Subject: Organizations Newsletter, Aug 6, 2021

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and Creative Services of Fairfield County, CT
August 6, 2021
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit membership 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. Find out more and sign up here.
All links in green link to pages on our website
The Board of Directors of the Cultural Alliance announces that Cheryl Williams, formerly Vice President of the Board, was elected President at their July 2021 annual meeting. She takes the place of Cindy Vaccaro, who has been President since 2015. Cheryl lives in Norwalk and joined the Board in December 2015. She was with CBS for over 30 years in engineering, operations and production management, most recently as Director of Production for CBS News. Cheryl is the principal and founder of Cherwill Designs & Events, a company focused on technology & creativity, offering operations & production support, virtual and in-person event planning and digital marketing. Cheryl has a BA from Spelman College, a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MBA in Finance from NYU.

The new Vice President of the CAFC Board of Directors is Kim Morque, co-owner of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, who joined the Board in December 2019.
The Board thanked Cindy Vaccaro for her leadership and service to the CAFC Board. She will remain on the Board as Past President. Cindy joined the CAFC Board in December 2012 and took over the presidency from Elizabeth Morten in May 2015. During her tenure, CAFC established the ACE Awards and received a grant of $215,000 from the Daniel E. Offut, III Charitable Trust. She has been an indefatigable fundraiser and financial contributor to the Cultural Alliance. She has always been a strong proponent of arts advocacy and arts education and spearheaded two special CAFC fundraising events - "Purple Dreams" and "Designers Celebrate the Arts." Angela Whitford, former executive director during Cindy’s tenure said: "Cindy Vaccaro’s dedication, hard work, and vision in leading the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County were extraordinary. I am grateful for her commitment to the organization’s growth during challenging times and her steady leadership’s impact. Working with her for more than five years was a privilege, and I wish her much happiness and some well-deserved rest.”
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Lorie Lewis as our new Communications and Marketing Director. Lorie started working in her new position August 2. This new position is a 30-hour a week post. Lorie will be replacing Meri Erickson, who worked as a 10-hour-a-week Communications Manager since 2016. Meri moved to Georgia in 2019 and will be continuing as a digital marketing consultant with her own company Buzz Engagement Marketing. We wish her the best for continuing success.

Lorie was most recently Marketing Director for the Milford Arts Council, from January 2018, managing all aspects of marketing strategy and content development, website creation and management, press relations, community outreach, social media engagement, branding and graphic identity, blog writing, communications, and experiential marketing. She graduated from Providence College with a BA in English and a minor in Business, and was awarded a Master’s degree with the highest honor of the Outstanding Achievement Award in Arts Management from George Mason University. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Americans for the Arts. We are thrilled to have Lorie join us as a key staff member and hope that you get to meet her shortly!
The Board of Directors of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is delighted to announce the award of $100,000 from the Daniel E. Offut, III Charitable Trust. The funds will be used to fund and support our annual ACE Awards, which will now be known as The Daniel E. Offutt III Arts & Culture Empowerment Awards. Since 2016, the ACE Awards Ceremony has been our signature event held annually in June at the Norwalk Shore and Country Club as a breakfast. This is our main flagship way of recognizing key figures and organizations within the Fairfield County arts and culture community that have made the biggest difference. Awards are made in five categories: Artist, Citizen, Corporate, Educator and Nonprofit. The 2022 Daniel E. Offutt III Arts & Culture Empowerment Awards will be held in mid-June 2022. Funds will also be used for partial funding of the creation of new staff positions, including the creation of the Communication and Marketing Director position.
Tune in to our monthly Spotlight on Arts & Culture radio show on WPKN 89.5 FM, Monday, August 9 at noon, where we will help celebrate the reopening of Fairfield’s long-vacant but now gloriously restored Community Theatre, now renamed the SHU Community Theatre. The Theatre opened on the corner of Post and Unquowa roads in downtown Fairfield in 1920 as a vaudeville stage and after a checkered history was shut down in 2011. For nearly a decade, it sat shuttered and unused until May 2019 when Sacred Heart University (SHU) and Kleban Properties LLC announced their acquisition of the theater with plans to renovate and open it as a mixed-use performing arts venue and office space. On September 2, there will be a grand opening that will usher in its future with live performances, film festivals, discussions, book talks/signings and much more for members of the SHU community and the community at large. Guests are: Mark Barnhart, Director of Community and Economic Development for the Town of Fairfield; Evan Kleban, Kleban Properties, and Bill Harris, Director of the Theatre and SHU adjunct professor of communications and media studies, producer-in-residence and member of the university’s board of visitors. Tune in Monday at noon on or 89.5FM.

