Subject: Organizations Newsletter, January 22, 2021

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and Creative Services of Fairfield County, CT
January 22, 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
Our January Spotlight on Arts & Culture on WPKN 89.5 FM s now available as a Soundcloud podcast. Hear Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of the CT Office of the Arts, and Frank Mitchell, chair of CT Humanities Application Review Committee, together with Jacqueline Coleman, Senior Community Impact Officer for the Hartford Foundation, Michael Van Leesten, Social Venture Partners, and Abe Hilding-Salorio, Sustainable CT, speak about how the crises of 2020 continue to affect the networking, strategies, and community relationships within traditional funders and how new funding types are emerging to better deal with the inequities of the prevailing systems. Hear the podcast here..

Our first COVID Impact surveys came in March and June 2020 and produced useful data for legislators, funders and the CT Arts Alliance (see the reports). Now, as part of a unified statewide effort we have joined together with our peers for a final COVID Impact survey in order to continue to advocate and provide support to you. Please complete this short survey to help update and assess the total 2020 economic, job and audience/participant impact of Covid-19. Individual artists, sole proprietors, nonprofits, creative arts businesses, 1099 contractors, co-op businesses, and self-employed are encouraged to complete the survey. Take the survey here. Thank you!
Survey conducted in partnership with: Arts & Culture Collaborative (Waterbury Region), Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Northwest CT Arts Council, Shoreline Arts Alliance, and Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition.

Our local artists and cultural organizations are struggling to survive financially while the whole creative sector is at risk at a time when we need the arts more than ever. Our legislators are making important decisions about policies and funding and they need to know that the arts must be a priority if Connecticut is to recover from the pandemic. Add your voice to those working to ensure the arts are part of Connecticut’s recovery.

#ArtisPartCT is the CT Arts Alliance’s action campaign for the state’s legislative session that works to ensure legislators understand that the arts and culture are part of Connecticut’s recovery and need to be a budget priority in this legislative session. Join the campaign and let your legislators know about the campaign and its chief goals:
Replenish the Tourism Fund – The Tourism Fund is CT’s mechanism to fund arts, culture and tourism.  
Dedicate 25% of proceeds from lodging tax to tourism fund (up from current 10%). 
Allocate a portion of proceeds from other state taxes and/or new revenue.
Ensure funding for CT Office of the Arts and CT Humanities.  
Connect with your legislators: Introduce yourself, talk about the impact of the pandemic on the arts and culture community and encourage them to join the Arts, Culture and Tourism (ACT) Legislative Caucus (co-chairs: Rep. Dorinda Borer and Senator Paul Formica). 
 Learn more...

The Arts at St. Matthew’s, in Wilton, sponsors performances by artists of regional and national importance. These performances contain sacred as well as secular themes and include music, theater, dance and the visual arts. Above all, our program endeavors to make its performances beacons to Wilton and our surrounding communities, welcoming our neighbors to St. Matthew’s and sharing with them the beauty of the Arts. See Website and Facebook page.

The George Billis Gallery is an exhibition space with locations in Westport as well as Los Angeles. The New York gallery was established on March 25th, 1997, and was the 12th Gallery to open in the Chelsea Arts District. In 2004, George Billis opened a second location in the burgeoning art district of Culver City, Los Angeles. The Gallery features work by both national and international emerging and established artists. Due to Covid, on December 8th of 2020, we relocated the New York gallery to the busy Main Street of Westport, CT. See Website and Facebook and Instagram pages.

