Haunted Lighthouse Cruise offers Fearsome and Friendly Family Fun August 3 & 4

One day of Halloween just isn’t enough for some Halloween enthusiasts! Not to worry, the Seaport Association of Norwalk has a magical brew of events that will thrill young and old alike on the Haunted Lighthouse Cruise to Sheffield Island taking place on August 3 and 4. This fun-filled, child–friendly event is perfect for a family summer outing…and, best of all the chance for kids to dress up in their favorite costume before October 31! To reserve your tickets https://www.seaport.org/Haunted-Lighthouse

A 45-minute cruise through Long Island Sound listening to tales of the sea sets the stage as passengers approach the 150-year-old Sheffield Island Lighthouse that is located on a wind and wave-swept deserted Island. The only way to find out what fearsome and friendly spirits reside here is to hop off the CJ Toth ferry and get ready to explore this uniquely spooktacular place with its abandoned lighthouse that has attracted supernatural beings every August for centuries.

Witches and wizards have carefully decorated the rooms of the Sheffield Lighthouse with added touches by the ghosts of lighthouse keepers that lived here in lonely isolation for long periods of time. In these rooms, visitors will find all manner of otherworldly fun – it is where spooks, spirits, spiders, sea witches, and creatures of the night abound.

It is horrifically fun to roam through the rooms of the lighthouse that seem to twist and turn and where there is a surprise around every corner! There is even one very special room that is completely dark where only the strong of heart and pure of mind should dare enter

Tickets and Times
The Haunted Lighthouse Cruise takes place on August 3 and 4 and the ferry leaves at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on both days from the Seaport’s Dock located on 4 North Water Street in South Norwalk. It is best to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure in order to snag the best seat and to facilitate boarding the ferry. The ferry only carries 49 passengers by law so advance reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve your tickets for this horrifically fun event click here https://www.seaport.org/Haunted-Lighthouse

Be a Winner @ Norfolk’s Weekend in Norfolk Aug 2-4

On August 2, 3, and 4 everyone is a “winner” in Norfolk. Fun for all is the watchword in Norfolk, Connecticut during the town’s Fourth Annual three-day, town-wide festival, A Weekend in Norfolk, better known as WIN. https://weekendinnorfolk.org. Everyone’s invited to come with family and friends to enjoy more than 80 events—mostly free—that Norfolk’s organizations, businesses, and individuals will be putting on to welcome visitors to their town.

On Friday, August 2, take a tour to see the magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows at the Immaculate Conception Church and in the Battell Chapel. If you are in a romantic mood, head to the picturesque village green to get married or to renew your vows, the organizers of WIN have bouquets, ring bearers, and witnesses standing by on the Village Green. There are also artisan demos, and the opening reception for the Norfolk Artists & Friends 11th annual exhibition, plus concerts at Infinity Hall and the Yale Music Shed. For literary lovers, there is a celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday at the Norfolk Library. If you like nature and are strong of wind and sound of heart, enter in the hike the peaks challenge, which is a three-day, six peak hiking challenge organized by the Norfolk Land trust.

The pace picks up on Saturday, August 4, with continuing art events, a furniture making demonstration, tours of Tiffany Stained Glass Windows, and multiple concerts, including a free concert at the Music Shed. The Norfolk Farmers Market is celebrating the day with a variety of special events for young and old alike including chef demonstrations. If you are a history buff, don’t miss a walk through Norfolk’s Industrial past with historian, Richard Byrne. On this walk, you will learn about the once thriving mills and factories on the Blackberry River. The popular kids’ fire hose water soccer event will take place from 12 noon to 3 pm. The day winds down with a Taste of the Town from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Manor House, and Family Fun Night at the Botelle School from 6 pm to 10 pm that will feature a DJ, field games, an outdoor movie, and food for sale. If just music is more your style there is a Debussy, Strauss and Shubert Concert at Yale Music Shed from 8 pm to 10 pm.

Sunday, August 5, is no time to go home—there are more tours including the Whitehouse (former Stoeckel Mansion), samples of a getaway day at Mountain View Green Retreat, Tiffany Stained Glass Window tours, farm tours, and an open house at the Norfolk Country Club with the chance to see its famed 9-hole golf course. In addition to the music and art shows, there will be a hot dog eating contest, a demonstration of fly tying and casting on the green, and a 5K- trail run.
For up to the minute information on WIN, Weekend In Norfolk, visit https://weekendinnorfolk.org for details.

