Meet Our Members: Ives Concert Park

Connecticut Arts Alliance has begun a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun earlier this year, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut in building a strong arts and culture sector that benefits the arts and all Connecticut residents.

Tucked away in a lush oasis of natural beauty on Danbury’s west side, Ives Concert Park honors the rich history and memory of Pulitzer Prize winning Danbury native, Charles Edward Ives, one of America’s greatest music composers, by providing a nationally recognized forum for the performing and creative arts. This 4,500-seat outdoor amphitheater located on the campus of Western Connecticut State University hosts world-renowned artists, multicultural festivals, and a wide variety of music and theater genres. The venue is situated on 40 wooded acres with a pond, breathtaking gardens and public hiking trails.

The venue pays tribute to its storied roots in classical music while acknowledging the ongoing evolution of the art of live performance. With entertainment that ranges from enlightening to awe-inspiring, the Ives reflects the diverse multicultural community in which it resides; embracing the unique attributes that our performers and patrons bring to our site. The Ives features a Celebrity Series, a Fine Arts & Family Series including Shakespeare, Chamber Music, Children’s Events, as well as Jazz, Cultural Arts, Performance Arts, Visual Arts, Arts Education, an Ecuadorian Festival, an Irish Festival, The Connecticut Latin Music Festival and more.

A common love of the arts and the beauty of nature bring fans to our grounds. Their shared experiences here create lasting memories.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Charter Member today!

Meet Our Members: Pantochino Productions

Connecticut Arts Alliance has begun a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun earlier this year, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut in building a strong arts and culture sector that benefits the arts and all Connecticut residents.

Pantochino Productions Inc. is Connecticut’s award-winning, ridiculously entertaining theatre for family audiences in Milford. Presenting 100% original musical theatre for children and their families, Pantochino is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and its mission is to entertain, engage and enrich family audiences with an array of original, affordable entertainment experiences, and provide positive, nurturing training to young actors.

In addition to presenting three original family musicals each year, the company presents an acclaimed Teen Theatre program, a wildly popular Summer Theatre Camp series, an After School Drama Club program taking place in schools in the Greater New Haven area and beyond, and with the Milford Arts Council, presents Nite Spot Nights, a performance series bringing top New York City cabaret artists to Downtown Milford.

Pantochino has been recognized nationally, having received several Broadway World (Connecticut Region) Awards including Best Musical, Best Original/New Works and Best Family Production among others. The company also received the Cultural Contribution Award of Distinction by the Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, the company was chosen to debut “Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure,” a new musical based on the award-winning Netflix series featuring the songbook of the Beatles.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Charter Member today!

Meet Our Members: Judy Dworin Performance Project

Connecticut Arts Alliance has begun a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun earlier this year, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut in building a strong arts and culture sector that benefits the arts and all Connecticut residents.

On stage, in schools, and in prisons, Judy Dworin Performance Project (JDPP) uses arts engagement and movement-based performance to examine social issues, build bridges of understanding across diverse communities, and inspire both individual growth and collective action.

The JDPP Ensemble has produced more than 20 full-evening performances and numerous shorter pieces. Recognized by awards from the Connecticut League of History and the American Association for State and Local History, the company’s diverse group of collaborating artists create work that speaks to often-untold stories of historical and contemporary social justice issues.

The Moving Matters!™ Multi-Arts Residency at Parkville Community School involves the entire school in multi-arts activity that inspires innovation, healthy risk-taking, arts appreciation, academic development, and community building.

The Bridging Boundaries™ Arts Intervention Program teams social work with the arts to span the forced separations of populations affected by incarceration. Since 2005, outreach has grown to include a Performance Residency for women at York Correctional Institution; a Moms & Kids outreach for mothers and children; a Dads & Kids residency for fathers and families; an In Schools Program for youth with a parent or caregiver in prison; Stepping Out and New Beginnings residencies for returning citizens; and I AM (Arts, Imagination and Me) JDPP’s outreach to 18 to 25 year old women (the first of its kind in the country).


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Charter Member today!

Meet Our Members: Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras

Today, Connecticut Arts Alliance begins a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun earlier this year, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut in building a strong arts and culture sector that benefits the arts and all Connecticut residents.

Young people achieve amazing things at GBYO. They develop their talents beyond what they thought possible and feel pride and joy in their accomplishments. The study of great music in an ensemble setting can be a transformative experience for young musicians, and GBYO’s mission is to provide that experience in a challenging, fun, and nurturing environment.

Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras has been providing music education and performance opportunities to young musicians since 1961, and it is now the largest youth orchestra in the region. Its developmentally progressive music program gives ensemble members the opportunity to play at the highest level both individually and collectively. Members are selected by competitive audition and come from all over Connecticut. GBYO exposes all of its members to all types of symphonic literature and enriches their musical education.

