Subject: Organizations' Newsletter - August 23, 2019

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and Creative Businesses of Fairfield County, CT
August 23, 2019
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. 
A recording of our latest live interview show on WPKN 89.5FM, Spotlight on Arts & Culture, is now available as a podcast on Soundcloud at Our August 2019 program was devoted to a conversation with two local arts and culture funders. In "Who Funds Arts & Culture? A Window into Local Philanthropy,” we spoke with Lauren Patterson, Executive Director of the New Canaan Community Foundation, and Kelly O’Donnell, with the law firm of Pullman & Comley, about how both organizations fund arts and culture in their communities across Connecticut. What issues factor into their decisions about what to fund and what processes do they use to come to decisions? Hear their fascinating ideas about what makes a community, and how both funders encourage collaboration not only by their applicants, but also by themselves, as they both collaborate with other funders to produce exponential results.
All those working in arts and culture venues are encouraged to attend an ADA Principles & Practice Workshop at Stepping Stones Museum for Children on Tues. Oct. 1. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is partnering with The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) and its 8 sister regional service organizations to present a series of six parallel work-shops across the state that will focus on the concepts and terminology of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Workshop presenter, Elanah Sherman, has worked in the disability rights movement for some 25 years as community organizer, advocate, and ADA trainer. As an arts-involved person herself, she has a special interest in educating arts personnel in how to knowledgeably apply ADA, enabling the transformative power of the arts to reach as many people as possible. By concentrating on the law’s structure, Elanah will provide participants with some of the skills necessary to apply ADA in the evaluation of their own programs and services. Attendees will benefit from a relaxed learning environment that will enable them to take a deep-dive into identifying their organizations’ accessibility strengths and weaknesses. Each workshop will include a different panel of local individuals with disabilities who will share their experiences attending and participating in the arts. In our region the workshop will be co-hosted by Stepping Stones Museum for Children, in Norwalk, on Tues. Oct. 1, 10am-12:30pm. After an initial presentation by Elanah Sherman, three local artists/audience members with disabilities will talk briefly about some of their experiences with arts and culture venues and will take part in a panel discussion with the audience, moderated by Elanah and COA's Tamara Dimitri. The panelists are Alan Gunzberg, Amy Oestreicher and Jamie Petrone. Stay tuned for registration details coming soon.
– Latest List by Town of Organization and Creative Business Members: here
– Latest List by Town of Artist Members: here
The Bruce Museum's Construction Project moves into high gear with a public presentation and celebration, Bruce ConsTRUCKSSun. Sept. 8, 12 - 4 pm, that will give the community the opportunity to learn more about the museum’s renovation and expansion plans – and to join the Campaign for the New Bruce. Visitors will be able to view informational displays about the renovation and expansion project, and museum leaders and volunteers from across the community will be on hand to describe the transformative impact that the New Bruce will have. Robert Wolterstorff, the new director of the Bruce, will address the audience at 12:30pm. For children there will be construction tucks, provided by Eversource, as well as First Responder Vehicles. There will also be a unique opportunity to Draw on the Museum Walls, one day before renovation work begins. For more information on construction plans and the new Bruce, click here.
Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras (GBYO) is pleased to announce that Gjorgj Kroqi is now String Orchestra Conductor. Mr. Kroqi, of Cheshire, was named Cello and Bass Coach last season and now takes the helm of the entry-level String Orchestra. In addition to his position at GBYO, Mr. Kroqi is the popular Orchestra Director at Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield. He also teaches at The Taft School in Watertown, CT, and gives one-on-one private cello lessons. Mr. Kroqi follows Aaron Lofaro’s eight-year stint as GBYO String Orchestra Conductor. During Mr. Lofaro’s tenure, String Orchestra has grown both in size and in musical proficiency. Mr. Lofaro stepped down for personal reasons as he welcomes another child into his family. Based in Fairfield, GBYO is the largest youth orchestra in Connecticut. It brings 350+ young musicians ages 10-18 together each week for rehearsals and performances. GBYO supports nine different ensembles, including two jazz bands, three full orchestras and a percussion ensemble. More... 
The Housatonic Museum of Art will host a grand re-opening, while presenting its newest exhibit: Close to the Line: Mari Rantanen and Kirsten ReynoldsThe museum has been closed since August of last year when the walls and floors of the museum’s Burt Chernow Gallery suffered water damage due to the sprinkler system activating in response to an overheated computer on the floor above. Fortunately, the museum’s collection did not experience any damage. "We are thrilled to re-open the galleries with this dynamic exhibit, and invite everyone to come to the opening reception on Thurs. Sept. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., and the gallery walk-through with the curator and artists at noon on Friday, September 6th," said Robbin Zella, director of the museum.
INTEMPO hosted a visit from Congressman Jim Himes during its fifth annual summer camp at the Roxbury Elementary School. INTEMPO was selected by the Stamford Public Schools to be the sole music-education provider to receive funding from the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title IV, Part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant. The grant provided 34 of the 85 participating students—a record enrollment for the camp—with a full-tuition subsidy; the remaining students received scholarships from INTEMPO donors (see below for a detailed list). Click image for 1-min. video of Rep. Himes' testimony on the power of music in education.
The Weston Historical Society has announced that its Board of Trustees has named Samantha Kulish-Fargione as its new executive director. Samantha has been working in the field of education and program coordination for close to 15 years at non-profit organizations throughout Fairfield County. For the past 11 years, she was the Early Childhood Theater Director for Norwalk’s Crystal Theatre, where she developed new educational programming for preschool and elementary school students as well as directed over 100 full-scale musical productions for the theatre’s middle and high school performance groups. For the past 11 years, Ms. Kulish-Fargione has also been the part-time Program and Educational Coordinator for the Norwalk Historical Society where she has developed and expanded its educational programming for schools as well as adult programming. Ms. Kulish-Fargione is most proud of her work in revitalizing the Society’s 40-year-old program for third-graders, The Little Red Schoolhouse Program, which is now attended by every third-grade class in Norwalk. Ms. Kulish-Fargione has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Communication and Theater Arts from Western Connecticut State University. She has written the book to two musicals: “Coming of Age” and “Prohibition, Norwalk: 1925.” More...