From Butterflies to Battleships: Selections from the Bruce Museum Photography Collection

On view through September 1, 2019, From Butterflies to Battleships draws from the Bruce Museum Photography Collection to present a selection of work by four singular American photographers: Margaret Bourke-White, Carl Mydans, Patrick Nagatani, and Brett Weston. The exhibition will showcase the diversity of artistic and documentary approaches taken by photographers in the twentieth century and demonstrate how they expanded on earlier experiments in portraiture, scientific record, and photomontage.

Although renowned for her breathtaking photo essays for Fortune and LIFE magazines, in which she captured the glories of the industrial age, Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) had a lifelong interest in the natural world. Selected for this exhibition is a collection of small insect portraits made in the 1930s in which butterflies, moths, and praying mantises are hazily depicted in various stages of metamorphosis. A far cry from the epic scale of her images like that of the construction of Montana’s Fort Peck Dam, these photographs show a surprisingly intimate and experimental side of Bourke-White’s oeuvre.

First trained as a reporter, acclaimed photojournalist Carl Mydans (1906-2004) captured landmark events in the United States, Europe, and Asia over the course of 36 years as a staff photographer for LIFE magazine. There he skillfully honed what would become his trademark, the ability to capture the enormous gravity of an event with a single image. The exhibition includes two iconic photographs taken in 1945 while on assignment during World War II with General Douglas MacArthur and his regiment.

By the time photographer Patrick Nagatani (1945-2017) moved from California to New Mexico in 1987, he had already demonstrated a remarkable talent for a clever layering of imagery to construct surreal photographic satires. He found an ideal subject for his particular brand of politicized artistic intervention in the discordant Southwest landscape, where Native American ancestral grounds rest alongside nuclear weapons test sites. On view in the exhibition are a number of works from the resulting series, Nuclear Enchantment (1989-1993), in which Nagatani makes a powerful statement about the environmental and spiritual consequences of nuclear technology.

The son of the pioneering photographer Edward Weston, Brett Weston (1911-1993) began taking pictures as a teenager while living in Mexico with his father. The young Weston displayed an extraordinary eye for subject and form from the start. Over time, Brett would reach beyond the modernist aesthetic championed by his father, to the brink of abstraction, as shown in a series of stunning photographs taken around 1970, in which natural elements such as sand, trees, and water are transformed into expressionistic compositions.

According to the show’s curator, Stephanie Guyet, Zvi Grunberg Resident Fellow 2018-19: “It’s been fascinating to spend the past nine months working at a Museum that functions as a space for both scientific and aesthetic inquiry. This is a first for me, having worked previously at museums and galleries that are exclusively dedicated to fine art. I wanted therefore to develop an exhibition that would reflect the multifaceted, idiosyncratic, and extremely generative space of the Museum itself. Given that the Bruce has a wide and varied photography collection, and that photography lies at the intersection of art and science, this seemed like the perfect subject to explore. I hope that Museum visitors will be as excited and inspired as I am by the beautiful and provocative work on view.”

From Butterflies to Battleships: Selections from the Bruce Museum Photography Collection will be on view in the Museum’s Arcade Gallery through September 1, 2019. The Museum is grateful for exhibition support from The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Open Your Eyes Studio Tour in Litchfield Hills

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is proud to announce the 10th Annual Open Your Eyes Studio Tour on August 24 and 25 in Winsted and New Hartford, CT. Twenty-nine artists will open their creative spaces to the public and share their art practice and processes with visitors. This is a unique opportunity to visit local working artists from a variety of artistic backgrounds while exploring the beauty of Northwest Connecticut. Learn about each featured artist and reserve your map of the tour at OpenYourEyesTour.org! For a small donation, a map can be mailed to you before the tour weekend.

This year’s artists include painters, potters, photographers, sculptors, fiber artists, basket weavers, textile artists, mixed media artists, printmakers, gourd carvers, ceramicists, calligraphy and book arts, and jewelers. The artists and artisans in New Hartford are Carol Taylor, Carlton Taylor, Karen Carvalho, Deb Strid, Holly Hall, David Skora, Ginny August, Pam Chambers, and Susan Rood. In Winsted, the artists and artisans are MaryPat Leger, Victor Leger, Cheryl Bartley, Sharon Lee Dougherty, Jane Durchame Hoben, Gail O’Connor, Monica Rosenberg, Amy Richardson, M.Wilk, Katheleen Borkowski, Donna Davis, Amy Grosclaude, Jeanne Morningstar Kent, Debra Lill, Kiki Michalek, Heather Neilson, Tina Puckett, Julie Rego, Karen Rossi, and Gay Schempp.

