Mattatuck Museum Public Re-Opening and New Exhibitions

After nearly two years and $9 million, the Mattatuck Museum is proud to announce its re-opening on Sunday, February 28th, 2021 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. The Museum opens with four new exhibitions, an artist installation in the Plaza, reinstallation of the permanent collection, and a re-interpretation of the Orton P. Camp, Jr. History Exhibit.

The renovation project has brought to life a reimagined space that continues to be a welcoming, inclusive, stimulating, and enriching community anchor. The “new” Mattatuck Museum includes an extensive 14,000 square foot renovation to the existing building and an addition of almost 7,000 square feet to expand educational programming, collections storage, and exhibitions.

In keeping with the idea of blending the historic and the modern, the new Museum plans to showcase a broad array of exhibitions and programs in the coming months, kicking off with the inaugural exhibitions opening on February 28th:
· Free as Air and Water (on view through April 11): Guest curator Tajh Rust presents works by five emerging artists, all Yale MFA graduates, that remind us of the fluidity and buoyancy of these elements: Genesis Báez, Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez, Naomi Lisiki, Allison Minto, and Anne Wu. While air and water are classic examples of simplicities we often take for granted, access to both is still a difficulty for many people.
· Unleashed: The Art of Robert C. Jackson (on view through April 18): Full of wit and character Robert Jackson’s paintings celebrate contemporary life while consistently drawing from his rich knowledge and love for art history.
· Collecting Presidential History: Signatures and Ephemera: This exhibit represents a significant gift to the Mattatuck Museum of presidential signatures collected by Francis T. “Fay” Vincent Jr. augmented with ephemera from the collection of the Museum. Vincent, a Waterbury native and Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989-1992, made this donation in honor of his parents.
· The Future Starts Now: Recent Gifts to the Collection (on view through April 11): Our collection continues to grow in prominence with gifts of fine and decorative art, historical objects, and archives. We are extremely grateful to the generous donors of these recent additions of works that represent a diverse group of artists, Nazca textile fragments, 19th-century Tonalist paintings, political ephemera, and texts for our library.
· Cross Currents: A commissioned work by Connecticut artist Don Gummer has been permanently installed in front of the new Museum addition. Inspired by the beautiful and open Green and the intersection of the many roads surrounding it, Gummer has created a new monument to the life of Downtown Waterbury.

These exhibitions are accompanied by a full roster of exciting and engaging programs for adults, families, and children including studio workshops, lectures, artist talks, and more. In response to COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, these programs are being offered both virtually and in-person. For more information on all of the Museum’s upcoming programs, events, and exhibitions visit the Museum’s website or call (203) 753-0381.

ABOUT THE MATTATUCK MUSEUM
Located in the heart of downtown Waterbury’s architectural district, the Mattatuck Museum is a vibrant destination, known locally and regionally as a community-centered institution of American art and history. The collections at the Mattatuck Museum span the history of American art from the colonial era to the present day with special strengths in Naugatuck Valley history and Connecticut artists, as well as artists from around the world representing the diversity of our community. The Mattatuck Museum houses 15,000 objects in its varied collections and is also recognized for its collection of buttons, a group of 20,000 miniature works from around the world, donated by the Waterbury Companies in the 1970s.

This Valentine’s Day Take Your Romance to New Heights @ Salisbury Jumpfest, February 12, 13, 14

Coming up with something unusual and unforgettable for Valentine’s Day is never easy, regardless if you have been together for five years or five decades! This year, the 95th annual in-person Salisbury Jumpfest is taking place on Valentine’s Day Weekend, February 12, 13, and 14th making it perfect for people that love excitement, daredevils, amazing athletes, and the beauty of the great outdoors.

Jumpfest promises to be the highlight of the 2021 Winter Season in Connecticut because it offers the rare opportunity to watch ski jumpers glide through the air – up close and personal. This is a sport that gets your heart pumping as you watch ski jumpers travel up to 200 feet through the air at more than fifty miles an hour!

When it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, it is important to make the day extra special for your significant other, especially if you want to do something beyond a box of chocolates and flowers. Jumpfest is perfect for people looking for a fun, safe, and different way to spend the sweetest day of the year. Here are five tips on taking your romance to new heights at Jumpfest!

