Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Understanding the Brass Valley in Litchfield Hills

On, October 29, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the Coe Memorial Park Civic Center located on 101 Litchfield S., Emery 'Ted' Roth II, a photographer and writer, will host a slide presentation and program titled Finding Brass Valley.  The slide show chronicles Roth's experiences as he chronicled the last vestiges of the brass industry in the Naugatuck Valley.

The slide show is based on a newly published book by Roth, Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry (Schiffer Press, October 2015). Both the book and the program pay homage to the industrial history of the Naugatuck Valley, a history which began in the early 19th century. Known in particular for its large scale brass manufacturing, the region eventually came to be known as the "Brass Valley" and mill towns such as Torrington and Waterbury developed into thriving cultural centers.
By the 21st century, few of those mills remained in operation. Ted Roth, on a mission to capture the vestiges of a disappearing aspect of American life, began photographing some of the last working brass mills in the Naugatuck Valley. During that time, the management and workers of these last brass mills invited him to shoot anywhere and at any time. This continued until 2014, when the last plant closed, and the tradition of soot-covered workers charging generations-old furnaces came to an end. His images, both artistic and documentary, capture the glowing metal flying through the air at a foundry in its final days, the vast structures that housed industries, and the abandoned opera houses, train tracks, and other remnants of a once vibrant infrastructure and way of life.
Over 230 such images appear in Roth's book, Brass Valley. Ted Roth's program on October 29th will include a selection of his photographs from the book but he will also talk about what it means to try and find "Brass Valley", a place in time that has not quite vanished.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin!) To the Wilton Historical Society

 Avoid the mess at home!  The Wilton Historical Society is hosting a pumpkin carving event on Wednesday, October 28 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm that will be fun for the whole family.

Join museum educator Allison Reznik in the 1860 Abbott Barn at the Wilton Historical Society as she leads a fun Halloween pumpkin carving and decorating session for children and their adults.  Pumpkins available for purchase on-site from the Kiwanis Club or participants can bring their own pumpkin. The Wilton Historical Society will supply carving tools, craft materials, cider and cookies! 
Suggested for ages 8 and up.  Not a drop off program. $5.00 for members, $10 non-members.   Please register by email or call 203-762-7257
Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road/Rt 7, Wilton, CT  06897   203-762-7257 
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Howl-O-Ween at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Howl-O-Ween  is an annual Halloween themed event at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo.  This family fun event takes place on Oct. 24, 30 & 31 from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

This family-oriented event features activities and attractions geared toward children from 8-15, although brave youngsters have found the event to be quite enjoyable.
For the more timid, there are events such as magic shows, face painting, fortune tellers, dancers and more. Braver children (and parents!) can enter the zoo's special haunted attractions: The Haunted Hayride, Farmer Beardsley's Farmstead, and the Ghastly Greenhouse.
Tickets for this event are $12 presale and for Zoo members and $15 on the night of the event. The ticket purchase includes two haunted houses, a haunted hayride, all performances, face painting, carousel rides and more.  Food and beverages are not included, but are available at the Zoo's Peacock Cafe during the event. Parking at the zoo is free!
For tickets and more information
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Sherman Playhouse Opens The Insanely Campy Cult Masterpiece 'The Rocky Horror Show'

On Friday, October 23, The Sherman Playhouse will premiere the outrageous cult musical comedy THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, with Book, Lyrics, and Music by Robert O'Brien. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m.

On the way to visit an old college professor, two clean-cut young people, Brad Majors and his fiancée Janet Weiss, run into trouble and seek help at the freaky Frankenstein mansion. However, little do they know that the estate is inhabited by alien transsexuals from the planet Transylvania, and Dr. Frank N. Furter is in the midst of one of his maniacal experiments. What transpires is nothing less than THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, one of the most deliberately kitschy, campy, funny, rock 'n' roll, sci-fi, gothic epics to ever grace the stage.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW first premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London on June 19, 1973. The show made its Broadway debut at The Belasco Theatre on March 10, 1975. WNBC TV called it a "socko wacko weirdo rock concert." The cult play spawned an equally popular cult film, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," in September 1975, starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW runs October 23,24,25 29,30,31 at 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with two 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on October 18 and 25. There are one Thursday evening show at 8:00 p.m. on October 29, and the final performance is at midnight on Halloween, Saturday, October 31. Tickets for all shows are $30. THERE IS NO PRICING FOR CHILDREN AS THE SHOW IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE UNDER 12.
Reservations can be made online at or by calling the box office at (860) 354-3622. The Sherman Playhouse is a non-Equity theatre company located at 5 Route 39 North (next to the firehouse) in Sherman, CT.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Walking Tour at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Sheds Light on life, “Behind the Scenes,” at Elm Park

For history buffs and Downton Abbey fans, Curator Kathleen Motes Bennewitz will lead an exclusive walking tour of The Stairs Below: The Mansion's Domestic Servants, 1868-1938 on Oct. 21, 2015, 11 a.m. at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT.
Anne Louisa Lockwood with ChildrenLegrand and Louisa Lockwood were loving parents to six children, ages 25, 23, 17, 12, 8, and 6 years of age when they moved to the mansion in 1868.