This year's National Arts in Education Week is September 8-14, 2019. Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education. The United States Conference of Mayors recently recognized National Arts in Education Week at their 87th Annual Meeting in Honolulu, HI. Americans for the Arts has suggestions and resources to help us recognize the week:

• Celebrate. Host a celebration in your community. You can download graphics like the one above. If you're an Americans for the Arts member you should register your event on the national arts events calendar  ArtsMeet. Download the 5 Ways to Partner Packet for other ideas of how to celebrate in your community!

• Advocate. Work with your elected officials and decision-makers to share the value of the arts in education. Whether a mayor, principal, or U.S. Congressman, check out sample resolutions and videos, send an op-ed to your local newspaper, and use the Arts Education Navigator—an online tool with six action steps to craft a personal advocacy plan. Also, please sign the petition encouraging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to support the arts!

Participate. Share your story in the social media campaign, #BecauseOfArtsEd on Facebook, TwitterandInstagram, to bring national visibility to the issue of arts education. See the Social Media How-To Guide.  

The Philanthropy News Digest recently reported that a bill requiring the electronic filing of nonprofit tax returns and the release of those forms to the public free of charge in a searchable, machine-readable format has been signed into law. A provision in H.R. 3151 (the "Taxpayer First Act"), a bipartisan Internal Revenue Service reform measure that was passed by Congress in June, makes e-filing of Forms 990 by exempt organizations mandatory beginning with the 2020 tax year. A delay in implementation may be granted for small organizations, organizations for which the U.S. Department of Treasury determines that the law would cause an undue burden, and organizations filing Form 990-T. The requirement is intended to make it easier and cheaper for researchers and the public to access information on 501(c)(3) organizations, according to the Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI). Since 2008, the institute has worked to improve the quality, timeliness, accessibility, and efficiency of the nonprofit data collection system through its Nonprofit Data Project,  "Form 990s contain valuable information on the missions, governance, and finances of nonprofit organizations. Until fairly recently, these forms — even those that were electronically filed—were only available and sold by the IRS as static, non-searchable images, which greatly limited their usefulness," Cinthia Schuman Ottinger, PSI’s deputy director for philanthropy programs, wrote in an email. "After years of advocacy by Aspen and its partners, and legal action by open data guru Carl Malamud, e-filed Form 990s were released in a machine-readable format by the Internal Revenue Service in June 2016. Currently, approximately 65 percent of Form 990s are electronically filed and available for free on Amazon Web Services. With the passage of the Taxpayer First Act, researchers and the public will now have easier access to all public Form 990 data." See full article here.

