
Jobs Previously Listed and Still Available

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum: Senior Press Officer
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum: Manager of Academic Programs
Bruce Museum: Museum Educator
Downtown Cabaret Theatre: Stage Manager (seasonal, part-time)
EverWonder Children's Museum, Museum Manager
Fairfield University Quick Center: Marketing Manager
Greenwich International Film Festival; Executive Director 
Stamford's Palace Theatre: Guest Experience Manager
Westport Arts Center: Development Director
Westport Country Playhouse: Database Administrator
MEMBERS: Remember to post your Job Opportunities in FCBuzz Classifieds:

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OCTOBER National Arts and Humanities Month
Oct. 24: Cultural Pursuit: Tour of Greenwich Galleries
Oct. 26: CT Historical Society, Hartford: Get Organized! with Marilyn Weiss Cruickshank
Nov. c1: CT Humanities Quick Grant Deadline (upto $1500)
Nov. c2: Impact Fairfield County: Letter of Inquiry Submission Opens
Nov. c2: CLHO: Directors Colleague Circle, The ED & The Board, Lebanon Historical 
Nov. 4-7: Museum Computer Network Conference (Minneapolis)
Nov. c6: Registration Deadline for CT Preservation Action 2015 conference
Nov. 6-9: 2015 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference
Nov. c9: CLHO: Collections Colleague Circle, Ownership Tangles, Litchfield Historical 
Nov. 10: NEFA Idea Swap 2015, Worcester.
Nov. 12: Progressive Gallery Tour: Third Stop - Heather Gaudio Fine Art, New Canaan
Nov. 13: CT Preservation Action 2015 Conference, Barnum Museum, 9:30am-2:30pm
Nov. 20: CLHO: All-Volunteers Colleague Circle, Stump the Experts, Cheshire Historical 

Dec. c1: CT Humanities Quick Grant Deadline (upto $1500)
c1: NEH: Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections: Application Deadline
Dec. c1: Shubert Foundation Grant Deadline for Theatre Operating Support
Dec. c2: Impact Fairfield County: Letter of Inquiry Submission Closes
Dec. c3: Nonprofit Legislative Forum: Greater Norwalk

March 16-17: Arts Advocacy Day, Washington DC
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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