Enjoy A Change of Scenery – Jumpfest is situated in the heart of the Litchfield Hills that gently rise into the Berkshires. This area is known worldwide for its’ natural beauty. If you are looking for a change of scenery and an escape from the confines of home or the office, this unspoiled landscape is ideal for a romantic getaway. It is so rewarding to be able to unplug and enjoy the landscape together!

Warm Up to Winter – For extra cuddles, bring a cozy blanket and outdoor seating pads so you can snuggle up and watch the ski jumpers fly through the air.

Don’t Forget the Hot Chocolate – Everyone knows that chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together. On your way to Jumpfest stop in at Milk House Chocolates in Goshen, the best chocolatier in Connecticut and pick up a selection of chocolates – they are the sweetest treat ever! Don’t forget to bring along a thermos of hot chocolate and your favorite snacks…like heart-shaped cookies and sandwiches!

Bring Your Cowbell – Choosing your favorite ski jumpers together and cheering them on by ringing your cowbell is a great way to bond and make memories. Draw a heart on your cowbell for luck!

Take a “Together” Selfie – Photos are the perfect way to make memories…and you will have tons of fun taking them. Photos taken at Jumpfest are especially meaningful because they are taken amid a magnificent landscape with the skiers gliding overhead. Photos that you will both treasure of this unique experience for years to come.

Tickets and Regulations

The Salisbury Winter Sports Association has initiated several changes in order to comply with all COVID-19 regulations to keep spectators and athletes safe. This is an outdoor event in a wide-open area. Attendance each day will be limited to the first 400 tickets sold. This number reflects 25% of the facility’s capacity as required by Connecticut regulations. Additional spectators will be admitted as people leave the venue. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, on Friday night there is no admission charge. Kids under 12 are free all three days. In compliance with CDC and State mandates six-foot social distancing should be adhered to and masks must be worn at all times throughout the facility.

The Jump Schedule

There are only half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with Satre Hill in Salisbury being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in JumpFest, an event that has launched many Olympians including three of the four men that participated at Sochi. Friday,

February 12, 2021
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. with practice jumps. Target Jumping under the lights begins at 7 p.m. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks. There is no admission charge on Friday night.

Saturday, February 13, 2021
On Saturday morning, February 13, things warm up with the strongest Junior Jumpers from Lake Placid, New York, and the Salisbury Winter Sports Association competing on 20 to 30-meter hills. The action kicks off at 9 a.m. with these youngsters showing off their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. Medals will be awarded on the hill. The real action of the day starts at 11 a.m. with warm-up jumps by the Development Team, composed of an elite group of jumpers from around the country. These competitors are the best of the best that have been in rigorous training at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, which was built for the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. The competition begins at 1 p.m. This event is thrilling to watch as these expert flyers go from 0 to 50 miles an hour in seconds and seem to defy gravity with runs up to 70 plus meters.

Sunday, February 14, 2021
he highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 14th beginning with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and to land smoothly. If you want to find some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar through the sky. It is exhilarating. Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make a jump! After all, most jumpers tell you that it is the closest you get to flying…without the wings or a parachute.

About the Salisbury Winter Sports Association
In the winter of 1926, John Satre a resident of Salisbury jumped off the roof of his shed wearing skis to show his friends and neighbors a sport he learned in his native homeland of Norway. Town residents were so amazed as they watched Satre soar through the air that they decided to build a proper ski run that summer, and form the Salisbury Winter Sports Association. The Association hosted the first ski jump competition in January 1927. JumpFest has become a highly anticipated event in Connecticut and throughout much of the East Coast.

Exploring Stone Walls @ Weir Farm

At 11 a.m. on February 5 Weir Farm National Historic Site releases a virtual video tour with Ranger Tom about Weir Farm’s iconic stone walls. Join Ranger Tom on a stroll through the fields of Weir Farm to examine the three different types of stone walls on the property and learn about their rich history. The stone walls not only provide an opportunity to explore New England’s geologic and cultural past, but they have also served as a source of inspiration to the artists that have lived at and visited Weir Farm for over 135 years.

