Subject: Organization Newsletter April 2023

News & Information for Arts & Cultural Organizations & Creative Businesses in Fairfield County

April 2023




This month's theme is inspired by the CAFC core value of stewardship.

We serve as a collaborative agent that nurtures, facilitates, energizes, and amplifies the region’s arts and culture community.

We are partners in realizing the region’s fullest potential.

We are here for our members, readers, and the Coastal Fairfield County community.

Let's keep expanding our essential arts and culture network.

Let's do our part to build a healthy, thriving Coastal Fairfield County.


Learn about the power of the arts to heal and restore.

A concert, an exhibition, a play and the ongoing teaching of painting to young people all demonstrate the healing power of the arts, in many forms. In this program we examine the power of creative expression as a means of coping and healing, as a bridge to mindfulness, reflection and transformation, particularly in the context of the current state of our world.

Our guests are:

Dianne Niklaus - Creative Wellness Coach

Darcy Hicks - Visual artist and Co-director of Education at The Norwalk Art Space

Felicity Kostakis - Artist and art teacher

Tatiana Mori - Director of the Greenwich Arts Council

Patricia Spugani - Community Outreach & Lighting Designer, Town Players of New Canaan


We are proud to host the annual Arts & Culture Empowerment (ACE) Awards Breakfast on June 21st at The Shore and Country Club of Norwalk. Join us as we celebrate individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made significant contributions to the Fairfield County community through arts and culture. Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations for the ACE Awards. Nominations are now closed, and awardees will be announced soon.


As one of 400 partners in the Sixth Arts & Economic Prosperity Study (AEP6), organized by Americans for the Arts, CAFC is responsible for collecting a minimum of 800 audience surveys at cultural events in our region, with 20% from BIPOC or ALANA organizations. So far, we have submitted 653 audience surveys from 21 cultural events. See record here. If you are a BIPOC or ALANA organization, or are staging a relevant event, let us know if you would be willing to be a host survey site. Our deadline to reach our 800 survey goal is May 31. CAFC is also collecting Organization Surveys. 300 organizations in our region have been sent short surveys to complete about their spending and activity in their communities. Only 71 (24%) have been completed. We will be sending reminders, but please respond to this survey ASAP, as together with the results of the Audience Surveys, this report can have a big impact on our advocacy with legislators and municipalities and show how valuable an investment in nonprofit arts and culture is. See our progress here. See results of our 2015 study here.


NOW is a great time to refresh your profile on the CAFC website. Update your bio and images and maximize your membership through this service. We link your news to this page in our newsletters, and it's a great way to drive new audiences to your own website. Go to and click into MY ACCOUNT and then MY PROFILE.

This newsletter may get clipped. If so, be sure to click "view entire message" at end.


ArtUP.CT  is a Creative Production Services business focused on creating & facilitating Public Art projects in Southern Connecticut. Experienced consultant, curation, research, development, management and outreach for Community Art projects. They connect Stake holders and Artists open to opportunities.

Jim Royle Drum Studio is a collective of teachers, performers, and composers. Their students and award-winning ensembles, including Silver Steel Pan Band, have performed at both the national and international level. Their storefront consists of a retail shop for drum set and percussion needs.

Organization of Chinese Americans Fairfield County (OCA-FC) advocates for the social, economic and political rights and well-being of all Asian Americans. It celebrates the Chinese culture, teaches the Chinese language at its weekend school.

Troupers Light Opera Co. Inc. presents the performance of amateur theatrical, operatic, musical and dramatic performances and fosters and promotes education and instruction in the theatrical, operatic, musical and dramatic arts. For 78 years, they have produced one or two productions a year, usually from the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Their productions are fully costumed with sets and a full orchestra.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport is a small, lay-led congregation of UUCGB members and friends who gather every Sunday to remind themselves what matters most in our lives. As part of their community outreach, they run frequent arts and music activities including concerts, dramatic performances, comedy shows, storytellers and lectures.