A recent article in Greenwich Time, "Connecticut art museums work to break down barriers,"  points to how several Connecticut museums are trying harder to engage with their local communities, starting with free admission for those who receive food stamps. To include those who cannot afford tickets, 3 museums in Fairfield County: The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield and Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk are participating in Museums for All, a cooperative initiative between the Association of Children's Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services that lets visitors with EBT cards visit for free or at a reduced cost. Patrons of the Bruce and the Aldrich who present an EBT card can admit up to four people for free. "If you don't have to worry about paying, it makes it more accessible," Diana Rafferty, the education coordinator for the Bruce Museum is quoted as saying. "The last thing we want to do is make the culture that is available to everyone hidden behind a paywall." To improve the experiences of visitors who benefit from Museums for All, Rafferty has encouraged conversations among staff members about the myths and realities of poverty. Most welfare recipients are white, contrary to enduring stereotypes, and education saddles the very people trying to escape generational poverty with crippling debt, she says. This is the first year the Aldrich has participated in a program specific to SNAP EBT benefits. While Ridgefield is regarded as an affluent town, not all families reflect that, so the program helps the Aldrich connect with all its community members, says Namulen Bayarsaihan, the museum's education director. The art museum is finding new ways Ridgefield residents, as well as those in the surrounding communities, can reach the museum, including free bus transportation for area Title I schools that take field trips there. Inclusion advocates say museums in Connecticut are well-intentioned but need to do more than lower prices to be accessible and representative of the state's demographics. Advocates recommend diversifying staff and board members and going into underrepresented communities to figure out why potential museum-goers stay away. Read the complete article here.

The Connecticut Center for the Book, a program of Connecticut Humanities, and the state affiliate of the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, has announced that this year's Connecticut Book Awards will take place Sun. Oct. 20, 2019, 3-4pm at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT.  The Connecticut Book Awards recognize the best books of 2018 about Connecticut, or by authors and illustrators from Connecticut. Categories include: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Books for Young Readers. Starting this year, the Connecticut Book Awards will include the Bruce Fraser “Spirit of Connecticut” Award. This special award is in memory of longtime Connecticut Humanities director Bruce Fraser and celebrates Connecticut’s sense of place.  The mission of the Connecticut Center for the Book is to promote the written and spoken word throughout the state, and to foster a love of reading for the people of Connecticut, The awards MC will be Ann Nyberg and the keynote address at the Awards will be by Philip Caputo. Mr. Caputo is an award-winning journalist – the co-winner of a Pulitzer Prize – and the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including A Rumor of War, one of the most highly praised books of the twentieth century, and The Longest Road, a New York Times bestseller. His novels include Acts of Faith, The Voyage, Horn of Africa, Crossers, and Some Rise by Sin. His current book, Hunter’s Moon, features a cast of recurring characters weaving into and out of one another’s lives: once-a-year lovers, old high school buddies on a hunting trip, a college -professor and his wayward son, a middle-aged man and his grief-stricken father. Hunter’s Moon offers and engaging, insightful look at everyday lives and offers a fresh perspective on the way men navigate in today’s world. He and his wife, Leslie Ware, divide their time between Norwalk, CT, and Patagonia, AZ. After the awards, 4:00-5:30 p.m. there will be a Reception and Book Signingswith winners, finalists, keynote speaker Philip Caputo and emcee Ann Nyberg Books available for purchase at the event. Tickets can be purchased $20 here ($2 after Sept 13)
Michael Menchaca, 1000 Years of Crossings, 2018, digital animation, 6 min. 20 sec; click for animation. 2018 NALAC Fund for the Arts recipient.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) has released this "Statement on White Supremacy and Gun Violence."

"The hatred and violence targeting the Latino community in El Paso are a direct influence of the white supremacist language expressed by Trump and his administration and condoned by the silence of his party and his supporters.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures is outraged by the attacks perpetrated against our communities. We extend condolences to the victims’ families in El Paso and Dayton and commit to action on their behalf.

As Latinos and as a nation, we must raise our voices in solidarity and demonstrate our opposition to the state-sponsored attacks to promote a political agenda. The time for wisdom and courage to prevail against racism and hatred is now."

- Maria Lopez De Leon, NALAC President and CEO

Read statements from additional National Hispanic Leadership Agenda organizations online via KRWG Public Radio.

