Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ives Concert Park announces first five shows of Summer Concert Series

After much anticipation, Ives Concert Park has announced the first five artists slated to perform in its 2013 Summer Concert Series. The venue, located on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury, has featured a wide variety of performers representing all eras and genres of music for nearly 40 years. Now, thanks to a new partnership with New York-based promoter The Bowery Presents, the summer line-up is starting to take shape.

All shows are rain or shine and tickets for the five shows announced are on sale at Additional shows and ticket sale dates will be announced soon.

Scheduled to perform are:


Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20.

Gov't Mule

Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on day of show.

Tony Bennett

Reserved tickets are $86; lawn tickets are $36.

  • Summerland Tour 2013 Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 19
Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20.

Brandi Carlile

Reserved tickets are $39.50; lawn tickets are $25.

A special two-show ticket has been created for the back-to-back moe. and Gov’t Mule shows on June 1 and 2. A reserved ticket for both nights will be $50 and a lawn ticket will be $30.

Music-lovers who subscribe to the Ives “Backstage Buzz” e-newsletter will have the opportunity to purchase tickets one day before they go on sale to the general public. To sign up, visit the Ives Concert Park website at For contests and announcements, follow Ives on Facebook at and Twitter at @IvesConcertPark.

For Regional information

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creating Habitat Oases for Migrating Songbirds

Join Audubon’s Patrick Comins and Michelle Frankel on April 28 at the Garden Education Center of Greenwich on 1 Bible Street in Cos Cob for a special presentation and walk through Greenwich’s Montgomery Pinetum to learn about simple ways to enhance backyards, school grounds and public parks to provide quality habitat for migrating songbirds. This event is co-sponsored by Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Bruce Museum and Garden Education Center. An RSVP is suggested to the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at 203- 869-1464. The program takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Audubon’s Habitat Oases program identifies, improves and conserves important stop-over habitat for migrating songbirds all along the Atlantic migratory flyway, focusing on urban and suburban areas and other landscapes where there is limited quality habitat. The program, performed in collaboration with Audubon chapters, state and municipal parks departments, and other groups, engages volunteer birdwatchers – citizen scientists – in migratory songbird surveys of urban/suburban green spaces. The surveys help to determine the characteristics of high quality stop-over habitat and which species of plants are most beneficial as food sources for migrating songbirds.
Audubon and its partners are using the results of this study to promote the protection of critical stop-over habitats by helping government agencies, corporations, land trusts, and other landowners make informed land use and land protection decisions. They also work to improve the quality of public and private lands as stop-over habitat for migrating birds by guiding the management and landscaping practices of natural resource managers, private landowners and professional landscapers and strive to develop regionally-specific lists of “bird-friendly” native plants that may be used to guide landscaping practices in parks, gardens and backyards.
Patrick Comins is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, and has worked in the bird conservation arena for the last 15 years. Patrick began his career with the Connecticut Audubon Society, doing bird surveys on the coast at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge and then worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a biological technician at the refuge. He has been with Audubon Connecticut as the Director of Bird Conservation for Connecticut since 2000, overseeing Connecticut’s Important Bird Areas and other conservation programs. He is the principal author of Protecting Connecticut’s Grassland Heritage. Patrick is a past resident of the Connecticut Ornithological Association and was the 2007 recipient of their Mabel Osgood Wright Award. He has written several articles on bird conservation and identification for the Connecticut Warbler and is currently chairman and vice president of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
Michelle Frankel, Ph.D., is a Conservation Biologist with Audubon Connecticut and is coordinating the Habitat Oases program in CT, and facilitating the implementation of the program in a number of other states along the Atlantic migratory flyway. Michelle previously worked with Audubon of Florida, where she originally piloted the Habitat Oases program. Prior to her work with Audubon, she was Education Director for Earthspan, a nonprofit that develops and applies advanced technologies for wildlife conservation. Michelle received her Ph.D. in behavioral ecology from Boston University, focusing on forest fragmentation effects on migratory songbirds. She subsequently pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Tel Aviv University and the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in Israel, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on the globally-threatened Lesser Kestrel.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Twined Art at the Institute for American Indian Studies

The exhibition Woven from Milk Weed by Wabanaki Artist Vera Longtoe Sheehan opens at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut runs through May 31, 2013. There is no charge for this exhibition. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm.  The last admission is at 4:30 pm.

Vera Longtoe Sheehan is a fiber artist who follows in the footsteps of her ancestors. When she was young, her father started teaching her how to harvest and process plants to make cordage. He also taught her the various techniques that she uses to make twined bags, baskets and textiles.

Vera combines her tribal and family knowledge with many years of researching Wabanaki history, culture and tradition to create her one of a kind twined woven items. She uses both hand-rolled and commercially rolled plant fiber cordage. Each of the hand items can take hours, days, weeks or even months to complete.

