Subject: Organizations Newsletter, May 1, 2020

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News and Opportunities for the Cultural Nonprofits and Creative Services of Fairfield County, CT
May 1, 2020
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 CAFC is here to support our member organizations through this difficult time. Please refer to our website COVID-19 Resources page regularily as we continue to add information that will help you manage your organizations and plan for the future. Our Community Calls continue, for all organizational members, every Wednesday at noon (notes on previous calls are available here).
The Cultural Alliance has postponed the date of its Fifth ACE Awards Breakfast to Thursday, September 10. It will held at the Norwalk Shore and Country Club and will feature Tony Award winner, Broadway singer, actress and music educator Joanna Gleason and Tony Award winner James Naughton as Master of Ceremonies. Nominations for awardees have now been re-opened. You can nominate your choice for any and all categories: Artist, Citizen, Corporate, Educator, and Nonprofit. You will need to provide a brief statement (150 words or less) with your reasons for nominating this person or organization. List accomplishments and activities that demonstrate a continuing contribution to the community. Who, in your opinion, has made the most significant artistic and cultural contributions to our community, or who has supported the arts and culture through their contributions of time, expertise and money? Nominate here.
Save the date and time: Monday May 11 at 12pm for the next in our Spotlight on Arts & Culture, series, a panel discussion among leaders of five Fairfield County institutions about their thoughts and plans for re-opening and re-imagining their operations after the COVID-19 restrictions and fears. Join Laurence Caso, Executive Director of The Klein, Bridgeport, Russell Jones, President and CEO, The Stamford Symphony, Jason Patlis, President & CEO, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Sandra Pelletier, owner, The Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, and Robert Wolterstorff, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Bruce Museum. What are their thoughts and plans for a phased reopening? How has fundraising planning adapted to the current and imagined future scenarios? How has digital programming affecting your thinking about future programming? Tune in to hear their current thinking.
FOLLOW OUR #CAFCArtistoftheDay

Each day, starting April 21, we post on social media the work of one of our member artists that was triggered by thoughts and feelings arising from our current crisis of social isolation and fears of infection. Check #CAFCArtistoftheDay each day on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Please "like" and "share." Thank you!

