The Magic of Courting Flutes @ Institute for American Indian Studies Feb. 16

The Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington has a perfectly unique way to top off Valentine’s Day week. On Saturday, February 16 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Ojibway artist, and musician Allan Madahbee will explain the cultural significance and the hauntingly beautiful sound of the Native American courting flute. The flute is deeply rooted in the traditions of Eastern Woodland indigenous peoples.

Today, makers of Native American Flutes like Ojibway artist and musician AllanMadahbee craft their personal style and sound into their creations. Madahbee began to research the Chippewa flute culture and was influenced and mentored by Joseph Firecrow of the Cheyenne Nation. “We became friends and he provided guidance and feedback and explained some of his methods of flute making. With his passing last year, we have all lost a great Native American flute maker and musician. I am proud to continue our flute making traditions.” The sound of the courting flute that is usually made of cedar has an uncommon scale for Western music and is entrancing.

Born on the shores of Lake Huron, Allan Madahbee is a member of the Ojibway (Chippewa) Nation that has pursued the traditional arts and crafts of his ancestors. He has been making Native American flutes for about ten years. “I had always thought they were a product of the Southwest Indian tribes, but a book that I found that was written during the 1800s about Chippewa culture, had a passage about the Chippewa flutes, along with pictures. This made me realize that they were indeed a part of my Chippewa culture. Knowing that my ancestors constructed these flutes for hundreds of years has inspired me to continue this tradition. Also, the haunting sound from these mystical instruments is a large part of my inspiration.”

Along with constructing Woodland flutes, beaded moccasins, woodcarvings, Native American regalia, and rock sculptures, Madahbee always returns to his artistic roots in paintings. Mainly self-taught, Madahbee attended school with fellow Ojibway artists Blake Debassige and James Simon – two well known Anishnawbe artists that are respected and have their paintings displayed around the world.
Space is limited and reservations are suggested. To make sure you get a spot call the Institute for American IndianStudies at (860) 868-0518 or email to reserve your spot. The program is included in the price of admission: $10 adults; $8 seniors; $6 children; IAIS Members free.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time.

The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids at the Wilton Historical Society

During colonial times in New England, winter had two “crops” – ice and maple syrup. Ice was harvested from ponds to stock the ice house for summer heat. Sap begins to flow in maple trees, ready to be collected and boiled down to the sweet syrup that is as popular today as it was long ago. At this Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids Workshop at the Wilton Historical Society on Saturday, February 23 from 11:00 – 12:30, Museum Educator Laurie Walker will be discussing how maple syrup is made and will be showing the children how to use maple syrup to make a simple but delicious Colonial Maple Tart.

The Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop at the Wilton Historical Society teaches kids a “reciept” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region. While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals, and way of life. The monthly workshops feature relatively simple dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients, adapted for modern kitchens. All participants will sample their own cooking and take home recipe cards – as well as any leftovers! The children will learn how a Colonial kitchen would have operated, in order to appreciate the modern conveniences we take for granted. Previous sessions have made bannock cakes, pease porridge, pickles, an amulet of green peas, apple tansey, fairy butter, pumpkin bread, cranberry shortbread, New Year’s “cakes”, New England chowder, hand pies, cheese and ramp soufflé, pea and watercress Rappahannock, blackberry maslin, thirded bread, pound cake with “Oranges” juice, maple cup custard, pepper pot soup, scalloped tomatoes, dressed macaroni and cheese, and gingerbread cakes.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12.

Members: $10; Non-members $15. Space is limited — please register by contacting or call 203-762-7257.
The Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897 203-762-7257

Did You Know?

“In the late 1700s and early 1800s, maple sap was produced into maple sugar, a granular, solid block of maple that had a long shelf-life and could be easily transported. Maple sugar was promoted by the Quakers and abolitionists as an alternative to West Indian “slave-produced” cane sugar; Thomas Jefferson even started a maple plantation at Monticello in 1791.
It wasn’t until the Civil War that the maple syrup industry was born, with the introduction of the tin can and the invention of metal spouts and evaporator pans. Most early producers were dairy farmers who made maple syrup and sugar during the off-season of the farm for their own use and for extra income.” – New England Maple Museum in Pittsford, Vermont

Savor Connecticut, 2019 in Naugatuck Feb. 9

Once again this year the Naugatuck Historical Society is hosting its Savor Connecticut on Feb. 9 and they invite the general public to join them for their annual food, beer, wine, and spirit tastings. It may not be the biggest “Savor” in CT, but they are the original!

