Subject: e-Lights: August 2023 Highlights

August 2023 Highlights

September is always a great time of year to reflect and re-set, and we've been doing just that here at CAFC. We are so grateful for your support in whatever form that takes. We thank you for helping us meet our mission to support cultural organizations, artists and creative businesses through our marketing, capacity building, professional development, and advocacy services.

We have so much to share each month as we journey through Arts, Culture, & Community. This got us thinking:

  • Why go on the journey alone?

  • Why not share all the ways in which your support helps us to help our members?

  • Why not tell you the stories of our members and how they are bringing social and economic vitality to our communities.

Every second Friday of the month, you will receive all the highlights of the previous month so that you can get a glimpse of how you have helped us and our members impact the communities of Coastal Fairfield County.

As you know, Fairfield County is an arts and culture mecca! Our artists and arts organizations make this region an awesome place to live, work and visit. The Arts and Culture light up our communities and help them to thrive.

And that's because you motivate us to thrive.

First, we'd like to share...

Erika K. Wesley has been named as the new executive director, effective September 18, 2023. Erika is a nonprofit leader with over 10 years of experience, including constituency management, program development, and strategic planning. Most recently, she served as the Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Westport Country Playhouse. She will work with the network to continue CAFC's mission to provide marketing, capacity building, professional development, and advocacy services to the arts and culture community of Fairfield County. A longtime Fairfield County resident, Erika has worked with Fairfield County's Community Foundation and The Carver Foundation of Norwalk. She holds a B.A. from University of Connecticut, an M.F.A. from Manhattanville College, and is completing an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Abilene Christian University.

Marketing Roundtables help marketing and executive directors promote their organizations

On August 23, 2023, The CAFC Marketing Network gathered at Westport Country Playhouse on a gorgeous morning to hear Patrick J. Flaherty, Director of Research and Information for the Connecticut Department of Labor report on post-pandemic demographics. Westfair Business Journal was there and reported on the presentation.

Artist WorkLabs improve the business skills of all types of Creatives

The Artist WorkLab, a collaboration with Metro Art Studios, is a monthly workshop series for creatives of all types. This creative community learns, grows, and shares everyday questions, challenges, and successes. On August 2, the topic was "Setting up e-Commerce for Success and Sales."

WPKN "Spotlight" interviews come out every month

Our August “Spotlight on Arts & Culture” focused on RiseUP for Arts, a member organization that is active in organizing mural projects around Connecticut. We spoke with executive director Matt Conway about how this organization trains artists, negotiates with municipalities and building owners, raises funds and coordinates the completion of amazing murals, often working with young people. Other guests included three artists involved in RiseUP projects as well as building owner Mitchell Kidd of The Wellbuilt Company and Marc Alan with the Norwalk Arts & Culture Commission.

Peer network convenings encourage connection, sharing, and learning among member groups

In August, we gathered our Community Theatre Network and Historical Society Network. The theatre network was hosted by CAFC member Center Stage in Shelton on August 1st and featured a discussion facilitated by guest speaker Erika Wesley with a focus on strategies for developing and implementing equity in the daily activities of theatres. Learn More Eight historical societies met in person at The Fairfield Museum & History Center on August 16. After sharing their own developments at their societies, participants gathered into two workgroups to outline work plans and preparations for the 250th anniversary of America, Funding Strategies, Marketing Campaigns and Inclusion Strategies. Learn More

We are committed to supporting members like the Barnum Museum


The Barnum Museum celebrated its long-awaited certification as a National Historic Landmark with a commemorative event on August 24. This status is an honor that the U.S. government has awarded to only 2,600 structures in the country. The Barnum is now one of only 64 historic landmarks in Connecticut that illustrate the heritage of the United States and represent an outstanding aspect of American history and culture. The museum is the last surviving establishment dedicated to American showman P.T. Barnum.

Thank you for your support. Because of you...

We thrive.

Our members thrive.

Our community thrives.

Pass It On... Membership has benefits! All coastal Fairfield County creatives, arts organizations, cultural institutions, and creative business are eligible for CAFC membership. LEARN MORE



We are grateful to our members and donors whose support enables us to do our work. In particular, we are grateful for support from:

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit arts & culture network that supports the creative sector and its value to community life - supporting members with marketing, capacity building, professional development, networking, and advocacy services. With a membership of nearly 600 artists and arts and cultural organizations from a 15-town region, we connect, inform, promote and advocate for the arts - together.

Contact us at: 203-256-2329  or


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