Her twined art is environmentally friendly because it is made from plants, which are quick growing, renewable resources. She is currently teaching her children to twine, so that this endangered art form is not lost. Some of her twined bags, baskets and textiles have appeared in films and literature.

The artist and her family reside in Vermont. She offers a variety of programs for schools, museums and historic sites. 

“Meet the Artist” Reception is Sunday, April 7th from 1pm -3pm.  The reception includes refreshments at 2pm.

For more information about the Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Rd. in Washington CT call 860-868-0518 or visit  For area information

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Daffodils in Litchfield Hills

Daffodils beginning to bloom in Litchfield at Laurel Ridge

As the winter snow melts and the days become warmer and longer daffodils, the heralds of spring in New England's Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County slowly begin to emerge.
The best place in the state to watch the sea of yellow unfold is at the Laurel Ridge Foundation located on Wigwam Road in the Northfield section of Litchfield Connecticut. For information about the Foundation visit
The Foundation, located on a winding country road in the scenic Litchfield Hills is open to everyone from sunrise to sunset during the time period daffodils are in bloom which is typically late March through early May. The fields are closed the rest of the year. Visitors are encouraged to take photos of the field and are invited to submit their photos on the Laurel Ridge website a t Bulky photography equipment however is discouraged. The Foundation is on private property; picnics and household pets are not allowed.
A walk among the daffodils at Laurel Ridge Foundation is a rare early spring outing in an unspoiled oasis. The wild natural landscape of gently sloping woodland, fields and aged stonewalls overlooks a small lake dotted with two tiny islands. The park land and one of the islands is completely carpeted with gold and white blossoms, a glorious sight that is nirvana for photographers.

In Wilton, located in Fairfield County visit Weir Farm National Park located on 735 Nod Hill Rd. which has daffodils in bloom amid its many stone walls and in fields. For information on Weir Farm visit Weir Farm, Connecituct's only National Park was once the home of and workplace of J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) and is now considered to be the best preserved landscape associated with American Impressionism.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Announces New Season’s Events

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will reopen its doors in April for an eventful Spring season. This season, the Mansion will highlight Victorian era technology, a cutting-edge art movement called Steampunk, and a nod to the Mansion’s beginnings with its annual Victorian Tea.

What Is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era features 19th century technological and scientific marvels of the Mansion’s heyday that revolutionized the way people lived opens to the public on April 17th and runs through October 6, 2013.

Also in April, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum presents an exciting short-term exhibit, Steampunk: Nature & Machine. At this, the first Steampunk exhibit in Fairfield County, visitors will catch a view of this bold new style, a neo-retro aesthetic that borrows imagery from the Industrial Revolution and Victorian eras and has influenced everything from literature and product design to fashion and fine art. The exhibit will feature the art of renowned Steampunk artists Bruce Rosenbaum, Katie Shima and Leslie Mueller. There will be an opening reception on April 25, from 6:00 – 8:00pm. The exhibit runs until June 15.

Rounding out the 2013 spring season is the Mansion’s Victorian Tea on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00pm. The family-friendly event features a formal English tea in the Mansion’s Rotunda, including a wide selection of desserts, sandwiches, the traditional scones and cream, as well as music and other entertainment. The Tea is sponsored by Cottages & Gardens Publications and King Industries.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark located at 295 West Avenue in Norwalk. Tours will begin in April and are offered Wednesdays through Sundays, at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

For more information on tours and programs, visit, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799. For area information

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Story of the Game Bird Horse

The Game Bird Horse

The New England Carousel Museum located on 95 Riverside Ave. in the heart of Bristol is on a mission.  This beautiful museum has one of the largest collections of carousel art in the country and wants to welcome a new horse to their magnificent collection. 

Located in a 33,000 square foot restored silk mill factory building, the museum preserves and displays carousel art, which is fast becoming a vanishing art form of Americana.  Their mission is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and preservation of operating carousels, and carousel memorabilia as well as the creation of new carousel material for the education and the pleasure of visitors.

The latest quest of the New England Carousel Museum is the acquisition and continued preservation of the Game Bird Horse.  Recently, the museum was informed by the estate of Marianne Stevens that she had bequeathed a spectacular jumper horse, named the Game Bird Horse to the Carousel Museum Collection.  Marianne, the co-author of Painted Ponies decided to leave this horse to the New England Carousel Museum’s collection because it once rode on a Connecticut Carousel.

The Game Bird Horse will add immeasurably to the Museum’s collection.  John Zalar, a carver of great note for the carousel manufacturer Charles Looff, created the horse.  The Game Bird horse has a masterfully carved “peek-a-boo” mane and two realistic quail at the back of its saddle and many other beautiful details.

In the spring of 1946, the Game Bird Horse began whirling on the carrousel at Ocean Beach Park in New London Connecticut before Marianne Stevens eventually acquired it.

To find out more about how to get the Game Bird Horse back to Connecticut from Roswell, New Mexico visit because every donation brings this wonderful gift to Connecticut closer to its’ new home at the New England Carousel Museum.