This year’s event includes seven breweries, four distilleries, in addition to a number of vineyards. A highlight of this event is the attendance of more than twenty food vendors that will help participants celebrate all that is good in CT. The entrance fee includes all the samples, you pay nothing but your entrance fee. The Society has also organized several tempting raffles to participate try your luck at.

The Society would like to extend their thanks to their sponsors, Fine Wines and Liquors and Attorney Frederick A. Dlugokecki. Fine Wines and Liquors are bringing some of the samples for you to try and Attorney Dlugokecki is providing each guest with a glass tasting cup to take home.

Tickets are on sale at the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum located on 171 Church Street, Naugatuck or Fine Wines and Liquors on Meadow Street, or online at (there is a small processing fee for online ticket purchases)

Advance Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for non-members. Tickets at the door will be $35 for everyone.

A Sweet Deal from the Norwalk Seaport Association

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you are looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, the Norwalk Seaport Association is offering a truly thoughtful and unique gift, the new “Taste of the Seaport Restaurant Tour Card” that is sure to light up a smile! Best of all, this Valentine’s Day gift is not a generic product like flowers or candy but one that is good through June 2019 at 15 restaurants in Norwalk, Westport, and Stamford that both of you can enjoy.

For just a $50 donation to the Seaport Association, The Restaurant Tour Card is yours and entitles you and a guest to enjoy a FREE entree when you buy one of greater value at 15 fabulous restaurants…what a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the added perk of benefitting the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Connecticut’s maritime icon and the Norwalk Seaport Association that is made up of a team of hard-working volunteers dedicated to the preservation of the Lighthouse and Long Island Sound.

The Seaport Association has made it easy to purchase the “Taste of the Seaport Restaurant Tour Card” just call the Association at 203-838-9444 or log onto their website at

The 15 restaurants included in the card offer a variety of food and price ranges making this offer something that will appeal to everyone’s palette. This card has very few restrictions other than diners must order two entrees in order to receive the entree of lesser value as complementary. It should be noted that take out orders, drinks, appetizers, desserts, and gratuities are not included and, that the card cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. The restaurant will indicate on the card that it has been used at its establishment, as the card is good for one-time use at each dining destination.

1. Adams Rib -Seasonal American fare and classic cocktails served in a warm dining room within the Norwalk Inn, 99 East Ave., Norwalk.

2. BanC House – Offering New American grub including BBQ and crabs in casual surroundings with outdoor seating in season, 16 River St., Norwalk.

3. Beach House Cafe – Fresh seafood, American fare, and cocktails served in a nautical environs with a patio located near the Seaport Dock and Aquarium, 19 North Water Street, Norwalk.

4. BJ Ryan’s – Offering New American food including barbecue and crabs in a casual setting that offers outdoor seating in season, 57 Main St., Norwalk.

5. Bourbon Raw – Hospitality from the heart at this restaurant that features a Southern Style menu of tasty, bold flavored comfort foods with a seafood influence, 80 Washington Street #2, Norwalk.

6. Brasitas of Norwalk – Upscale eatery with tropical decor offering innovative Pan-Latin cuisine and high octane drinks, 430 Main Ave., Norwalk.

7. Italia Pizzeria Restaurant – Warm, long-running eatery preparing pizza, pasta, and many other Italian-American main courses, 285 Main Ave., Norwalk.

8. Knot Norm’s – An extension of the Catering Company, the Eatery is a small establishment on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Norwalk River that provides a menu of New England staples including a warm lobster roll nominated for the best lobster roll in New England, 10a First Street, Norwalk.

9. Long Ridge Tavern – A converted barn with a cozy fireplace, antiques, and outdoor seasonal seating offers up live music and American fare for lunch, dinner, and brunch, 2635 Long Ridge Road, Stamford.

10. Match Burger Lobster – Many New England seafood favorites from hot lobster rolls to fried clams, burgers and more. The Bloom Family of Copps Island Oysters supplies this eatery with all shellfish and all the meat is from Fleishers Craft Butchery, 580 Riverside Ave., Westport.

11. Osteria Romana – Feast on traditional recipes from Rome Italy. Specialties include homemade pasta daily and fresh, fish, veal, and chicken prepared to order, 250 Westport Ave., Norwalk.

12. Pearl at Longshore – This menu is a balance of modern inventive flavors including small plates, an extensive raw bar, salads, freshly caught fish, grass-fed meat, hand made pasta and pizza, 260 Compo Road, Westport.

13. Saltwater Restaurant and Bar – A vibrant outpost for New England coastal classic cuisine located in a sprawling nautically themed space, 128 Washington St., Norwalk.

