Subject: Organizations' Newsletter - January 6, 2018

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and 
Creative Businesses of Fairfield County, CT
January 6, 2018
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit 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 this community of  more than 575 individuals and organizations. Sign up here
As we prepare for the Cultural Alliance's Creative Placemaking Conference, Shaping Community Jan. 23-24, at Stepping Stones Museum, we are holding pre-conference sessions, preparing teams to attend the conference and work on placemaking project proposals. Our Bridgeport meeting attracted 38 people, Greenwich 29, Norwalk 23. Look out and register for meetings in your town: Westport - Jan. 8; Fairfield - Jan. 9; Stratford - Jan. 10; New Canaan - Jan 11; and Stamford - Jan. 9. Our first meeting in Bridgeport below.
Spotlight on Arts & Culture, our monthly interview show on WPKN, second Monday of the month, continues Mon. Jan. 8, with three directors of economic and community development, Mark Barnhart (Fairfield, below right), Thomas Madden (Stamford) and Rina Bakalar (Trumbull), discussing The Arts, Culture and Economic Development in Fairfield County. The conversation will be a lead-in to the Cultural Alliance's Shaping Community conference Jan. 23-24.
Third in a continuing series
Fairfield County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences delivered $20.6 million in local and state government revenue in 2015. Nationally, the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity in 2015, including $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations). In Fairfield County, spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations ($148.6 million) and their audiences ($86.6 million) generated $20.6 million in local and state government revenue. This amount includes revenue from local and state taxes (e.g., income, sales, lodging, real estate, personal property, and other local option taxes) as well as funds from license fees, utility fees, filing fees, and other similar sources. Local government revenue includes funds to governmental units such as city, county, township, and school districts, and other special districts.
Source: Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences in Fairfield County.
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A Creative Business Member

Owner: Andrea Cross

Axel Interiorswas opened in 2014 by interior designer Andrea Cross in the former "Larry's Sunoco" on the Post Road in Norwalk (across from Lillian August). Focusing on quality classics with a modern sensibility, Andrea has assembled "Extraordinary Objects for Everyday Living," offering design-minded consumers and trade professionals furnishings of the highest level of craftsmanship without being too formal or precious for everyday use. Responding to the need for versatile and durable furnishings that can be casual, yet also beautiful and well made, Andrea has assembled the kind of standout furnishings and decorative pieces that make a room. Axel works with some of the most innovative and creative craftspeople working in the U.S. - in studios from Brooklyn to Maine. Axel also features fine art, with curated shows opening approximately every 10 weeks. Andrea’s extensive background in art and antiques began with an Art History degree from Dartmouth College and curatorial internships at Winterthur and the Whitney Museum. Andrea spent nearly a decade in Christie’s Estates and Appraisals Department and served as an independent advisor in the disposition of estate property, most notably as a consultant to Sotheby’s 1997 auction of the Collection of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Transitioning to the design field, she received certifications from the New York School of Interior Design and New York University’s program in Appraisal Studies.See Axel Interior's website, Instagram, and  Houzz pages. See The Hour's story about the conversion of Larry's Sunoco to Axel Interiors.