Connecticut Dermatology Group originated in Westport, Connecticut, in 1964. It has grown into the most trusted and referred dermatology group by patients and physicians in Fairfield and Westchester County communities. Regarded as the top in their field, with expertise in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, this group strives to support communities in many ways. Their recent endeavor to allow local artists a space to display their works, exposes artists to up to 240 patients per day and provides joy and well-being to patients. See website, facebook, instagram


lionheArt is an art space in memory of Bonnie & Richard Bieder located in Bridgeport, CT. lionheART has an art gallery featuring Connecticut artists, free painting sessions for children and adults, and a free book and music library. Please visit website and follow on instagram
For the third time in Beardsley Zoo history, a Giant Anteater has been born! Arriving on June 15 after a 175 day gestation period, the baby is healthy and still in seclusion with mom Pana, with brief forays into the upper habitat for fresh air and sunshine. Watch for mom and baby later this summer. Dad E.O. is out and about in the habitat now. Learn More...
The Bijou Theatre, CT and WPKN Radio recently won a Quick Grant from CT Humanities for "Expressing Collective Grief and Loss in the Age of COVID,” a panel discussion to be held November 20th at The Bijou on loss during COVID and the many ways that cultures use art and music as therapeutic and healing tools to collectively grieve and increase cultural sensitivity and awareness.
Connecticut’s non-profit mobile art museum, cARTie, recently acquired its 20’ bus from DATTCO, the state’s leading school bus provider. Repairs and retrofit plans are already underway thanks to the non-profit’s latest $10,000 P/Arts Grant from the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation. The bus-turned-mobile-museum is set to pilot its highly interactive and participatory, critical museum-based programming that enriches and deepens early education for PreK-2 students who otherwise may not have access to robust arts programming in thirteen pilot elementary school partners this 2021-2022 school year.
KEYS, Inc. (Kids Empowered by Your Support), which provides free, in-school, and virtual music instrument instruction to Bridgeport, CT students, welcomes Bridgeport resident Reine C. Boyer to the KEYS Board of Directors. Reine C. Boyer is a graduate of  Yale College and the University of Connecticut School of Law. After practicing law in partnership in 1997, she established her own solo practice in Fairfield County in 2000 and, in 2020, she opened Fairfield County Law Group which is a full-service law firm. 
KEYS, Inc. (Kids Empowered by Your Support) is inviting supporters to “Come Together” at small-scale fundraisers hosted by friends of KEYS throughout the weekend of September 17-19, 2021. The KEYS 2021 “Here Comes the Sun” Benefit has been transformed into many satellite events to celebrate a time of revival and hope in support of the KEYS music program of Bridgeport. Visit Website.
Several pieces of furniture and decorative objects have been donated to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum by Carl Filsinger, a former police detective and grandson of the Mansion's 19th-century valet and chauffeur for the Mathews family. Pictured here: a cast iron coffee grinder with engraving “Enterprise MFG Philadelphia Pat. D Dec 9 1873” (photo courtesy of Sarah Grote Photography).
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is receiving more than $2 million to provide a new habitat for its meerkats. The project will be partially funded by excess money provided by the state for the Walk Bridge replacement project. $40 million was awarded the Aquarium to replace exhibits in parts of the building that would be demolished to make way for the replacement Walk Bridge. Built so far are the aquarium’s new 4D theater, and a new seal tank.  Remaining funds totaled $1.8 million. With the estimate for the meerkat habitat construction at $2.09 million, the aquarium has pledged to fund the remaining cost. The meerkats were originally added as part of a special summer exhibit of African penguins. However, they were too popular to remove from the aquarium. The new exhibit is slated to open for visitors in December. 