14. The Spread – Enjoy dining in a rustic industrial chic space. This restaurant serves award-winning New American cuisine and cocktails, 70 North Main Street, Norwalk.

15. Via Sforza Trattoria – Dine at this Italian Restaurant in a beautiful stone cottage Tuscan farmhouse setting. Offerings include classic and modern Italian fare and brick oven pizza, 243 Post Road West. Westport.

Seal Makes Super Bowl Pick At Maritime Aquarium

A Maritime Aquarium seal officially chose the team she thinks will win out at Super Bowl LIII on Sunday. Rasal chose the New England Patriots to win over the Los Angeles Rams during the Maritime Aquarium’s seal-training demonstration Tuesday afternoon. During the event, images of the Super Bowl teams’ helmets were taped to the window of the seal exhibit. When commanded, Rasal swam over to the window and held her nose on the Patriots team helmet. If you’re rooting for the Rams, you may still be in luck. To date, the aquarium’s seals are 2-5 in their picks, however, their last two picks were correct. It will be interesting to see if Rasc continues this winning streak this year.

This year’s pick may hold a bit of nostalgia for Rasal, as she previously picked the Patriots to win out over the New York Giants in 2012 during the aquarium’s first seal pick. The Giants ended up winning that game, which began a five-year streak of incorrect guesses for the seals.

In 2015, the seals chose the Seattle Seahawks to win out over the Patriots. They were, of course, incorrect, as the Pats ended up winning that game 28-24 in a last-second victory. In 2017, Orange correctly picked the Pats to beat the Atlanta Falcons, which resulted in the seals’ first correct pick. They followed that up last year by picking the Philadelphia Eagles to win, who ended up beating New England 41-33.
“They don’t seem to show a preference I guess,” Maritime Aquarium Publicist Dave Sigworth said. “Rasal, she was found as an abandoned pup in Maine, spent some time in New England, but also spent some time at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, so she has Midwestern and New England connections. Of course the Rams used to be in St. Louis, so it’s all very complex. Maybe her New England roots is why she went with the Patriots.”

Though Rasal made the first initial pick years ago, she took over the role this year from Orange the seal, who passed away in May.

At 33 years old, Rasal is the aquarium’s oldest seal. She was found in Maine in 1985 and rehabilitated at the New England Aquarium in Boston. She later moved to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and was there until 2005, when she came to the Maritime Aquarium.

Sigworth is hoping Rasal’s instincts extend the seals’ correct streak to three years in a row.

“They have a history of being wrong a lot,” Sigworth said, “but they’ve been on a roll the last two years, so we’ll see.”

Fairfield County Children’s Choir Broadway Concert and Auction

Fairfield County Children’s Choir Annual Broadway Concert and Auction on February 2 at The Klein Memorial Auditorium never disappoints!! Always an audience favorite, this year’s concert will feature music from Phantom of the Opera, Porgy and Bess, and in a nod to our Bridgeport connection – Barnum and The Greatest Showman. Pair those fantastic shows with some of the most outstanding youth soloists of Fairfield County and our amazing choirs, you are certain to enjoy an evening of unforgettable music. We are pleased to announce our special guest for this concert will be Michele McConnell, the voice of Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera. Ms. McConnell performed this role on Broadway for eight years and will sing Think of Me.

Support our choir AND walk away with something fabulous – the Silent Auction promises to be bigger and better than ever! Held in the spaces surrounding the auditorium, past auction items have included gourmet gift baskets, sporting event tickets, music lessons, jewelry, restaurant gift cards, autographed children’s books……the list goes on. Cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres and auction bidding begins at 5:30 pm and continues through intermission.

The Fairfield County Children’s Choir (FCCC) is a community-based choral program made up of 300 children in grades four through twelve from communities in and around Fairfield County. The choir has performed across the country and around the world. For information on the FCCC and to hear the choir, visit

The Colors of Broadway, Saturday, February 2, 2019, 7:00 pm, Auction opens at 5:30 pm, Fairfield County Children’s Choir, The Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, $15 and $20, Tickets at,The Fairfield County Children’s Choir (FCCC) is a community-based choral program made up of 300 children in grades four through twelve from communities in and around Fairfield County. The choir has performed across the country and around the world. For information on the FCCC and to hear the choir, visit

The Colors of Broadway, Saturday, February 2, 2019, 7:00 pm, Auction opens at 5:30 pm, Fairfield County Children’s Choir, The Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, $15 and $20, Tickets at