This is perfect if you want to explore Weir Farm from the comfort of your home. You can start exploring now by virtually touring some of the main attractions at the park. To watch the video click here. Other videos include a walk to Weir Pond, a tour of Young Studio.

About Weir Farm National Historical Park
Visit the home and studio of America’s most beloved Impressionist, Julian Alden Weir, and walk in the footsteps of a world-class artist. Set against a rural Connecticut landscape that has been painted by thousands of artists from 1882 to the present, Weir Farm is a national legacy of American Impressionism, creativity, and historic preservation. Explore this National Park for Art and experience what Weir described as “The Great Good Place.” Learn more at www.nps.gov/wefa.

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

A Winter Weekend in Norfolk Goes Virtual Starting February 20, 2021

The town of Norfolk, Connecticut is hard at work this winter organizing virtual events for 2021 Winter WIN Weekend in Norfolk that is taking place this year beginning Saturday, February 20th. The residents, businesses, historic and natural attractions, and other organizations have pulled together, once again, this year to showcase Norfolk’s many treasures.

Winter Beauty of Norfolk Katherine Griswold

The only difference is that this year’s Winter WIN will take place online rather than at various locations throughout Norfolk. “We believe that our online WIN series of events show the resilience of the citizens of Norfolk. Our goal is to be a bright spot in people’s lives this winter,” said Sue Frisch one of the founders of the WIN event.

Now in its sixth year, Winter WIN is one of the state’s premier winter events. The videos run the gamut from visiting a costume makers’ studio, architectural tours, and learning about the winter night sky to a music lesson for the kids, visits to local farms, and even a Spanish cooking class that will help you warm up to winter.

The Virtual Winter Weekend in Norfolk celebrates the music, art, and nature that this small village is known for, far and wide. Everyone is invited to view live stream and on-demand events free of charge from the comfort and warmth of their home. A special Virtual Winter Weekend in Norfolk website has been set up that lists video events by category making it easy to let your fingers do the walking to all the wonders that can be found in Norfolk’s winter wonderland. The length of each video and a short description is also included on the website. For complete information visit https://weekendinnorfolk.org . The winter weekend videos are slated to go live on February 20th. In the meantime to help you pass the weary winter days, the videos from the 2020 Summer WIN are still available to watch on the website.

About Weekend in Norfolk
Now in its sixth year, the all-volunteer WIN Committee organizes two town-wide events annually: the Summer WIN and the Winter WIN. These two town-wide festivals are supported by Norfolk’s town officials, its Economic Development Commission, and a multitude of local organizations, institutions, and individuals.

Watch them Fly @ Salisbury’s 95th Annual JumpFest February 12,13, and 14, 2021

This year marks the 95th anniversary of Salisbury Connecticut’s ski jumping tradition that officially began in 1927. It all started in 1926 when Salisbury resident, John Satre soared off the roof of his barn with skis on to show his neighbors a sport he learned in his native Norway. Town residents became fans of the sport and formed the Salisbury Winter Sports Association that winter. The first ski jump competition was held in January 1927 and has become one of New England’s signature winter events.

This year ski jumpers and lovers of winter sports will converge in Salisbury at this highly anticipated in-person winter event, JumpFest, on February 12, 13, and 14, 2021. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. For updates and more information www.jumpfest.org. or info@jumpfest.org.

Although this is an in-person event, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association has initiated several changes in order to comply with all COVID-19 regulations to keep spectators and athletes safe. This is an outdoor event in a wide-open area. Attendance each day will be limited to the first 400 tickets sold. This number reflects 25% of the facility’s capacity as required by Connecticut regulations. Additional spectators will be admitted as people leave the venue. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, on Friday night there is no admission charge. Kids under 12 are free all three days. In compliance with CDC and State mandates six-foot social distancing should be adhered to and masks must be worn at all times throughout the facility.

For the Tri-State area and beyond, JumpFest offers a very special opportunity to watch these graceful athletes fly through the air — up close! The anticipation of watching competitors travel up to 200 feet through the air at more than fifty miles an hour and, guessing who is the fastest — and highest in real-time — is an unforgettable experience. It is so much fun to be part of the excitement! The crowds’ ring cowbells to cheer on their favorites and the jumpers take notice. The excitement reaches a crescendo when the slap of skis hits snow in a smooth landing with everyone hoping that this jump beats the Salisbury record, an impressive 231-foot jump. And, if you work up an appetite, no worries, there will be several food trucks on the grounds.