Co-Founders: Clare & Tish Murray

cARTie is a brand new nonprofit created to bridge inequities in education and arts across Connecticut. Believing strongly in the importance of the arts in education, it will do this by facilitating arts partnerships across school districts with varying resources and access to the arts, and traveling between them with its contemporary art gallery on wheels - featuring art by students, for students. Specifically, it expands opportunities for self-motivated secondary school arts students to exhibit art and intern within the arts sector while also ensuring K-2 students across the state exciting first experiences engaging with and critically thinking about contemporay art. To help get things started, cARTie is holding a contest calling all high school art students to submit their art for a 2020 Virtual Exhibition. Six high school students (grades 9-12) will be chosen to receive a gift of $75 and their art may be featured on cARTie's website and in promotional materials. See cARTie's Facebook and Instagram pages.
 – Latest List by Town of Organization and Creative Business Members: here
 – Latest List by Town of Artist Members: here
The Brookfield Craft Center announced that it has partnered with Danbury Hackerspace to provide 3D printers to create face shields for Danbury Hospital and The Village at Brookfield Commons. The Center has also started offering online classes in weaving & block printing, drawing & painting, glass bead making, clay, photography and more. Scholarships are available for many classes. Click for class catalog...  Learn more.
Eight initiatives from communities across Connecticut have been awarded this year's Awards of Excellence from the Connecticut Main Street Center, the state's leading downtown resource. Colorful Bridgeport, a community identity program, organized by Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District,  (DSSD) celebrating people, streets, places & spaces, received the Award of Excellence for Branding, Marketing and CommunicationsRead more... 
The DSSD has also initiated a community project "Color It In Murals," so that residents, workers, business owners, and local artists can take action and add to the vibrancy of the diversity of downtown Bridgeport. Eventually, the selected installations will connect Liz Squillace's painted Broad Street Steps with the ground mural at Peacock Alley, and then across the Main Street corridor. This project is now eligible for match funding through the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund. Learn more...
The Connecticut Audubon Society's sanctuaries and trails remain open from dawn to dusk, across the state. Visitors are welcomed and encouraged to come for hiking and birding while observing social distancing guidelines. In observance of current restrictions, and to keep everyone safe but still connected to nature, the Audubon Society has adapted programs and classes to be offered remotely including webinars, videos and more. Programs and activities are available for all ages, and many of them are free. Learn more.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo added to its extensive list of community outreach platforms with a second set of webcams: two additional cameras are placed for viewing the pair of Spider monkeys and a Giant anteater via the Zoo’s website. Visitors to the Zoo’s website can choose either an inside or outside camera for viewing. Another fun Zoo intiative is “Do You Have a Zoo at Your House?” which asks children to draw pictures and write letters for their favorite Zoo animals or take photos of how they’ve created a zoo of their own at home. The Zoo’s website includea a page where the children’s art, letters and photos will be posted for all to enjoy, as well as featured on the Zoo’s social media accounts. The monthly Zoo Tots program for children aged 22 months to four years has also become digital and can be accessed on the Zoo’s YouTube page. Learn more.
Darien Art Center has converted its spring scheduled classes to a Zoom platform in both Dance and Visual Arts. The Center has also added several new virtual workshops. To date, DAC has had great success with its adult virtual drawing workshops, with students using subject matter and supplies they already have at home. The Center also ran an ArtBox class for kids, where staff puts together art supplies and delivers them to each student. Two drop-in Pop dance classes has also been added, along with Pilates and Hip Hop, both geared to teens and adults. Learn more...
Fashion develops your imagination and creative identity. New England Fashion+Design Association is offering online coursework providing the same framework for self-directed work, backed by informed knowledge of the Fashion industry. The courses are delivered by a team of practicing designers and artists and are all structured around the core subject of fashion. Current offerings include patternmaking, illustration, sewing, fashion incubator and digital design. Learn more.
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center will be hosting Facebook Live programs daily at 10 am and 2 pm. Wednesday and Friday 2pm classes will be held in Spanish. These programs are designed for all ages so they can be a great addition to at-home learning. SM&NC has also developed a home-based educational kit. Each kit is safely packed by staff wearing gloves and will be delivered curbside to your mailbox or front porch. Local areas only and limited supply. Each kit is $20, including delivery within 10-mile radius of the SM&NC. All proceeds benefit continued care of our farm and education animals and remote programming. Learn more...
Westport Museum for History & Culture and the restaurant review site CTBites have partnered to create The History Happy Hour, a video series that features local bartenders giving tutorials on vintage drinks. “History You Can Drink To!” is offered live on Thursdays at 5pm and highlights cocktail recipes and interesting stories about different eras of the past. The project was developed as a way to support the “hard-hit" Connecticut restaurant industry by showcasing the talents of local mixologists. Each week the series also includes a Spotify playlist with era-appropriate music so that DIY bartenders can create an immersive historical experience at home. Learn more...

With Governor Lamont's release of an overall draft plan for re-opening the businesses and institutions of Connecticut (click for complete version of graphic at left), arts and culture leaders are themselves developing strategies and scenarios for re-opening: some are thinking about the summer, some the fall and others have closed down until next Spring. The governors of our tri-state region are working together on coordinating phased approaches to opening that have at their heart monitoring and feedback on how the reopening is going. No-one wants to repeat the experience that several Asian cultural organizations have had in opening and then, with a surge of new Covid-19 cases, closing back down or severely limiting visitation. 
Governor Lamont announced his Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group April 23 (with Business, Education and Community Committees) but nowhere was arts and culture represented. We are being encouraged to ourselves become engaged with our local and regional re-open committees. CT Tourism and the Tourism Districts are considering re-opening plans. The CT Office of the Arts will be releasing its own plan very shortly. In the interim, Elizabeth Shapiro,  Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums for the DECD is particularly enthusiastic about the template to be found in Operating During COVID-19: Considerations for Oklahoma Nonprofit Arts Organizations with many broad considerations and planning advice and as well as many preparedness details.
On the museum front, the American Alliance of Museums has issued a blog article by Elizabeth Merritt on "How to Get Ready to Open the Doors," as an introduction to a clear instructional resource guide: Considerations for Museum Re-Openings. Perhaps the overall most important guidance is that organizations build flexible plans for reopening that are regularly reviewed and refined based on the latest data. Organizations are advised to work very closely with their boards and to seek legal and other expert advice on their specific circumstances. Note the American Association of State and Local History is offering a webinar on Planning for Re-Opening on May 5 (details below in Professional Development). 

Colleen Dilenschneider's Know Your Own Bone shares data and analysis about how cultural audiences think and behave (subscribe). Within the last few weeks, her data shows a particularly promising trend – people are starting to think about resuming their more typical leisure behaviors. This week, coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surpassed 50,000, and the number of confirmed cases passed one million. Several states are starting to ease social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, with many orders expiring at the end of April. The updated findings indicate – in the most compelling terms quantified to date – that the U.S. public anticipates soon resuming their more “normal” behaviors attending visitor-serving cultural enterprises. Read full report...