The MAD Lab is Norwalk’s creative hub, offering a unique physical space where emerging artists are able to exhibit work, collaborate with fellow creatives, communicate with their audience, and connect with the local community. Through this space and colorful projects, MAD Lab maintains its commitment to expanding the MAD network of likeminded individuals who help and support the growth of one another. MAD Lab's goal is to "transform Connecticut into the Art Capital of the World by advocating freedom of expression, individual empowerment, and collective elevation." See Website, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites
On December 21, the Board of Directors of Connecticut Humanities (CTH), voted to approve grants to 50 nonprofits totaling $1.5M. CTH’s COVID Relief Fund for Museums helps larger non-profit museums and other 501c3 non-profit humanities organizations with full-time staff and annual operating budgets of at least $450,000 recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to CAFC Member grant receipients: Barnum Museum, Fairfield Museum & History Center, Bruce Museum, Greenwich Historical Society, New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Stepping Stones Museum for Children, The Maritime Aquarium, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Keeler Tavern Museum, Pequot Library, Avon Theatre Film Center, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Westport Museum for History and Culture, and the Wilton Historical Society. Funding for these grants was provided byl the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) with funding allocated to the State of Connecticut through the CARES Act. For more information and a full list of the grant awards, click here...
The Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras 
was recently awarded a donation of $100,000 from the Jack Lawrence Charitable Trust. With it, GCTYO will establish the Jack Lawrence Endowment Fund. Jack Lawrence was an American songwriter, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. This gift to GCTYO is recognition of the importance of music in the lives of young people and the role youth orchestras play in bringing music to families and communities. This is the second $100,000 donation to GCTYO in as many months. The first came from the Berson family in honor of Inna Berson Wetmore, a local piano teacher and music professor from the greater Bridgeport area. A little more than a year ago, GCTYO received a $75,000 donation from the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust. These funds are directed toward outreach programs such as the free after school lessons program.
In a ground-floor Visitor Center room that once housed a dentist’s office, Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center has opened its new state-of-the-art Museum Collections Storage and Research Facility. Completed with a $96,575 Good to Great grant from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the renovation addresses a long-term critical need for appropriate archival storage and document research. The new space includes state-of-the-art mobile storage units for securely housing the KTM&HC’s irreplaceable archives comprised of 4,000 historic documents and books and 7,000-plus photonegative glass plates by 19th-century local photographer Joseph Hartmann. 
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will launch its 8th annual Young Writers’ Competition on Feb. 1. The competition titled, "A Scientist Visits the Mansion," will end on June 4, with an awards ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 21. The competition is open to all middle school students sixth through eighth grade in the Tristate area. Participants will be asked to write a story of a fictional event taking place at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion between 1868 and 1938. The cast of characters must include a doctor or scientist who became famous or infamous during the mid-to-late 19th century and members of the Lockwood or Mathews families. A list of scientists will be provided by LMMM.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is reaffirming its commitment to the local community in all its diversity, with the election of four prominent civic leaders to its Board of Trustees. Elected to three-year-terms at the board’s Dec. 16 meeting were: Norm Bloom of Copps Island Oysters in Norwalk; the Rev. Dr. Lindsay E. Curtis of Grace Baptist Church in Norwalk; Novelette Peterkin, chief executive officer of The Carver Foundation in Norwalk; and Diane Schlinkert, an active civic leader in Darien who serves on the boards of At Home in Darien and the Garden Club of Darien. In addition, Norwalk developer Clay Fowler – founding partner, chair and CEO of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners – was elected to be the Aquarium’s next chair of the Board of Trustees.
Music for Youth has announced the winners of the 2021 Marianne Liberatore Instrumental Competition: First Prize: James Toomey-Wilson, guitar, The Karl Koss Memorial Second Prize: Sasha Maskoff, piano; Third Prize: Tyler Ngai, cello. MFY was the creation of Marianne Liberatore and friends with the goal of bringing classical music, professionally performed, into the lives of young people in Fairfield County. This competition is in honor of Marianne and the gift of music she gave to our community through the Free Young Persons’ Concerts and school residency and exchange programs. The six finalists will be offered an opportunity to present a solo concert in the Emerging Artists Series at Pequot Library. Learn more...
Norwalk Historical Society and Norwalk Historical Commission is calling on the community for historic objects and artifact donations to be featured in the forthcoming permanent exhibit in the Smith Street Jail titled “Miserable vagrants, petty thieves and scamps: a history of crime in Norwalk.” The museum is seeking photographs, mugshots, documents, memorabilia and ephemera pertaining to crime, punishment and the police. While particular emphasis is on the pre-1940 era and Norwalk specifically, we are interested in viewing or hearing about all items that fall within the above categories regardless of location or time period. Submission deadline: March 31.
Work has begun to replace the Pequot Library’s 125-year-old Ludowici terracotta roof. This $1.5M restoration project comes after a comprehensive conditions assessment plan, which was supported by the State Historic Preservation Office and conducted by architecture firm Pirie Associates, of New Haven, in 2019. The study identified repairing the historic roof as “an urgent priority,” not only to preserve the entire structure, but also to protect the library’s special collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives.
Through music, SpreadMusicNow, has worked to improve and transform the lives of underserved children, putting them on a path to a successful and enriching life. To date, the organization has made over $1.5M in grants to music programs across the U.S. Last month, Emily Geronimo, a student at Danbury Public Schools, was named Music Student of the Month. Unfortunately, because of a lack of funding, the nonprofit arm of SpreadMusicNow is closing down. The SpreadMusicNow Fund, which is organized as a donor-advised fund and administers all raised funds on behalf of SpreadMusicNow, will continue to exist, as does the BeFoundation's commitment to its fans and followers. The SpreadMusicNow Fund can still accept donations to help fund equitable opportunities in music education for underserved youth.
Recent legislation has redesignated The Weir Farm from a National Historic Site to a National Historical Park. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Representative Jim Himes and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump. The 68-acre Weir Farm National Historical Park preserves the home, studios and grounds of the late 19th-century American artist Julian Alden Weir. The land was integral to his artistic vision and to the growth of the American Impressionism national style of painting. Visitors can enjoy trails, woodlands and fields and quickly discover why this inspiring landscape has attracted artists for more than 130 years.