Saturday mornings, from September through mid-May, nine separate ensembles bring young people together for music, enjoyment, community, and learning. Through rehearsals and formal performances, young musicians gain valuable experience and an important sense of achievement and self-confidence, while fostering lifelong friendships and a love of music. GBYO strives for diversity and inclusion through outreach and a generous financial assistance program.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Charter Member today!

Join Us for Arts, Culture + Tourism Advocacy Day

Join CAA and the Connecticut Tourism Coalition for Arts, Culture + Tourism Advocacy Day on April 8!

This is an opportunity to collectively show our political leaders how valuable we are to the future of Connecticut. Your presence and voice are essential during this budget planning process to highlight the tangible benefits of investing in our industries, from building new jobs to developing vibrant cities, attracting visitors and millennials, and to expanding state tax revenue.

LOCATION

Legislative Office Building
300 Capitol Avenue
Room 1D
Hartford, CT 06106

SCHEDULE

9:00 a.m. Advocacy Day Prep Meeting – Exclusively for CAA Members

  • What to Expect at Advocacy Day
  • Legislative Session 2019 Update and Policy Recommendations
  • Tips for Advocating for the Arts
  • Brief Q & A

9:15 a.m. Registration + Exhibit Tables

  • Pickup your name tag and materials for the day.
  • Socialize, network, and visit tables from various arts, culture, and tourism partners from around the state.

10:00 a.m. Program

  • Welcome from hosts CT Tourism Coalition and CT Arts Alliance
  • Remarks from Wendy Bury (Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition) and Stephen Tagliatela (Saybrook Point Inn), co-chairs of the Lamont-Bysiewicz Transition Arts, Culture and Tourism Policy Committee
  • Remarks from legislators, including Representative Toni Walker and others to be announced
  • Remarks from the Department of Economic and Community Development, including Randy Fiveash from Office of Tourism, Liz Shapiro from the Office of the Arts, and others to be announced

11:30 a.m. Tourism Caucus Meeting

  • This meeting is open to the public and usually televised on CT-N, so a standing-room-only crowd from arts, culture, and tourism is essential to make our collective message clear.
  • Welcome from Senator Paul Formica and Representative Dorinda Borer plus remarks from other legislators in the caucus
  • CT Arts Alliance and CT Tourism Coalition have specifically invited representatives to speak to the caucus members
  • Agenda includes a discussion about changing their name to Arts, Culture, and Tourism Caucus

TO PREPARE FOR THE DAY

  • Tell the legislators who represent where you live and work that you are attending Arts, Culture, and Tourism Advocacy Day and invite them to the program and caucus meeting. Not sure who they are? Search for them here.
  • Educate yourself on our policy recommendation to increase arts, culture, and tourism funding, which CT Tourism Coalition, CT Arts Alliance, CT Humanities, Marine Trades Association, CT Restaurant Association, and, most recently, the Speaker’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Tourism have endorsed.
  • Plan your travel, especially if this is your first time in the Legislative Office Building (often referred to as the “LOB”). Here is an interactive map and the detailed directions for driving and public transit. Plan enough time to get through security.
  • Make a plan for lunch. There is a cafeteria in the Legislative Office Building, but you are also welcome to pack your own food and snacks.
  • Bring some swag! We encourage you to bring materials that represent you and your organization, but please plan to bring home these materials at the end of the event.

CT Advocates in DC!

On March 4 and 5, a small but impressive delegation of Connecticut artists, arts administrators, and advocates traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Arts Action Summit and Arts Advocacy Day, hosted by Americans for the Arts.

The Connecticut contingent joined approximately five hundred other arts advocates from all fifty states and a few U.S. territories. Our state actually had the strongest showing from New England, and we impressed colleagues from some states of larger size! A day of inspiring and educational speeches, workshops, and planning sessions concluded with a visit to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where Broadway and Hollywood actor Brian Stokes Mitchell performed, and where Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sotomayor introduced legendary actor Rita Morena who gave the 32nd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy.

The following day, advocates converged on Capitol Hill, and our Connecticut delegates visited the offices of both Senators and all five Representatives to advocate for increased funding for the NEA and arts-related legislation. All of the Congressional staff was incredibly welcoming and supportive of the work we’re doing on behalf of the arts at home. Representative Joe Courtney spent several minutes with the group, just as he arrived back to his office on a flight from Connecticut. Newly-elected Representative Jahana Hayes was also available to speak with the group for a short time, and she’s eager to support both the arts and of course arts education. We were glad to see much art in the offices of all of our representatives too, and art from high school students around the country in the Congressional hallways.

