January 24 – Sunday Fun Day @ Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies located in Washington Connecticut is keeping up a popular tradition in 2021 by offering a series of Native American-inspired craft workshops for kids and families every other Sunday in January and February.

The workshops will be conducted in a safe socially distanced environment with a maximum of just six participants. The silver lining to offering such small workshops is that museum educators will not only be able to give participants more individualized attention, they will also be able to modify the workshop in accordance with the abilities of the participants.

The second Sunday Fun Day craft workshop is taking place on Sunday, January 24 with one-hour time slots offered from 12 noon through 4 p.m. The focus of this workshop is on Native American beading.

Beadwork is an art form that has been practiced for centuries throughout Native American communities. Native Americans decorated clothing, dwellings, horse gear, and utensils with materials found in nature such as shells, pieces of bone, stones, seeds, and even porcupine quills. After European contact, many Native Communities began incorporating multi-colored glass beads into their designs. Glass beads were highly valued by Native Americans because they were durable and came in a variety of colors. The beading workshop on January 24 will focus on beading basics and introductory techniques that will get participants started on their own colorful beading project.

Sunday Fun Day in-person workshops that will highlight a specific Native American craft or art form are planned to take place every other Sunday in February from noon to 4 p.m. Unlike previous years, in order to maintain the highest standards of safety, all workshops require pre-registration for one of the four one-hour time slots. There will be no walk-ins. The cost of participation is admission to the museum ($10 for adults, $8 for Seniors and $6 for children) plus $10 for workshop materials. Members of the museum are free. Masks are required and hand sanitizer is always available. To make a reservation call the museum at 860-868-0518 or email them at events@iaismuseum.org to schedule a time slot.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

The Supreme Court…a Zoom Discussion with Stephen McGarth Jan. 24

The Litchfield Historical Society has partnered with the League of Women’s Voters in Litchfield County to host a free Zoom presentation with Stephen McGarth on January 24 at 3 pm. Please sign up to join at registration@LitchfieldHistoricalSociety.org and the link will be sent to you.

Speaker, Stephen McGrath will address President Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court and discuss how these appointments might change the alliances on the Court, how they are likely to impact future decisions, and what these appointments mean for the elderly, women, and minorities.

The New York Times has recently said, “It’s normal for institutions to face challenges from events or from politicians who try to use them for their own purposes. When institutions survive a stress test, they may come out stronger or weaker.” Where we are heading now is what McGrath will try to clarify.

Steve McGrath, retired Adjunct Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, taught courses in American history and European revolutions. Previously, he had been department head of History in the West Hartford and New Milford Public Schools. He is co-author of “The First Congregational Church of Woodbury, Connecticut: 350 Years of Faith, Fellowship, and Service.” McGrath has also published articles in The Connecticut History Review and the former Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin.

He and his wife were 18-year residents of Litchfield before their move to Avon in 2016. McGrath is past president of the Connecticut Committee for the Promotion of History and a past member of the Board of Trustees at the Litchfield Historical Society.

Warner Theater’s 9th Annual International Playwrights Virtual Festival Continues

The Warner Theater in Torrington has just announced three more performances that will be streaming live in January. The three are Put on a Grumpy Face, Good Morning andB Bedtime Stories.

From Good Morning

PUT ON A GRUMPY FACE by Reed Halvorson (SC), will remain available for viewing on the Warners YouTube channel and Facebook page until 1/14 at 11:59 pm. The production is directed by Sharon W. Houk and features Colleen Renzullo, Erin Shaughnessy, and Spookie Carl. There is no fee to watch but donations are always accepted. This virtual festival is made possible with a generous donation from The Marine Family. To watch https://www.youtube.com/c/WarnerTheatreCT

About PUT ON A GRUMPY FACE by Reed Halvorson (SC): Tabitha has experienced a meteoric rise to celebrity thanks to her cat, Tardar Sauce, the feline affectionately known as “Grumpy Cat.” When Tardar Sauce begins to act differently, she begs her newest assistant, Lisa, to save them both. This energetic play satirizes the world of fleeting celebrity synonymous with pop culture.