The New England Museum Association is preparing for its 101st conference in Burlington, VT, Nov. 6-8, 2019. See what it can do for you. Take advantage of the country's largest regional gathering of museum professionals, with 90+ professional development sessions, lively discussions, and tons of networking opportunities that challenge your intellect and boost your museum passion to a whole new level. Registration is now open: get started at  A complete schedule with information on sessions, workshops, and events can be found in the preliminary program book here. There are 90+ professional development sessions and events, where you can network with more than 800 museum colleagues. In addition there are many off-site and after hours events in Vermont, for example the
opening night event at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. The keynote session features Dr. Gretchen Sorin, speaking about
her upcoming Steeplechase Films/PBS documentary, Driving While Black, and its messages for museum people. There will also be several TED Talk-style “Story Telling Sessions” to put you in touch with
the successes (and failures) of your New England colleagues 
Early Bird registrants get big discounts - up to 30% off. Sign up by October 4 to get the deal! Click here to get started. Financial Aid: To make the conference accessible to all, there are several scholarships and fellowships underwritten by the generous donations of sponsors. Scholarship awards support travel, lodging and registration for individual members and employees of institutional members. Applications for all awards must be postmarked no later than Sept. 20. Click here for details. You can also volunteer: work one shift helping us with registration and other onsite duties, and you get the rest of your day's registration for free. Work three shifts and NEMA pays for your entire conference! Click here for information.

New England Now is an intensive professional development opportunity for dance artists and cultural organizations. It will be the seventh dance lab from the National Dance Project's Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI). The first of three informational sessions for regional dance makers will take place on September 21, 2019. The purpose of RDDI is to increase the scope, visibility and viability of dance activity in and across regions in the United States. The first RDDI lab was a pilot in the Pacific Northwest and others have followed around the country.  For over 15 years, the program has worked to leverage and expand on existing regional resources, foster vital networks of artists and presenters, and to provide professional growth opportunities for regionally significant artists. RDDI is designed and produced in partnership with local funders, organizing partners and an advisory committee to meet the unique needs and concerns of the dance community being served. Its mission is to strengthen connections and relationships that will nourish the local and regional dance field. RDDI New England Now activities will be informed by past RDDI experiences, the 2017 New England Choreographers' and New England Dance Cultural Organizers’ Convenings. Activities are intended to align with or complement local and regional funding opportunities including NEFA’s New England Dance Fund, New England States Touring, and Expeditions and The Boston Foundations’ Live Arts Boston and Next Steps for Boston Dance grant programs. Activities will take place across New England in recognition of the various landscapes and communities in our region. There is no cost for participation.  Informational Session for Regional Dance Makers: Sat. Sept. 21, 2019. Co-hosted by Wesleyan Center for the Arts and the Wesleyan Dance Dept, Cross Street Studio, 160 Cross Street, Middletown, CT. Register now (and before Sept 16).

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) annual Idea Swap is designed for New England-based nonprofit cultural organizations and touring artists to network and share ideas for touring projects, including those that may qualify for funding from NEFA’s Expeditions grant program. In addition to networking, Idea Swap participants are encouraged to share ideas in all stages of development with their colleagues from around the region. 15-20 project ideas are selected in advance to make five-minute presentations at the Idea Swap. Ideas may be submitted before Oct. 9 (forms will be available shortly). Project ideas should include a link to a video or audio work sample of the artist. The work sample does not have to be of the proposed project. It will be reviewed by NEFA when considering project ideas for the selected five minute presentations. Work samples will NOT be posted on the Idea Swap Project Ideas page. If chosen to present, you must provide a downloadable file of the work sample. You will be given the chance to review your work sample for the Idea Swap. Project ideas with at least one interested presenter and creative presentations, which may include the featured artist, are given priority. The Idea Swap will be held Oct. 30, 9am-4pm at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester, MA.

The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation has published its Professional Practices for Art Curators in Nonprofits, a free, downloadable comprehensive overview of the curatorial role that addresses and advocates for critical issues around inclusion, mentorship, social justice, and transparency. At a time when curators and the arts are continuously changing, this guide provides guidance and definitions. It includes position statements from the AAMC Foundation regarding deaccessioning, mentorship, collaboration and inclusivity. Key issues discussed in the guidebook include: pathways to developing a curatorial career; strategies for engagement and collaboration with the public; sustaining meaningful momentum supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the field;
successful applications of digital strategies;
increased focus on open sharing of provenance, including conditions of transfer and colonialism; and shifts in how the for-profit and nonprofit sector work together.
e guide helps to further the Foundation’s leadership at the forefront of nurturing and shaping the voice of the curatorial field and art organizations globally. It is with pride that we shar
e this guide in a digital format and are pleased to answer questions regarding its development and content. Download here.
Professional Development Events Coming Up
Aug. 27: CT Museum Educators Roundtable: An Introduction to Evaluating Museum 
   Exhibitions and Programs, 2-4pm; CT Science Center, Hartford
Aug. 28-31: American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) 2019 Annual Meeting
Sept. 21: Regional Dance Development Initiative, New England Now, Info Meeting, Wesleyan University
Sept 26: NEMA Workshop: Understanding Repatriation and Restitution, Providence
Oct. 30: New England Foundation for the Arts, Idea Swap. Worcester, MA