A Creative Business Member

Owner: Zorianna Altomaro

Zorya Fine Art, located on East Putnam Avenue in Greenwich, is dedicated to exhibiting and placing fine art with a focus on the presentation of emerging and established Ukrainian artists. Zorya (which means "star" in Ukrainian) creates a context for the understanding and appreciation of these artists, through historical and thematic exhibitions that bring to the forefront the significance and range of their work. Working with distinguished curators, art historians, and art critics, Zorya Fine Art works to bring a bold new perspective to the art world. The gallery’s curatorial direction and focus on the art of Ukraine expand the borders of our knowledge of contemporary art. The gallery was established in 2003 by co-owner Zorianna Altomaro, who has been in charge of all creative and design themes for the gallery as well as the contact and guide for those searching for the right art works for their home. Zorya is currently showing Behind the Lines, paintings and sculpture by Ola Rondiak, a graduate of Hunter College, who grew up in Ohio in a Ukrainian family and studied art in both Ukraine and Hungary. Her paintings stem from her family’s experiences living in Ukraine, the events of WWII, Stalin’s Iron Curtain, the Orange Revolution, and the Revolution of Dignity. The exhibition is open through January 25. See Zorya Fine Art's website, and Facebook page.
– Latest List by Town of Organization and Creative Business Members: here
– Latest List by Town of Artist Members: here
City Lights announces that, after six months on downtown Main St., its City Lights Vintage store is relocating to a storefront at 263 Golden Hill St., just steps away from the main City Lights Gallery, and will re-open Mon. Jan. 15. City Lights Vintage reflects the current trend for guerilla arts projects, pop-ups, upcycled art and design, vintage clothing, furniture, antiques and collectibles. Artist Will Corprew is transforming the nearby vacant storefront into the new space and his art and design will be featured in the exhibit, Art Moves, opening Jan. 25 at both locations. His large-scale portraits combining realism and abstraction are complemented by vintage furniture, upcycled steampunk lamps by Jason Aleska, along with jewelry by Robin Jopp of Made In Bridgeport.
New Paradigm Theatre (NPT) has announced a collaboration with New York City Children's Theatre in a Middle School Playwriting Competition.  "designed to give blossoming young playwrights a platform to find their voice while exploring the issues that affect their lives." Students in grades 6-8 are asked to write an original and entertaining 10-minute play on the theme of "How do we use technology to connect with others." New Paradigm Theatre will co-produce selected Readings with NPT youth and Broadway pros in May on Theatre Row and in Connecticut.
Norwalk's New England Fashion+Design Association (NEF+DA)'s call for participation in the first Children’s Arts and Design Festival - May 7-11, 2018, ends Jan. 10, and the first meeting of participant organizations is planned for Jan. 17. Based in Norwalk, the Festival will celebrate youth theater, children’s exhibits, fashion shows, concerts, modern dance and ballet performances. Call 203 345-0030 or email: for details
The Wall Street Theater held a ceremonial sign lighting Fri. Jan. 5 to mark its official opening, after an extensive restoration of the historic theater. "The blade and marquee sign will serve as a beacon for emerging artists and performers showcasing their talents, with the arts scene shining brightly in the heart of downtown Norwalk." Senator Bob Duff and Mayor Harry Rilling were present for the event and a cocktail reception followed. The lighting took place in conjunction with the regular Downtown Norwalk First Friday events, and the theater offered performances by local musicians and artists during the reception as part of the monthly event.
Starting Monday, Ramin Ganeshram is the new executive director of the Westport Historical Society. Born and raised in New York City, Ramin has worked as an executive-level cultural strategist for a market research firm as well as an executive-level editor in publishing companies such as Ziff Davis Media, CMP Media, AMI, and others. Bob Mitchell, Chair of the Board said “I and my colleagues feel Ramin is the perfect person to help us launch WHS into the future under the guidance of our recently completed Strategic Plan.”  Ramin was educated as a journalist at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and has spent her career researching and writing on culture and history as both a features writer and editor and through the context of food and travel. She is also a professionally trained chef! Welcome Ramin! More... Thanks to HamletHub
 See Updated List by Town of all Organization and Creative Business Members
See Updated List by Town of Artist Members
OTHER NEWS                  

Not just for schools, Digital Learning Day focuses attention on the power of new technology to strengthen our learning experiences. Digital Learning emphasizes access to challenging content, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and the possibility of individualized instruction. It encompasses many different forms, including online courses, blended or hybrid learning, or digital content and resources. It allows for increasing equity and access to educational opportunities, improving effectiveness and productivity of teachers and administrators, providing individual-centered learning. Digital Learning Day was started in 2012 as a way to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that not only young people but all of us have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live. Think about how your library, museum or nonprofit organization can participate in Digital Learning Day 2018 - and add your program to the Digital Learning Day Map