Wilton Candlelight Concerts has presented renowned chamber music artists in four concerts a year since 1947: now celebrating its 75th season. In 1947, a group of Wilton citizens got together and decided to make a chamber concert series an annual event. It was decided that the concerts would take place at the Congregational Church at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, and the series was dubbed “Candlelight” because candles were to be lit in the church just before the concert began. The series has been a presence in Fairfield County musical life for over sixty years. 


Blau House & Gardens is seeking $3 million in order to acquire the property of the estate since the widow of Barry Blau has passed away. This move is essential to supporting their mission to acquire and transform Blau House & Gardens into a community resource for educational programming dedicated to horticulture, arts, and culture. For more information on how to save Westport's neighborhood garden: email or call 203-952-3335. See Dan Woog's 06880 blog post to learn more. Please spread the word!

The Center for Family Justice's Campus Advocacy Unit will host a special art exhibit titled "In Translation: Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Stories" at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. The traveling exhibit, created by survivors and allies of sexual abuse, takes place in April to highlight to voices of survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There will be interactive installations and a guest speaker to share their survivor testimony. It is free and open to the public.

The City of Bridgeport and the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District are calling artists to continue "coloring in" Downtown Bridgeport. They have six new sites ready to go, and they are asking for ideas in all formats and media. They will be hosting an information session and walk of the various sites on Saturday, April 15 11am - 2pm at the Arcade Mall 1001 Main St, Bridgeport. Access the complete list of opportunities on their website. Learn More

INTEMPO will host their Annual Cultural Crossover Concert with support from the National Endowment for the Arts on April 29th. Community members are invited to attend the event at Norwalk Concert Hall featuring INTEMPO, the Norwalk Youth Symphony, international guest artists from the Dominican Republic, Los Internacionales, and acclaimed Dominican dancer, Edwin Ferreras. The concert is its signature event that spotlights young musicians and challenges perceptions about how a youth classical-music ensemble looks and sounds. Tickets and registration here 

INTEMPO also announces their newly- appointed inaugural Deputy Director, Steviann Martines. This is a key step in the organization’s continued organizational infrastructure expansion and focus on scalability. As inaugural Deputy Director, Martines will be focused on the organization’s strategic priorities to achieve long-term sustainability. She brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership, and most recently served as Board President of Impact Fairfield County.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offered exclusive Members-Only hours and discounts this Spring. The additional hours are Monday, April 10, through Friday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. On Sunday, April 30, members will also have access to an exclusive breakfast with the Aquarium’s harbor seals. Pancakes with Pinnipeds will feature a before-hours seal training demonstration and a complimentary viewing of the Aquarium’s newest movie “RIO: The 4D Experience.” In recognition of World Autism Day on April 2, the Aquarium offered a sensory-friendly morning in which lights and sounds were lowered to make the Aquarium a more enjoyable experience for those with sensory-processing differences.

Learn more

The Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community was featured in a CT POST article. The feature explains how the two boarded-up houses on Main Street in Bridgeport are being restored to their former glory to become a museum and community center. These houses, built in the 1840s, tell the tale of two of the most prominent Black women in pre-Civil War Connecticut history. The housse were owned by sisters Mary and Eliza Freeman, two Black women born into freedom in Derby in the early 1800s where slavery was practiced in Connecticut until 1848. READ MORE

Norwalk Symphony Orchestra is taking steps to connect with a diverse cross-section of the Greater Norwalk area to understand how it can be more accessible. The community was invited in March to participate in one of many of the Symphony's one-hour focus groups to support them in serving their community.

Silvermine Arts Center was recently featured in a special interest series on Channel 12 News- "Road Trip: Close to Home." News 12 photo journalist Lori Golias provided viewers with a glimpse into the opportunities Silvermine has for all ages to enjoy and learn about the arts. Learn More & Watch Video

Westport Country Playhouse and Bank of America mark their

20-Year Community and Arts Partnership. Bank of America is the corporate production sponsor of “Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical” A supporter of the arts throughout Southern Connecticut, Bank of America is the Playhouse’s longest-standing Corporate Production Sponsor, a partnership that spans 20 seasons. Dedicated to building cultural understanding through the arts, Bank of America believes that cultural institutions, from museums to theaters, play a key role in enriching local communities.

