Subject: Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County Announces Regional Initiative Grants

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 For further information, please contact: 
David Green, Program Director
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
203-256-2329; 203-212-6894 (cell) or
Meri Erickson
(203) 561-7798
For Immediate Release:

Funding to encourage and support small community arts projects 

October 29, 2018, NORWALK, CT – The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (CAFC) congratulates the recipients of the 2019 Regional Initiative Grant (REGI) funded by the Connecticut Office of the Arts and administered by the Regional Service Organizations (of which the CAFC is one). Fairfield Public Library, Greenwich Alliance for Education, New Paradigm Theatre, and individual artist Jay Misencik were awarded REGI grants ranging from $1,000 - $4,000 to fund small community arts projects that engage in a specific community matter, reflect on personal experience, and/or bring neighborhoods together. 

The Fairfield Library plans to use the grant to launch a new program, Jazzed Up! Celebrating Libraries through Music, Art & New Technology. The goal of the project is to connect people to art through photography and original music composition which incorporates the Vindor, a new wood wind instrument.

“Jazzed Up! is an example of diverse thought and expression,” explained Helene Murtha, Fairfield town librarian. “A common stereotypical presentation of libraries are quiet places to read. In actuality, libraries are vibrant cultural and learning centers, the very institutions that celebrate diversity. The artists involved in this project were motivated to share their unique experiences with libraries in a new and exciting manner, conveying message to the masses through sound, sight and creativity.”

Another recipient, Greenwich Alliance for Education (GAE), plans to utilize the grant to expand its Developing Arts Program, which currently connects 750 middle schoolers to professional visual studio artists through classroom instruction, workshops and visits to artist’s studios. According to GAE, the grant will allow for a full expansion or the program, expanding its reach to 2,000 students. 

Community partners include the Brant Foundation Outreach Programs, Yale’s MFA program, Pepsico’s Sculpture Garden, Storm King, the Bruce Museum and many other institutions,  working closely with GAE to offer the students more equitable access to the arts and enrich their art education experience, regardless of the students' socioeconomic status.

The New Paradigm Theatre Company plans to launch a new web video series, “Konversations with Keeme,” hosted by a 13-year-old Bridgeport youth, featuring interviews with seasoned professionals from Broadway, TV and film. Each segment will be filmed, edited and produced by area teens, building leadership skills and providing exposure to careers in the arts.

Artist Jay Misencik will use his grant to continue the ongoing Bridgeport Portrait Project, a cultural heritage art project that gives a contemporary definition to Bridgeport through portraits and documentary style interviews.

The Cultural Alliance is grateful to members who served on this year’s REGI panel of judges: Debbie Gilbert Taylor, Stratford artist and cultural entrepreneur, who founded the Stratford Arts Guild (now Coastal Arts Guild) in 2007; Diane Jellerette, Executive Director of the Norwalk Historical Society and member of the Norwalk Arts Commission, and Tatiana Mori, Executive Director of the Greenwich Arts Council, and curator and director of GAC's Bendheim Gallery for 16 years.

About The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County 
The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County is a nonprofit, membership service organization that supports its members by providing unified marketing, capacity building, professional development, and advocacy services. For the public, it publishes FCBuzzEvents, a free comprehensive cultural calendar with the latest information on what’s happening across Fairfield County in music, theater, dance, visual arts, history, lectures, literature, kids & families, classes, workshops, special events & more.  

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County appreciates the major support received from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, New Canaan Community Foundation, Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy and the City of Norwalk.
The Vindor, a new electronic woodwind instrument to be used in the Fairfield Public Library's Jazzed Up: Celebrating Libraries through Music, Art & New Technology program.
As part of the Greenwich Alliance for Education's Developing Arts Program, 2017-2018, Greenwich Eastern Middle School sixth-grade students with the help of visiting environmental artists Willie Cole and Alejandro Duran created a peace sign made of seashells, plastic pollution and discarded objects collected from Tod's Point as part of their "Message in a Bottle" art project, created during class March 23, 2018.
Sample images from Jay Misencik's Bridgeport Portrait Project
Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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