During the tour weekend, there will be two information stations where visitors can check-in for the tour, get maps or pick up pre-ordered maps, posters, and t-shirts, ask questions, and make donations to the Arts Council. The Winsted Info Station is at Whiting Mills, 100 Whiting St., Winsted, CT 06098. The New Hartford Info Station is at Beekley Community Library, 10 Central Ave., New Hartford, CT 06057. Each Info Station will only be open during the hours of the Studio Tour – from 10 am – 5 pm on 8/24, and 10 am – 4 pm on 8/25.

Rare Amur Leopard Cubs make their Debut @ Beardsley Zoo

Two of the rarest (and littlest) of the big cats on earth made their official debut today at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo! The Zoo’s Amur leopard cubs (Panthera pardus orientalis), a male, Orion, and a melanistic (an extremely rare black color variant) female, Kallisto, have slowly been acclimating to their new habitat, and are now available for Zoo guests to view from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and again from 2:00-4:00 p.m. daily.

Amur leopards are critically endangered, which means they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, with approximately 80 animals remaining there. There are approximately 200 in human care worldwide, with slightly more than 100 in Russia and Europe, and slightly fewer than 100 in the U.S. With such a small population, each Amur leopard born is extremely important to the survival of the species. So far in 2019, there have been five births in accredited zoos, with only three cubs surviving, including Orion and Kallisto.

“We’ve worked with the cubs for the past few weeks, gradually acclimating them to the outdoors, their new surroundings, and the sounds, sights, and smells they’ve encountered for the first time,” said the Zoo’s Deputy Director Don Goff, who as exotic cat expert and co-chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)’s Felid Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) has overseen the care of the cubs from birth. “Our guests and supporters have anxiously awaited a chance to meet Orion and Kallisto, and we appreciate everyone’s patience. As always, the physical, emotional and mental welfare of the cubs is our first responsibility.”

The cubs will be out in their habitat from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and then again from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each day, but Goff cautioned that the cubs will have free choice to their holding areas, and they may choose to go inside where they can’t be seen. “We want everyone to have a chance to visit these precious and rare leopards, but they’re still quite young and may need rest time out of sight of our guests,” he explained. “If they’re not visible from the viewing window, visit other parts of the Zoo and make another trip to the leopard habitat at a later time,” he advised.

About Amur leopards

A rare subspecies of leopard that has adapted to life in the temperate forests from Northeast China to the Korean peninsula and the Russian Far East, Amur leopards are often illegally hunted for their beautiful spotted fur. The Amur leopard is agile and fast, running at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. Males reach weights of 110 pounds and females up to 90 pounds.

They prey on sika, roe deer, and hare, but the Amur leopard has to compete with humans for these animals. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in human care. In the wild, Amur leopards make their home in the Amur-Heilong, a region that contains one of the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world, vast steppe grasslands, and the unbroken taiga biome.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 97thanniversary this year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopards, American alligators and Spur-thigh tortoises, Mexican and red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Other highlights include the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.org.

Summer Concert @ Bartlett Arboretum July 21

The Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford is hosting a series of summer concerts in their spectacular gardens. On Sunday, July 21 from 5 pm – 7 pm the Cutouts will perform.

The Cutouts are a classic rock quartet based in Connecticut with four decades of entertaining throughout the greater New England/NY-metro area. The band members are Bruce Domizio (lead vocals/lead guitar), Daria Verelley (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Mario Pirulli (drums), and David Verelley (bass). Their credits include performing live with legendary singer/guitarist Jose Feliciano in 2001 and opening for a renowned vocalist, Tony Bennett, at the 2004 Waterbury Palace gala concert.

The concert will take place on the Great Lawn or in our Silver Educational Center, in the event of rain. Bring chairs or a blanket along with a picnic dinner. Wendy’s Weenies Food Truck will also be on-site!

Tickets are $5 for members, $10 for non-members, and free for children 12 & under. Tickets are purchased on-site the day of the concert. Cash, check or cards accepted. If you are interested in becoming a member, please click here. Be sure to arrive early to get a prime parking spot and please carpool if possible!

For our complete summer concert series, please visit our website. For more information about Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County click here.