By recently passing the Save Our Stages Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, in its COVID relief package, Congress has temporarily protected The Constitution State’s music industry from economic free fall. But are the courts now willing to do what’s necessary to provide the permanent security it needs and deserves? The Save Our Stages Act will direct the Small Business Administration to provide grants to deserving venues equal to either 45 percent of their operating costs from the 2019 calendar year, or $12 million, whichever is the lesser cost. Under this bill, the SBA could also make supplemental grants to these eligible businesses if operators demonstrate a need. Congress’ effort to protect the music industry during this time of great distress deserves the praise of Connecticut’s musicians and live venue owners. Now, the courts just need to finish the job and ensure that big corporations can’t undercut Congress’ relief measures for the industry in this vulnerable hour. Read CTMirror OpEd...

There’s no way around it: the COVID pandemic has hit the museum industry hard. But museums are a resilient bunch and many of them have come up with novel ways to keep serving up history, culture, and education. How? They’ve gone online. But what happens to all the virtual tours, online exhibitions, and internet-based collections after COVID-19? What is the future of museums after a year in a pandemic?
Now that museums, and audiences, have discovered the power of virtual tourism, it’s hard to believe they’ll return to convention. With entire collections formatted and developed for online showing and thousands of virtual experiences rolled out for audiences around the world, it’d simply be a waste to hit delete or save to archive. No, the future of museums in 2021 will likely retain online, virtual reality, or augmented reality components. Read AAM Article...


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York has filled one of the most closely watched—and politically loaded—vacancies in the museum field. Naomi Beckwith, a highly regarded Modern and contemporary art expert who currently serves as senior curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, has been named chief curator and deputy director of the New York institution. The appointment is particularly significant because Beckwith, who is Black, will replace Nancy Spector, a 34-year veteran of the museum who resigned last year amid charges of racist management. In her new role, which begins in June, Beckwith will oversee collections, exhibitions, publications, and curatorial programs at the museum, as well as provide strategic direction for the Guggenheim’s international network of affiliates in Bilbao, Venice, and Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining the MCA Chicago in 2011, Beckwith worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Full Artnet article

It would hardly seem necessary to state: A life in the arts — in a theater, in a studio, at a writing desk, on a film crew — constitutes honest-to-goodness work. And yet planting this truism in America’s consciousness has proved such a thorny challenge that a whole new labor movement has been spawned to drive it home. Built on the concept of the “arts worker” — an immense labor category representing 8.8 million Americans doing everything from designing clothing to sweeping museum floors — this movement asserts that the arts are as foundational as farming or manufacturing. And its focus is not so much public relations as it is survival, an aim reinforced daily by the financial devastation the coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the nation’s creative economy. Over a matter of days in December, a campaign spearheaded by Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin and stage director Jenny Koons enlisted 10,000 supporters to tell the incoming Biden administration of the needs of an industry “largely left behind by the federal government.” Read Washington Post article here...

The disconnect of 2020 has proven that the arts and culture industry does not (yet) have a digital strategy. Articles herald memes on TikTok from the Uffizi Gallery, Spotify playlists at the Tate or the art world’s virtual viewing rooms as bastions of digital pioneering. But how much of this innovation has been strategic? How much thinking is behind what is being built? Are these digital initiatives backed by the whole organization or were they the spontaneous brilliance of a specific team member or rogue technologist? To be fair, the majesty of walking into a room with the Mona Lisa, a Frida Kahlo or Rembrandt self-portrait, or flowers by Claude Monet or Georgia O’Keeffe stops you in your tracks, as does the sensory experience of a Mark Rothko painting or a James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama or Nari Ward installation. The real-life museum experience was so good that museums and galleries had the luxury of hanging their hats on it. A museum’s website simply offered the directions to get to the real-life experience, not an experience itself. Read Rolling Stones article...

CT Humanities Quick Grants provide awards up to $4,999 for humanities projects. The streamlined process is only one month from application to award notification. The deadline for the next round is February 5. This year, CT Humanities is switching to full electronic communications and submissions for grant award letters, contracts, and final reporting for all FY21 grants. Moving forward, grant award announcements will be transmitted via email versus "snail-mailed" award packets, including instructions on how to access, sign, and submit grant contracts through CT Humanities’ online grants portalLearn more here.