The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation seeks nominations for its 2018 Connecticut Preservation Awards.  The awards are made to honor outstanding achievements in protecting and nourishing Connecticut’s significant buildings, landscapes and communities, with the goal of inspiring others to take similar action. Awards recognize:
● significant efforts in the restoration, preservation or adaptive use of historic resources;
● steady, consistent stewardship of historic places over time;
● excellence in sustainability of historic places
● effective leadership in preservation.
Awards will be presented in late April or early May. Connecticut Preservation Awards are presented to: individuals; commercial firms or nonprofit organizations; public and private property owners; and municipalities or other governmental bodies. The Mimi Findlay Award for Young Preservationists recognizes individuals age 35 or younger, or groups whose members are 35 or younger, who have demonstrated interest, involvement, and achievement or potential achievement in the restoration, maintenance, preservation or adaptive use of historic buildings, structures, complexes, neighborhoods, cultural landscapes or landscape features in Connecticut. See Nomination Procedures here.
Americans for the Arts has announced the speakers for the 31st Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, Mon. March 12 at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with National Arts Advocacy Day. They are: Lonnie Bunch III, Founding Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company. Make your reservations now: tickets required.

In a recent GuideStar Blog article, David Lansdowne, author of Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Facewrites that "when asking for a gift, what counts most, aside from preparation, are three variables: your attitude, your ability to close the sale, and a realistic notion of the next step." 
1. Approach Your Prospect Unapologetically. You’re a solicitor, not a supplicant. As fundraising counselor Kay Sprinkel Grace makes clear: “It’s not begging when the organization, on whose behalf you are asking, is stable, accountable, and successful in its work. By no means is it begging; it is an investment you seek.”
2. Keep Your Eye on the Prize. Effective solicitations involve four stages:
● Introduction, including some small talk.
 Discussion that encourages your prospect to express her views of your organization.
● Explanation of the need and benefits.
● The closing, when you ask for a gift.
The last is the smallest step, all the others are meaningless without it. Use the language you feel most comfortable with. Some suggestions include: "Would you join with me in making a gift of...? Would you become a part of this effort by making a gift of ...? It might take your prospect a half-minute to respond. Sit tight and let your prospect sort through their real feelings. You need to hear any issues and concerns right then.
3. Expect a Return Visit. The words you’ll frequently hear are ... “I need to think about it.” Big gifts require thought. “I understand you need time to think it over,” you reply. But you should ask the following questions: 
Does the prospect feel your cause is worthy?
Did you ask for an appropriate amount?
Is the timing problematic?

How your prospect responds will usually reveal the reason for any hesitation. If you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to resolve the matter then and there: “Would it help to postpone your gift until October?” But even when you can’t fashion a quick solution, the clues you pick up from asking these questions will be invaluable to your next visit when happily you do secure the gift.


The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted just days before the New Year, contains sweeping changes. Those changes create immediate uncertainty about compliance challenges and certain threats as states scramble to change their own tax laws and spending plans in ways that could impact your nonprofit's mission. Join a special nationwide webinar, Now What: How the New Federal Tax Law Impacts Charitable Nonprofits, on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 3:00 pm, to learn what operational changes you may need to make right away, what you need to know about related state and local policy changes, and other items that will affect your nonprofit and the people you serve.
Operational Issues: The federal tax bill was signed 10 days before it went into effect, giving no one time to adjust in advance. What payroll and other operational changes are needed immediately? What tax changes apply specifically to nonprofits as employers and organizations, and which ones apply to all employers and organizations? When will the IRS give us clear guidance, forms we can use, etc.?
Related State Law Changes: State and local governments must balance their current fiscal year budgets (typically ending June 30), meaning they have little time to adjust to unexpected budget shortfalls created by the new federal tax law. What changes might your state and local governments make in reaction to the new federal law that could impact the work of your nonprofit if you don't speak up? What will changes made by state and local governments mean for spending levels, tax exemptions, and imposition of new taxes, fees, and payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) that target nonprofits? And More: Many questions are still being formulated and answers still evolving. What else is likely coming at community nonprofits in the coming weeks and months? Where can people find reliable information? To make this information available as widely as possible, the National Council of Nonprofits, is preparing and hosting this event free of charge. All who care about the vital work of community nonprofits - including board members, staff members, volunteers, foundations, and others - are invited to attend. Register now!