Westport Museum for History & Culture and Westport Country Playhouse are collaborating on a micro-exhibit entitled “Music of the American Experience: Black Excellence and the Sounds of the Jazz Age,” installed in the Playhouse lobby from April 11 - 29. Tying in with the Playhouse’s current production, “Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical,” the exhibit explores the music featured in the show and the historical events that led to the Harlem Renaissance. The partnership is an opportunity for two of Westport’s cultural institutions to combine their strengths and explore history in a new and engaging way. The exhibit is free-of-charge and open to visitors two hours before performances of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Weston History & Culture Center 


CAFC reported that Weston History & Culture Center received $74,000 in Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant. We added one too many zeros on that number - the correct grant amount was $7400.



The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announced that Harold Steward (they/he) will join the organization as the next executive director. Steward, a philosopher, strategist, and educator, is currently the executive director & cultural strategist at The Theatre Offensive (TTO), a Boston-based nonprofit organization that presents liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color that transcends artistic boundaries, celebrates cultural abundance, and dismantles oppression. They previously served as manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture. They will officially join NEFA on July 10, 2023.


Nine Fairfield County arts organizations received a total of $125,000 in NEA grant funding. Congratulations!

ACT of Connecticut Inc (Ridgefield)

Creative Connections (Norwalk)

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras Inc. (Fairfield)

INTEMPO Organization, Inc. (Stamford)

Mill River Collaborative (Stamford)

Thrown Stone Theatre Company (Ridgefield)

City of Stamford

Games for Change (Fairfield)

Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Inc.


It's National Poetry Month! Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives. As a special offering this April, U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón has selected twenty new poems by contemporary poets to be featured in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series as part of a collaboration with the Library of Congress. Find activities, initiatives, and resources and join the celebration:


The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released data today that demonstrate the significant contribution of the arts and cultural industries to U.S. GDP in 2021 while also capturing the continued impact of the pandemic on the sector. This report includes nonprofit and for-profit arts and culture entities. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) tracks the annual economic value of arts and cultural production from 35 industries—including both commercial and nonprofit entities. Analysis shows that while the total economic value added by arts and cultural industries grew by 13.7 percent from 2020-2021, several core arts industries did not return to pre-pandemic production levels. This group includes independent artists (as an industry), performing arts organizations, and arts-related construction, among many others. Despite setbacks for those industries, the overall arts economy in 2021 represented 4.4 percent of GDP, or just over $1.0 trillion—a new high-water mark.


It’s time to cast your vote on our legislative arts policy agenda for this year. This vote will direct how the Arts Action Fund will use its time and resources to advocate for federal policies to support the arts and artists across the country. Together, we have and will continue to make a difference. Please review our 2023 arts policy platform below and cast your vote on these four positions by Monday, April 17, 2023.


Production Assistant

International Festival of Arts and  Ideas | New Haven

Director of Finance

GoodSpeed Musicals | Haddam

Director of Marketing & Communications


Project Manager

Project Music | Stamford

Director of Development

Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art | Ridgefield

Executive Director

The Glass House | New Canaan

Communications Manager

CT Humanities | Middletown

Development Director

Yale University Schwarzman Center | New Haven

Director of Learning and Development

New Britain Museum of American Art

CT League of History Organization Jobs List



Did you know that, in addition to this monthly Organization Newsletter, we have a monthly Artist Newsletter and a weekly e-Buzz event listing? Subscribe to any or all of our publications and share a sample with a friend or peer. Please help us expand our reach by sharing and subscribing here:


The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit membership service organization that supports its members through marketing, capacity building, professional development, networking, 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.



The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a 501(c)(3) cultural nonprofit membership organization. We are grateful to our members and our donors whose support enables us to do our work. In particular, we are grateful for support from:


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