Like most cultural institutions across the country, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is reeling in the face of economic crisis. Now, in an effort to raise a little extra money, the museum is selling rare books from the archives of its publishing arm. More than 100 classic titles—from historic monographs and vintage how-to books, to publications on painting and sculpture from MoMA’s collection—are now on sale through the MoMA Design Store’s website. The books range in price from $25 to $2,500, and the proceeds will go towards the museum’s exhibitions and education programs.  Read full article...

As part of the $2 trillion federal CARES Act, $75 million was allocated to each of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to assist their constituent organizations. 40% of that amount has been allocated to the state arts and humanities councils for distribution. Currently, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) and Connecticut Humanities (CTH) are in the process of setting up systems for organizations to apply for these funds. COA has some $466,000 to grant, and CTH has slightly more. Applications are expected to be ready in about 2 weeks.
MAY 11

Separate from the funds disbursed to the states, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has received supplemental aid through The CARES Act, to provide emergency relief to institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been affected by the coronavirus. NEH Cares will fund short-term (6-month) projects that emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staffNEH invites applications from eligible organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects that have been impacted by the coronavirus.  Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other cultural organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Application deadline is May 11, with projects to start by June 15. For application details click here. For 50-minute recorded grant webinar, click here.

For the upcoming round of Quick Grant funding, with application deadline June 5, 2020, organizations are asked to submit grants for projects that address ways that they can best serve their community’s needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant requests for non-COVID-19-response-related projects will not be accepted. Project possibilities include, but are not limited to, moving an organization’s existing programs or exhibitions to an online/digital format; creating distance learning materials to support teachers and students; creating mobile tours for inclusion on CT Humanities’ ConnTours mobile app; displaying content in places where community members can access it despite social distancing; oral history or collecting projects to document the pandemic; etc. Contact CTH Manager of Grants and Programs Scott Wands with questions or to discuss project ideas.

FMA (Fiscal Strength for Nonprofits) is offering a PPP Toolbox, designed to support nonprofit organizations as they navigate the Paycheck Protection Program, from application, through loan management and reporting to Forgiveness.  The Small Business Administration’s PPP provides potentially forgivable loans for nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees at 2.5x your average month payroll, up to $10M to 501(c)(3) nonprofits experiencing uncertainty in the current economic climate to help cover the costs of payroll and certain operational expenses. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks after the loan originates and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. See Toolkit...

A new emergency relief grant program will provide $1.25 million in aid to Tri-State non-salaried workers in the visual arts who have experienced financial hardship from lack of income or opportunity as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Teiger Foundation, and the Cy Twombly Foundation are providing funds for those who can demonstrate a significant loss of income between March 1 and August 1. The funds will be administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Eligible applicants include freelance, contract, or non-salaried archivists, art handlers, artist/photographer’s assistants, cataloguers, database specialists, digital assets specialists, image scanners/digitizers, and registrars over the age of 21, who have lived in the tri-state area for at least the past two years, and worked in these non-salaried positions since at least 2015. The application cycles begin next week and will be open May 5-6, May 19-20, and June 2-3. Recipients who demonstrate a documented loss of income will be chosen from a lottery process and anyone who is not selected for funding is eligible to apply for the later rounds. More information...
MAY 5  

Amid unprecedented closures, history organizations across the country are contemplating questions around the eventual reopening of their sites to the public. AASLH is producing a series of topic-focused webinars, AASLH Conversations at greatly reduced prices ($10 or free with a code) to provide a space for history practitioners to share ideas and learn from each other collectively during this period. On May 5, Join Lauren O’Brien for Planning for Reopening, when she moderates a conversation with Martha Akins and Trina Nelson Thomas who will share lessons learned during the reopening of their own sites after major natural disasters. During this conversation, they hope to uncover solutions organizations can bring to the tiered, cautious reopening that lies on the other side of the current crisis. May 5, 3pm. $10, but free with code FREEWBR20 if you need assistance.