Our partner, CT Main Street Center, is organizing its first Advocacy Day for Feb. 13, 9am-2pm at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. This will give members the opportunity to network with leaders in the General Assembly, hear about their priorities, and learn about the state legislative process. Whether you're ramping up your advocacy work or raising awareness of your organization or community, this is a great opportunity to build relationships and gain valuable insights from our public officials. Agenda to be announced soon.
Coming Up...
Jan. 23-24: Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County: Shaping Community Creative Placemaking Conference, Norwalk.
Feb. 13: CT Main Street Advocacy Day (details forthcoming)
March 12-13: National Arts Advocacy Day, Washington DC.
April 25: CT Arts Day, Hartford

Stepping Stones Museum for Children seeks a Development Manager, who will play a critical role in expanding the capacity of an already talented Fund Development team. The Development Manager will be equally comfortable working within both the front and back office aspects of the museum’s development operations. This position is ideal for an early career development professional who is ready to advance to new levels of responsibility and grow within an exciting new position. The Development Manager will need to consistently maintain a balance between developing new and sustaining existing relationships within and external to the museum, and being a creative problem solver who is grounded in a strong process and systems-oriented work approach. In this capacity, the Development Manager will manage day-to-day development activities, as well as annual events and operations in support of initiatives, programs, exhibits, and services central to the mission of the museum. Event-based fundraising and donor database experience are critical assets for this position; Spanish/English bilingualism would also be an added asset. Position Responsibilities include: develop and implement a year-round annual sustaining fund campaign for the museum using creative themes and messaging, as well as an intermixture of print and social media platforms targeted to specific audiences; create an annual report to donors; oversee day-to-day departmental operations, including ensuring that acknowledgment letters and other correspondence, data, record keeping and donor cultivation systems are always operating at the highest levels of accuracy and efficiency. Serve as the primary coordinator of a schedule of cultivation and fundraising events throughout the year, as well as develop and continually refine business and implementation plans for these events throughout the year; assist with major gift prospecting and solicitation; and represent the museum at a variety of external events. Click here for a complete job description and requirements. Please send cover letter and resume to

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, seeks 
a full-time Database Coordinator. Reporting to the Development Associate, the Database Coordinator performs a variety of operations in Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge donor database in support of the overall goals of The Aldrich. These activities include data integrity and maintenance, prospect research, management of mail and email lists, creation of acknowledgement letters and tax receipts, and generating standard reports. The Database Coordinator provides overall support for the Development team, and assists with all Museum mailings. This position works closely with all database users and the Marketing Department.
Responsibilities include Data Integrity: Import actions, appeals, and package codes, and assist with proposal related updates; maintain constituent lists and groups in Raiser’s Edge such as donors, members, prospects, alumni artists, board members, and program attendees; merge duplicate records, code deceased records, enter and update address and other contact information, and perform various data clean up tasks as needed; develop and maintain efficient systems for data cleaning and entry, prospect research, and relationship management; maintain acquisition do-not-mail/email file. Mailing Lists: under the guidance of the Development Associate, help ensure accurate and timely data pulls from Raiser’s Edge database for mail appeals, event invitations, and other institutional activities. Reports: generate Development reports or analysis from Raiser’s Edge. Other Responsibilities include: assist with the documentation of best practices and policies, coding of records, and reporting protocols; serve as an active prospect researcher, targeting potential donors and making connections between them and other people, events, and programs; generate timely acknowledgement letters and tax receipts for all donations; assist with the operations related to donor lists including accurate spelling and recognition; support gift processing with staff with data entry and acknowledgment processing as needed.
Bachelor’s Degree and minimum of two years related experience. The candidate must be proficient in Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Office. Experience with non-profit fundraising is a plus. Position available immediately. Please send a cover letter and resume to:, with the subject line “Database Coordinator.” Qualified candidates will be contacted. No phone calls, please.
Jobs Previously Listed and Still Available
Aldrich Museum: Digital Media Coordinator
Connecticut Office of the Arts: Unpaid internships
Kennedy Center/Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative: Expressive Arts Facilitator/Thereapist
MEMBERS: Please post your Job Opportunities in FCBuzz Classifieds:

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Jan. 24: NEA: The Big Read Application Deadline

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are very grateful for the support of our individual and organization members, our individual donors and the following organizations.
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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