This webinar, sponsored by ProBono Parnterships, will offer practical suggestions for policies and procedures that nonprofits should consider when some or all of their workforce is working remotely. We’ll also discuss the major challenges that nonprofits face when adapting to this new virtual world, including possible hits to productivity, loss of office culture and connection, complying with wage and hour rules, cybersecurity issues, and more. Anyone interested in providing a remote work option for employees, going fully virtual for the long-term, or supporting nonprofit operations in the current context will want to attend this webinar. Sign up here...

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) has received $55,485 from The Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts to support content development and expanded access for Teach It, CTH’s online resource providing educators and students with inquiry-based activities, primary source documents, and links for further exploration. Teach It fosters a greater appreciation among students for the role their own communities played in our state’s history and Connecticut’s significance on the national and global stage, helping to forward CTH’s vision of a more engaged, informed citizenry.Funding will be used to add thirty-six new content units to Teach It. For more information, contact Gregg Mangan.

The American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, scheduled for January 22-26, will take place virtually. Registration is now open. ALA is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. Register here...

Like many institutions, museums continue to face uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Raffa, Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group, understands that organizations are eager to better understand and navigate the impact of evolving Federal and state guidelines on operations, including the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. In this webinar, they will outline actions that museums and cultural institutions can take to continue serving the community, preserving value, and protecting their workers will be outlined. Topics include: Updates to the Covid Relief Legislation: PPP and ERC; Eligibility and forgiveness; Which should your museum pursue: PPP loan or Shuttered Venues grant? and Financial Statement reporting compositionRegister here...

The Mark Twain Library was founded in 1908 by Mark Twain, American author, humorist, lecturer – and one of Redding’s most celebrated residents – with books from his own collection and funds he personally helped to raise. Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees and working closely with various committees, the Library Director is responsible for overall management of the Library’s 16 full- and part-time employees, its services, and its facility to ensure that it effectively meets the cultural, informational, and social needs of the community. In addition, the Library Director develops and implements Library operational policies, builds and is responsible for the nearly $1M annual budget, and leads and supports development and fundraising initiatives. The Library Director should be a leader in both current and future services and trends.  See Full job descriptions...

The Yale Center for British Art (aka “Center” or “YCBA”) is a public museum with a staff of over 100 employees. Reporting to the Director of the YCBA and to the Senior Director of Finance & Administration for Collections and Scholarly Communication, the Deputy Director for Finance & Administration (DDF&A) manages an annual operating budget of approximately $25M and directly oversees the YCBA’s Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Operations, and Security departments. Head of Design develops and manages the overall visual identity of the museum, including design strategies for the museum's interior and exterior public spaces, a wide range of printed materials, website, print and digital publications, as well as other digital projects.  See Full job descriptions...

The Farrington College of Education (FCE) at Sacred Heart University (SHU) invites applications for a 12-month, part time, benefits eligible staff position. The Discovery Museum (DM) will be under the management of Sacred Heart University beginning January 1, 2021. Working in support of SHU's management of the DM, the DM at SHU Project Coordinator will work closely with the FCE dean, other members of the SHU leadership community, faculty and staff to provide coordination of SHU efforts and resources with Discovery Museum at SHU staff and other related stakeholdersMinimum Acceptable Qualifications include: Bachelor's degree in STEM discipline or related area; Background in STEM education, to include Next Generation Science Standards; Evidence of excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; Strong organizational and time management skills. See details...

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center preserves and interprets Stowe’s Hartford home and the Center’s historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change. The Director of Philanthropy will work closely with the museum’s Executive Director, Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders to cultivate giving from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources and to ensure that development activities are deeply embedded within the mission, work, and culture of the museum. The Director also guides the fundraising efforts of the Board, works closely with senior management and museum staff to achieve fund-raising goals, and is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that increase, diversify, and sustain philanthropic support. He/she will provide direction for grant proposals and supervises a full-time Grant Manager. The Director receives data entry and gift processing support from the Executive Assistant/Board Liaison. Full job description...

The Exhibit Developer is a key member of the Connecticut Historical Society team, responsible for the development, design, production, installation, and maintenance of on-site, off-site, and traveling exhibitions. We are looking for an experienced and organized professional to lead projects from concept to completion, working with a friendly and dedicated staff across several departments (primarily exhibitions, collections, education, and marketing). Duties include, but not be limited to: Leading or assisting with exhibition projects to transform social, historical, and educational concepts into tangible ideas that can be executed in an exhibition (physical and/or virtual) or other interpretive format which appeals to the CHS’s target audiences. Participating in the planning and implementation of audience testing and evaluation related to exhibits and other interpretive projects, and more.  Full job description...
Jan. 22: Arts, Culture and Tourism Caucus: Organizational Meeting

Feb. 5: CT Humanities Quick Grants Application Deadline
Feb. 24: ProBono Partnerships: Webinar Managing a Remote Workforce
Awesome Foundation: $1,000 Awesome Project Grants
CT Office of the Arts Arts Access grants
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