Festival Schedule
There are only half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with Satre Hill in Salisbury being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in JumpFest, an event that has launched many Olympians including three of the four men that participated at Sochi.

Friday, February 12, 2021
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. with practice jumps. Target Jumping under the lights begins at 7 p.m. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks. The popular Human Dog Sled Race has been canceled this year because of the pandemic, and for this reason, there is no admission charge on Friday night.

Saturday, February 13, 2021
On Saturday morning, February 13, things warm up with the strongest Junior Jumpers from Lake Placid, New York, and the Salisbury Winter Sports Association competing on 20 to 30 meter hills. The action kicks off at 9 a.m. with these youngsters showing off their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. Medals will be awarded on the hill.

The real action of the day starts at 11 a.m. with warm-up jumps by the Development Team, composed of an elite group of jumpers from around the country. These competitors are the best of the best that have been in rigorous training at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, which was built for the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. The competition begins at 1 p.m. This event is thrilling to watch as these expert flyers go from 0 to 50 miles an hour in seconds and seem to defy gravity with runs up to 70 plus meters.

Sunday, February 14, 2021
The highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 14th begin with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and to land smoothly. If you want to find some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar through the sky. It is exhilarating. Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make a jump! After all, most jumpers tell you that it is the closest you get to flying…without the wings or a parachute.

ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
In the winter of 1926, John Satre a resident of Salisbury jumped off the roof of his shed wearing skis to show his friends and neighbors a sport he learned in his native homeland of Norway. Town residents were so amazed as they watched Satre soar through the air that they decided to build a proper ski run that summer, and form the Salisbury Winter Sports Association. The Association hosted the first ski jump competition in January 1927. JumpFest has become a highly anticipated event in Connecticut and throughout much of the East Coast.

See Majestic Eagles Swoop, Glide, Dip, and Dive At Annual Eagle Watch In the Litchfield Hills

An outdoor buffet in winter may not sound tempting to most of us, but to our national bird, the regal American bald eagle, it is a rare treat. When fishing grounds in their homes further north freeze over, these graceful birds make an annual journey to the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River in Southbury, in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills. Due to COvid -19 the facility will be opening on February 1, 2021. Please follow them on https://www.facebook.com/baldeagles for updates. In the case of current or anticipated inclement weather, visitors are urged to call 1-860-895-6468 to verify whether or not the viewing area is open before arriving on the reserved viewing day. If the eagle viewing facility is closed due to inclement weather, reservations are canceled and must be re-booked online.

They favor this spot because the turbulent waters of the dam not only prevent freezing but push fish to the surface, easy pickings for eagles who can swoop down and feast on their favorite dish. Thrilling to see in full flight, the majestic bald eagle can measure 34 to 43 inches in length with a wingspan of six to seven and a half feet.

Their flight speed is between 36 to 44 miles per hour. Everyone is invited to view these fascinating winter guests at the Eagle Observation Area near the Shepaug Housatonic Hydroelectric Station. It is hoped that an organized eagle watch will take place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March 12.

Admission is free but since space is limited reservations are required; group and individual reservations are accepted. This year for the first time reservations can be made on-line

The shelter, maintained by FirstLight Power Resources, is located 1000 feet from the river, affording safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point. High-powered telescopes are set up on tripods for visitors. Knowledgeable Audubon volunteers are on hand to assist in spotting and answer questions about the birds.

A helpful website, https://www.firstlightpower.com/recreation/?location_id=397, has information about eagles and recent visitor statistics. Reservations can be made on this site. Nearly 148,000 people have visited the observation area since it was opened to the public in 1986. On an average day in past years, six or seven eagles were sighted, but lucky viewers on the best days in the past have spotted as many as 15 to 21 eagles in action. Chances are best on cold clear days when the surfaces of most other rivers and ponds have frozen. Visitors are advised to dress warmly in layers and to allow plenty of time to wait for the eagle action to begin.