On May 7, at 1pm, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Fairfield Country Chapter will be hosting a Virtual Lunch Program: How to Engage Donors and Raise Emergency Funds During the Covid-19 Crisis. Join fundraising expert, Amy Eisenstein, as she leads the discussion. Find out if and how you should be raising money now. Learn how to leverage the opportunity to build relationships with your biggest donors and pivot your fundraising to emergency needs. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions. Amy is a consultant, author, speaker, and the CEO and Co-Founder of the Capital Campaign Toolkit. She also developed the online fundraising course Mastering Major Gifts. The webinar is free for members; $20 for nonmembers. Sign up here...  Visit Amy's website and blog and Capital Campaign Toolkit for free fundraising resources.

The Covid-19 virus has upended every facet of our lives. For those of us in the nonprofit community, that has meant closing our facilities and offices, disrupting our delivery of services, and ceasing our communications with donors— Wait a minute! While those first two are true, the third is decidedly not. If your nonprofit organization hopes to survive during this crisis and beyond, you must communicate, strategically with your supporters! In this article, Blue Avocado has compiled the main questions you, your executive director, and your board members are likely to ask at this time to offer guidance on how to answer them. At the end of the article, there is a useful checklist to make sure your communications to donors and supporters are ticking all the boxes. Read full article...

In the blink of an eye, once-crowded museums sit empty and we're practicing social distancing and quarantine. This is the time for museum technology to step up and fill the void. The potential of online collections, virtual tours, and social media campaigns have always been there, but now the opportunity for impact is incalculable. Access to endless open content. Educational resources for e-learning. Virtual retreats to art, culture, and history around the globe. This is the museum technology community’s time to shine! Museum tech enthusiasts looking to be part of the conversation, join one of the Museum Computer Network (MCN’)s Special Interest Groups (SIGs). They are currently free for non-members so more can share resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. See MCN's comprehensive list.  

Christine Michelle Duffy, Esq., of Pro Bono Partnership will provide an overview of issues that seriously affect nonprofit organizations during an economic crisis and highlight potential legal issues and proactive strategies for addressing them. In addition, this webinar is intended to help you assess your organization’s viability and avoid significant landmines, as well as to give you the tools you need as you weigh your organization’s options for the future in these challenging times.Thursday, May 7, 11am. Questions and issues covered include: Are there ways to reduce costs without significantly impacting your mission? Can employment arrangements or existing contracts be changed? What about collaborations or mergers – do they offer solutions? What do you need to consider as you decide to persevere or possibly close the doors? Register here...

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Inc. (TMA or the Aquarium) seeks a full-time Jellies Aquarist,  responsible for the jellies and the maintenance of their life support systems. Minimum qualifications include four-year degree in marine biology, biology, zoology or related field or minimum of two years of jellyfish husbandry experience in a public aquarium husbandry/operations position.Basic knowledge of the operation and maintenance of aquarium and life support systems, especially jellyfish systems, including experience with water quality testing.General knowledge of laboratory equipment and operating procedures. Apply here...

The Darien Arts Center is looking to hire a part-time bookkeeper for 6-8 hours per week (In-house as soon as permissible). Non-profit bookkeeping experience, proficiency in QuickBooks, Excel & Word, and understanding of the accrual basis of accounting are required. Primary Job Responsibilities: Balance and maintain accurate records in Quickbooks;  Reconcile bank accounts monthly;  Pay vendor invoices twice a month; Prepare payroll for payroll service twice a month; Manage invoicing/accounts receivable for outreach programs; Prepare monthly financial statements, including balance sheet, profit & loss and department level reports; Prepare reporting for Board of Directors meetings; Prepare annual budget and monitor and prepare budget to actual reports on a monthly basis. To find out more, or to apply with resume and cover letter, email

Museum Without Walls, a program of the Westchester Children’s Museum, provides hands-on programming to as many children as possible by leaving the walls of the Westchester Children’s Museum and visiting them in their own learning environments. The Westchester Children's Museum is searching for an enthusiastic and creative individual to assist with this program. This individual should have a passion for elementary and middle school education and be interested in bringing the Museum’s unique interactive STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, Math) activities directly to schools, camps, and community centers throughout Westchester County. Apply here...

Wall Street Theater: Marketing Director
May c5: AASLH Conversation: Planning for Reopening
May c6: Tri-State Relief Fund for Visual Arts Workers (First Round Deadline)
May c7: Pro Bono Partnership Webinar: Strategies to Help Navigate Turbulent Times 
May 11: NEH Cares: Emergency Relief (June 15-Dec 31) Deadline
May 20Tri-State Relief Fund for Visual Arts Workers (Second Round Deadline)

June 3Tri-State Relief Fund for Visual Arts Workers (Third Round Deadline)
June 5: CT Humanities: Quick Grants Deadline
June 5: Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum Young Writers Competition 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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