MoCA Westport was named Best Art Classes of Westport in Moffly Media's Annual Readers Poll! Fall Courses are now open for registration on their website. MoCA also announced exhibition collaborations with two different community organizations. In collaboration with the Westport Farmers' Market, Between The Ground and the Sky will open on August 27, and a collaboration with the Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC) will open later in Winter 2021/22. The Museum will hold its annual benefit, The Art of Jazz, on September 18. Read full article here...
New Paradigm Theatre is hosting a shoe drive to benefit the Program Sole4Souls as part of their live production of Footloose this summer! Soles4Souls is a nonprofit charity that turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity. The nonprofit donates the shoes to homeless shelters and disaster relief programs in the US and around the world. It also helps people in developing countries launch and sustain their own small businesses. Visit website.
The Sacred Heart University Community Theatre will celebrate its grand opening Labor Day weekend for an exciting new era of live performance, film and educational programming at the bustling corner of Post and Unquowa roads, downtown Fairfield. A Sept. 2 ribbon-cutting with town and University officials will precede opening weekend events, including a Friday, Sept. 3, performance by NBC’s The Voice winner Javier Colon and his band, and an evening with Tony nominee Megan Hilty of TV’s Smash and Broadway’s Wicked on Saturday, Sept. 4. On Sunday, Sept. 5, the SHU Gospel Choir will perform with Angela Clemmons, powerhouse back-up singer to Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Michael Jackson, John Legend and more. Visit website.
The Stamford History Center recently launched a Go Fund Me campaign to help preserve and conserve historic artifacts in its collection areas. Many of its treasures are at risk from damage and decay due to environmental conditions. Most susceptible are 18th century documents, silk stockings, portraits, clocks, cast iron stoves and many more items that can be damaged by heat, dust, light, and humidity. SHC seeks funds to purchase dehumidifiers, room air conditioning, ultraviolet light film, and air purification systems for our galleries, document and photo archives, artifact, furniture and textiles collection storage areas. Visit website.
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The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and CT Arts Alliance have been campaigning for municipalities to allocate 1% of their  American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to arts and culture. No town in our region, except Ridgefield, has actually declared they will be awarding 1% to the arts. Bridgeport ($113 million) did survey its residents and has reported on the results: 27% replied that arts and culture should receive some funding. The City now has issued requests for proposals and those in “Visual and Performing Arts” can apply (see Funding Opportunities below). Fairfield ($24.8 million) has a detailed spending proposal, organized by Six Areas of Focus, including “Quality of Life: Recreation, Arts & Culture” [arts and culture was, sadly, not included under Economic Development]. This includes $25,000 for Burr Homestead Historical Gardens, $450,000 for a Performance Stage and Public restrooms  for the Fairfield Museum and Town Green, one of Fairfield's most important cultural destinations. The Town’s RTM will vote on the proposals in September.  Stay tuned for more updates from other municipalities.