The second play is GOOD MORNING by Anne Lucas (MA) will premiere this Friday, 1/15 at 7:00 pm and will remain available for viewing on our YouTube channel and Facebook page until 1/28 at 11:59 pm. The production is directed by Sharon W. Houk and features Susan Hackel and Eric Lindblom. There is no fee to watch but donations are always accepted. This virtual festival is made possible with a generous donation from The Marine Family. To watch https://www.youtube.com/c/WarnerTheatreCT
About GOOD MORNING by Anne Lucas (MA): Alex, Marie’s middle-aged son is shocked when he sees his mother in dishabille with a man. She is over 60 how can she have a boyfriend? Marie lets him know it is the life she has chosen, and she is not accountable to her children.

There will also be a one night only live-streamed staged reading of BEDTIME STORIES by Norm Foster will begin on Saturday, 1/23 at 7:30 pm. This streaming event is free to all, but please consider making a donation when you register. A HUGE thank you to Thomaston Savings Bank, the sponsor of this production and the Warner Staged Readings.

This play by Canada’s comedic master, Norm Foster, takes a look at five different ‘bedtime’ stories. Sometimes there’s more than a skeleton residing in the bedroom closet. Meet an aging rock star, a couple of burglars, the shock talk radio jockey and many others, and discover what really goes on in the bedroom. A radio shock jock pays a couple to make love on the air. A woman visits a dying man she feels she hurt years ago. Two men rob a house and discover a shocking secret. An aging rock star is confronted by a groupie. An accident-prone stripper meets with her no-nonsense boss. A woman leaving her husband lectures the movers on the proper way to treat a lady. Six interconnected scenes about friendship, romance, and the true meaning of love take place in the most private of rooms – the bedroom.

Five talented performers – Matt Austin, Frank Beaudry, Colleen Renzullo, Dick Terhune, and Olivia Wadsworth – will play 15 different roles in this staged reading, directed by Wes Baldwin. Warner Theatre Staged Readings are sponsored by Thomaston Savings Bank. Warner Theatre virtual programming is made possible by The Marine Family and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The Warner Stage Company’s presenting sponsor is Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. Due to the mature content and issues of language, this show is not suitable for children under 16 years of age.

The remaining schedule for the winning playwrights:
PERMANENT INK by Charlene Donaghy, CT (1/29-2/11)
FOLDED by Bara Swain, NY (2/12-2/25)
EXTENDED PLAY by Ben Marshall, NJ (2/26-3/11)
RELATIVITY AND ME by Len Cuthburt, Ontario, Canada (3/12-3/25)
MOTHERHOOD by Lawrence Aronovitch, Ontario, Canada (3/26-4/8)
SAUL by Colleen O’Doherty, NE (4/9-4/22)

Learn How to Play Traditional West African Drums @ The Klein

If you are in the mood to learn a new skill check out the new program, traditional West African Drum and Dance Workshops being offered at the Klein located in Bridgeport in January. They are offering a children’s/beginners course and an intermediate/advanced course from January 11-20 and on January 28, and February 4.

The courses are taught by Tenisi and Baba Jide Davis, who have been drumming, dancing, and studying with world-renowned master performers since the ages of 5 & 7 years old. The Davis brothers have since shared the stage with the Ballet Merveilles de Guinee, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, The Sankofa Kuumba Dance ensemble, and many more. Now their goal is to spread culture, history, self-love, and fun through the arts and traditions of Africa.

Tenisi’s additional educational work at The Klein includes starring in the play Frederick Douglass: An American Slave and instructing the Klein Theatre Arts video production course. He has been recognized by the Greater Bridgeport NAACP and won the Berry M. Gordy Artistic Award.