The Wilton Historical Society seeks a Museum Educator who will lead and implement the Society’s ongoing 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade curriculum-based education programs. In addition, the Museum Educator is responsible for managing a full calendar of education programs for all ages at the Society, of which a key component is Saturday programs for kids. This position provides support for the marketing efforts to promote all programs. Description: Reports to Co-Director, Education. Supports programming and communication between schools, teachers, students, families, and other non-profit organizations to provide a minimum of: continuing existing curriculum-based Colonial education programs; continuing Scout programs and Colonial Summer Camp; Saturday programs for kids, one adult program monthly; Star, Inc. seasonal programs for disabled adults; work with Chair of Volunteers on staffing as needed; plan program activities, provide full program descriptions, procure supplies, and organize materials, set up and clean up the activities; keep accurate and up to date records of program expenses, attendance data; provide Museum Tours as needed; assist with marketing efforts: tasks include posting flyers, posters and signs; sending press releases to media and calendar listings; connecting with local affinity groups to promote programs; Assist with Betts Store Museum Shop: check out purchases, help customers. Assist with fundraisers. Other duties as assigned. Job Requirements:
Must have genuine desire to educate and bring history to life. High energy team player with strong organizational and communication skills. Good writer with computer skills. Ability to take the initiative, multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment. Ability to maintain clear records and provide goals and other information as requested for grant applications and reports. Saturday work required as well as occasional Sundays and evenings. At least 2 years of experience working in a school or non-profit environment, preferably in programs and/or education. Graduation from an accredited four-year college. Hours: 24 per week, Tuesday-Saturday, with flexibility during the week. Apply for this job: send resume and cover letter; list of three professional references with contact information; contact: Kim Mellin, Co-Director: 

The Greenwich Arts Council (GAC) seeks an Office Administrator to: assist the Executive Director in maintaining the GAC facility: coordinating the day to day maintenance of the building upkeep, communicating with Town officials when needed or instructed by the Executive Director about the needs of the facility; create, edit and maintain facility and program calendars and GAC databases for membership, fundraising, artists, performances, and sales, informing and providing the Executive Director with a copy of the daily calendar of events and/or classes; be responsible for all scheduling and booking for the GAC rental spaces: galleries, meeting/performance space, offices, artist and dance studio, as well for GAC meetings and programs. The Office Administrator should maintain contracts and lease agreements with program participants, tenants and general public in proper order. Assist Fundraising Committee Members with updates and tracking the progress of the events. Attend GAC programs and provide support for gallery openings, fundraisers, lectures, concerts, programs and special events. Perform administrative support duties for the Executive Director. Such tasks should be, but not limited to: weekly check deposits to the bank, coordinating all aspects of Board of Directors and committee meetings, conducting official communications with members of the Board, and coordinating the light breakfast for the morning meetings. Order, recommend and organize all the office supplies; monitor and follow annual budget. Coordinate general IT functions, trouble shooting, and maintenance. Work with Executive Director on weekly website updates. Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree; possess excellent organizational and administrative skills; demonstrate confidence - at ease with verbal communication and consistently demonstrating the ability to interact graciously and effectively with the Board of Directors, Staff and the General Public. Excellent communication and writing skills, be a team player, and ability to multi task.  Experience with Microsoft Office suite along with knowledge of Donor Perfect Software is preferred. 2-5 years’ experience as an office/executive assistant or related position. For more details and to apply, click here.

Artspace New Haven: Executive Director
Arts Westchester: Development Associate
Connecticut Ballet Center: School Manager/Administrator
Greenwich Historical Society: Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

Sept. 18: CT Office of the Arts: Arte-Accesible Grants Application Deadline.
Sept. 19: Connecticut Collections: Due Date to Submit to be part of 2020 Cohort
Sept. 20: Levitt Foundation: AMP Your City Music Series Grants - Application Deadline
Sept. 27: Arts for Learning Cultural Arts Expo, Fairfield Woods Middle School 

Oct. c1: GKV Foundation, Big Idea Letter of Interest Due
Oct. c4: CT Humanities Quick Grant Applications Deadline
Oct. 31: Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation Philanthropic Arts/Education Application Deadline

Nov. c2: CT Humanities Planning and Implementation Grant Application Deadline

Awesome Foundation: $1,000 Awesome Project Grants
CT Office of the Arts Arts Access grants
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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:
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