Our Connecticut delegation was led by CAA Administrator Darren Farrington, who is also Executive and Artistic Director of No Boundaries Youth Theater in New Britain. CAA Board Members joining were CAA Vice President Dartanion Reed, Executive Director of Hartford City Ballet, and Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. They were joined by Kate McOmber, Vice President for Communications and Donor Relations at CAA Member Greater Hartford Arts Council, and by Laura Stetler, Program Manager at the Women’s Business Development Council, who is also a violinist, an arts administrator, and a military spouse (Active Duty Navy). Suzanne Kachmar, Executive Director of City Lights & Company in Bridgeport, joined for the first day of activities.

Our thanks to Americans for the Arts for organizing and hosting these important advocacy opportunities, and to all of our attendees from Connecticut. The Arts Action Summit and Arts Advocacy Day are held in March each year, and CAA would welcome more attendees from our State—including students, artists, performers, arts administrators, and arts advocates of all kinds!

Governor Releases Two-Year Budget

In an address to the state General Assembly today, Governor Lamont released a two-year proposed budget. (For his full proposal and background documentation, click here.)

Regarding arts items, the Governor’s proposal recommends maintaining flat funding in both fiscal years 2020 and 2021. His supporting documentation recognizes that “Governor Lamont’s budget maintains funding for arts and tourism programs. In Connecticut, tourism is a $14 billion economic driver that supports thousands of jobs statewide. The budget maintains over $4 million to market Connecticut as a premier destination for tourism and business growth under the Statewide Marketing program. Additionally, the budget maintains funding to support grants to arts and tourism entities throughout the region.”

The General Assembly has several weeks to come back with its proposal, and budget negotiations will begin. For other legislative proposals affecting the arts, click here.


To receive arts advocacy news and alerts, subscribe to our email list. To become a Charter Member of CAA and support our advocacy efforts on behalf of statewide arts and culture organizations, please click here.

Join Us Wednesday for Arts Policy Recommendations

On Wednesday, the Governor-elect’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Transition Policy Committee will present recommendations to the incoming administration.

The Committee is one of fifteen groups assembled by Governor-elect Lamont to make policy recommendations on issues ranging from education and healthcare to criminal justice and the economy.

Chaired by CAA Board Member Wendy Bury, the Committee has reported great progress in compiling detailed and innovative recommendations about how our industries can strengthen Connecticut.

Lamont painting

Governor-elect Ned Lamont with Kwadwo Adae this summer (Photo: Lucy Gellman)

Please join us this coming Wednesday December 19 from 10 – 11 a.m. at Goodspeed Opera House for the report by the Arts, Culture and Tourism Transition Policy Committee. Lieutenant Governor-elect Susan Bysiewicz will represent the administration, and the public is welcome to attend.

Please extend this invitation to your staff, audiences, friends, volunteers, and Board of Directors. A strong turnout will demonstrate to the administration that the creative sector matters in Connecticut!

 

Lamont-Bysiewicz Transition
Arts, Culture and Tourism Policy Committee

Wendy Bury (Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition) – Co-Chair
Stephen Tagliatela (Connecticut Tourism Coalition) – Co-Chair
Elsie Chapman (International Festival of Arts and Ideas)
Scott Dolch (Connecticut Restaurant Association)
David Fay (The Bushnell)
Daniel Fitzmaurice (Arts Council of Greater New Haven)
Jason Guyot (Mashantucket Pequot Tribe/Foxwoods)
Jeffrey Hamilton (Mohegan Tribe/Mohegan Sun)
Min Jung Kim (New Britain Museum of American Art)
Kathleen Maher (Barnum Museum)
Jason Mancini (Connecticut Humanities)
Maria Miranda (Miranda Creative, Connecticut Tourism Coalition)
Vivian Nabeta (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center)
Michael Price (Commission on Culture and Tourism)
Lisa Scails (Cultural Alliance of Western CT)
Tony Sheridan (Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT)
Brett Thompson (Greater Hartford Arts Council)
Tina Tison (The Maritime Aquarium)
Steve White (Mystic Seaport)

CAA News and Updates

This page includes current and past news, updates, and blog posts. Please browse the page to learn more about Connecticut Arts Alliance and our advocacy efforts and education campaigns.

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It’s Time to CREATE THE VOTE!

Election Day
You’ve read the gubernatorial candidates’ responses to our questionnaire, you’ve learned where they each stand on issues affecting arts and culture, and now it’s time to VOTE!
Election Day is tomorrow! Here are three steps you can take to help get out the vote on November 6:
If you aren’t registered, Election Day registration is available at a designated location in each town. You will need to provide proof of identity and residency, and you must be registered by 8 p.m. in order to vote. Contact your local Registrar of Voters with questions about Election Day locations to register.

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