Only 10 slots are available per class to ensure 6-foot distancing can be comfortably maintained, so don’t wait to reserve! Bridgeport students and families of 3 or more receive special pricing. The full course (10 days)is $200-250 ($20-25 per class) Check out the event page for schedule/class times, pricing, and payment plan details.

Stamford Art Association New Virtual Art Exhibit

As it begins its 50th year the Stamford Art Association will present the “New Members Show” that will include multimedia work by 7 new Stamford Art Association members – Elizabeth Katz, Barbara Mathis, Stacey Sinapi, Elena Roman de Soto, Valentina Valliant, Marc Vandemeer, and Tracy Visceglia. Please join them virtually on their website as we showcase the talents of the new members of the Stamford Art Association. Each new member brings a different style, technique, and medium to the roster of member artists.

The Stamford Art Association began in 1971 when 24 local artists created the Association and Townhouse Gallery to showcase regional and community-based artists. They thank the public for their support over the years and the ongoing creativity, inspiration, and impact. They look forward to celebrating our 50th year with more community outreach, partnerships, and our gallery spaces’ reopening, as well as the inauguration of our garden art space.

Established in 1971, the Stamford Art Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization whose members include painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and multimedia artists. In its 48th year, our mission as an arts organization is to provide a forum where emerging and professional artists can exhibit their work to the community and compete in juried shows. We host an international exhibit yearly, the Faber Birren Color Award Show, and a High School Student Show for Fairfield County students.

The Association’s Townhouse Gallery holds eight consecutive shows each year, six of which are juried exhibits and two are solo exhibits, with prominent jurors from art schools, galleries, and institutions in New York and surrounding areas, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Bruce Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. All artists, not just members, are welcome to submit their work for the exhibit. Annual competitions draw submissions from local, regional, and national artists. The SAA also curates the 3 annual “Art at the Ferguson” exhibits at the Ferguson Library.

The Stamford Art Association is supported by grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the City of Stamford and the Kuriansky Foundation and generous donations from individual artists and friends.

Take a Hike On January 1, 2021

Are you wondering how to start off 2021? How about immersing yourself in the beauty of nature in the Litchfield Hills with a first-day hike. The Litchfield Land Trust, White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield Hills Audubon, Friends of Topsmead, and Litchfield Community Greenway invite you to celebrate the coming of a new year by experiencing some of the region’s most beautiful natural areas. They have even rounded up the following suggested hiking experiences.

New Year Vistas
Apple Hill Trail – White Memorial Conservation Center (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.
Prospect Mountain Preserve Trails – Litchfield Land Trust (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.

Scenic Serenity
Bird Blind & Wildlife viewing – Friends of Topsmead (Friends will be at the parking lot at 10:00 am on 1/1/21 if any assistance is desired.) A songbird trail tour given by the Friend of Topsmead, Janet Blauvelt, who has established and maintained birdhouses at Topsmead.
Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary – Litchfield Hills Audubon Marie Kennedy will be there at 9:00 am 1/1/21 for those who would like a guide.
Medicine Rock Trail – The Litchfield Land Trust (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.
Vineyard/River Trail Loop – White Memorial Conservation Center (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.

Local History
Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary – Marie Kennedy will be there at 9:00 am 1/1/21 for those who would like a guide.
Ice House Ruins Trail – White Memorial Conservation Center (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.
Shepaug Crossing Trail – Litchfield Land Trust (Access to trail maps and trail descriptions). Self-guided hike.
Topsmead Grounds – Friends of Topsmead (Friends will be at the parking lot at 10:00 am 1/1/21 if any assistance is desired.)
Litchfield Community Greenway – Flat scenic walkable & bikeable trail that follows the Old Shepaug Railroad. Two-mile route from bottom of South Lake Street to North Shore Road.

What better way to usher in the new year than to immerse in nature. These wonderful places are accessible any day of the year!