“Market potential” may sound like jargon for “expected attendance,” but not all predictive research processes are created equal. When it comes to understanding expectations surrounding attendance, most entities cannot afford to get things wrong – especially now. Simply put, having a realistic sense of how many people intend to walk through an organization’s doors allows for accurate budgeting, planning, and program prioritization. We don’t still live in a world where “educated guesses” are the norm. Intelligent market potential analyses are informed by data science and advanced modeling processes. Read full article here...

The Connecticut Office of the Arts is now accepting nominations to select the next State Troubadour. The honorary position of Connecticut State Troubadour was established in 1991 by the Connecticut General Assembly. The State Troubadour/Trobairitz (referred to henceforth as Troubadour) serves as an ambassador of music and song and promotes cultural literacy* among Connecticut citizens. The Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) appoints an individual resident singer-songwriter as the State Troubadour based on the recommendations of a review panel. Singers and songwriters from all genres of music are welcomed. Learn more here...

The Lilly School of Philanthropy released a report that 2018 saw the lowest number of people giving to charitable causes in 20 years. Proof people are ungenerous? Not quite ... In 2020, Giving USA reported an INCREASE in the overall generosity from individuals to build better. The insight? Generosity is resilient. When activated, people stand up for others, step in for others, and serve others. And when they do it’s personal. Find success and overcome the temptation to dust off the pre-pandemic plan. Instead, ask tough questions and explore new playbooks. To ensure your strategy is ready for this new reality, join us at the next Build Better Summit on August 18 from 11am - 2pm EST. Register here...

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) 
The Bijou Theater and WPKN Radio recently won a Quick Grant from CT Humanities for "Expressing Collective Grief and Loss in the Age of COVID,” a panel; discussion to be held November 20th at The Bijou on loss during COVID and the many ways that cultures use art and music as therapeutic and healing tools to collectively grieve and increase cultural sensitivity and awareness. To receive updates and learn more about the grant process, subscribe to CTH’s newsletter. 

The City of Bridgeport has issued a Request for Proposals to fund Visual and performing Arts Projects up to $25,000 that will address the economic impacts of COVID-19 through visual and performing arts programming within the community, especially those that are targeted towards providing Bridgeport youth with visual and performing arts education. The proposal may not seek funding for programs that are already fully funded through other sources. Rather, the proposal must seek funding for a program that is either a) new or innovative, or b) will be expanded to serve a greater population. See the Request for Proposals document that outlines the eligibility and selection requirements, an application form and a budget form. Apply here

Pro Bono Partnership is offering in collaboration with the law office of Matthew Miklave, PLLC, a free webinar on Monday, August 16, 12:30-1:30pm: Legal Issues Related to Vaccinations, Masks and Social Distancing. You may return to the office with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, with some employees unwilling or unable to take the vaccine. Do we create blanket policies for all staff? Require masks for some and not others? And how do we reconcile competing interests and best protect our employees and the community? This interactive webinar will focus on legal issues surrounding vaccinations, masks and social distancing – what an employer can or should require, and questions the employer should consider. Register here...

Looking for a good way to keep track of your collections? Share your collections with the public online? Preserve your digital files for the long haul? Connecticut Collections (CTCo) is a collections management program designed to help you organize your museum objects, archival materials, and other heritage collections, all in one place. Connecticut Collections was designed by CLHO members for CLHO members, with the needs and budgets of history organizations in mind. The software is a customization of Collective Access, a web-based, open-source collections management program used by libraries, archives, and museums around the world. CLHO works directly with the makers of Collective Access to manage the system for our users. Free info session on Friday, August 20th at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. 

The Klein, Bridgeport’s 1,447-seat performing arts center serving the greater Bridgeport region, is looking to hire a part-time administrative assistant/bookkeeper who will work directly with the executive director and will also handle special projects with the staff members in development, box office, marketing and production operations. Those interested should submit a resume and two professional references to: View Full Job Description

The Klein, Bridgeport’s 1,447-seat performing arts center serving the greater Bridgeport region, is looking to hire a full-time director of development and communications who will lead a broad spectrum of fundraising and marketing activities, including grant writing, individual giving, events planning, and sponsorships. Funds raised support Klein Theatre Arts, (a tuition-free arts education program), entertainment programs and events, capital projects and capacity building. View Full Job Description

The Klein, Bridgeport’s 1,447-seat performing arts center serving the greater Bridgeport region, is looking to hire a part-time grant writer who will research potential grantors and sponsors and write the grant applications and sponsorship solicitations. The grant writer reports to the director of development and the executive director. Funds raised support Klein Theatre Arts, (a tuition-free arts education program), entertainment programs and events, capital projects and capacity building. View Full Job Description 
Aug. 3: The Importance of Your Financials Workshop
Aug. 10: Nominations for CT Troubadour Deadline
Aug. 16: Probono Partnership: Returning to the workplace: Legal Issues
Aug. 18: Build Better Summit, 11am-2pm
Aug. 20: Connecticut Collections: Info Session, 11am
Aug. 31: City of Bridgeport: Visual and Performing Arts RFP Deadline

Oct.  1: CT Humanities Quick Grants Deadline

CT Office of the Arts Arts Access grants
New England Museum Association Events Calendar

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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. Donations are always very welcome and may be made here. In particular, we are grateful for support from:
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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