Viewers will experience a renewed vision of life at "Elm Park" during its seven decades as a private residence for the Lockwood (1868-73) and Mathews (1876-1938) families. Bennewitz will share, for the first time, the history of the mansion's servants who worked and lived under this roof. Costumed vignettes, historic photographs, artifacts and the newly restored Servants' Quarters will help bring to life the 'invisible' staff whose hard work and long hours kept the household running smoothly. Follow a servant's route through the mansion, counting the steps taken, and come to grasp the toil and drudgery of their 10-hour days and taxing routines in such a large and opulent residence. Bennewitz will also touch upon some of the relationships that developed over the decades between staff and the wealthy owners.
Trade card for Sapolio Soap, undated. Courtesy Historic New England 

The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. Limited availability, please RSVP by Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. The price includes the walking tour and lunch courtesy of Michael Gilmartin's Outdoor Cookers Catering & Event Planning. Please contact or 203-838-9799, ext. 4 to purchase tickets.
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Painting in Four Takes at the Aldrich Museum of Art

The last one hundred years have witnessed the explosion of virtually every available means and medium in the service of art making, yet painting has not only maintained a central position in visual art, but has also adapted creatively to rapid changes in our culture as a whole. Today, painting is embedded in the broad debate of actual vs. virtual, and its ability to balance what is illusive and what is real, what is tactile and what is optical, and what is emotive and what is formal, providing fertile ground for a diverse range of artists.

Steve DiBenedetto, Metacopter, 2003, Collection of Kevin Bruk, Miami, Courtesy of David Nolan Gallery, New York
This fall, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, will present Painting in Four Takes, a series of solo exhibitions that will provide a window into the practices of four engaging painters who imbue the medium with relevance and character. The series, on view from November 15, 2015, through April 3, 2016, will mark the first time in over twenty years that The Aldrich has dedicated all of its galleries to painting.

The four artists selected span generations, methods, and intentions, but all are deeply entrenched in what painting is and can be in the image-dominated atmosphere of our twenty-first century. The artists include: Steve DiBenedetto, Hayal Pozanti and Julia Rommel.

Steve DiBenedetto (b. 1958, Bronx, New York) has established himself as an idiosyncratic artist who has brought the pursuit of painting into the unpredictable chaos and flux that categorize the Post-Modern world. Evidence of Everything is his first major solo museum exhibition. 

Julia Rommel, Day with 7 Walks, 2015
Courtesy of the artist and Bureau, New York

The practice of Hayal Pozanti (b. 1983, Istanbul, Turkey) spans painting, digital animation, and sculpture. For her first solo museum exhibition, she will debut a new series of paintings and digital animations. Pozanti negotiates two opposing image-producing interfaces, the digital, with its mechanical, frenetic pace, and traditional studio practice, with its slowness, imperfection, and tactile insistence. To do so, she has invented “Instant Paradise”: a thirty-one-character “alphabet,” which she uses to generate shapes that never repeat themselves, nor have a recognizable equivalent in visual culture. 

Hayal Pozanti, micro-micro, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco

For her first solo museum exhibition, Julia Rommel (b. 1980, Salisbury, Maryland) will debut a series of new paintings presented alongside small works from 2010–2012. Rommel’s oil paintings range from head to body size, and oscillate between cool and warm palettes, color fields of denim blues, moody greys, creamy whites, salmon pinks, and citrus hues.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Torrington's 275 Birthday October 17

Torrington was established when the Colony of Connecticut granted to Windsor, Connecticut several townships including Torrington. Ebenezer Lyman Jr. of Durham purchased land from one of the Windsor proprietors and in 1735 became Torrington's first settler. The first school, store, church and tavern were built high on the hills, west of the Naugatuck River, near the homes of the earliest settlers. The second area to be settled was the eastern hill known as Torringford. These hills provided the best farmland for the settler's agricultural work. In October 1740, Torrington was given permission to incorporate as a town and organize its own town government and ecclesiastical society.
Due to it's location on the Naugatuck River industry began to develop in the 19th c. using waterpower.  In 1813 a woolen mill was built that attracted a large workforce and Torrington continued to grow. The site of the woolen mill is the center of Torrington today. The population continued to grow due to the  construction of two brass mills on the river in 1834 and by 1849 the Naugatuck Valley railroad was completed thorough Torrington. 
The railroad linked Torrington with other population centers, ending its isolation and stimulating industrial development. Soon Torrington was producing a vast array of metal products including needles, brass, ice skates, hardware, bicycles, and tacks. English, German and Irish immigrants contributed to the growth of the community in the mid nineteenth century. Torrington's growing industrial plants continued to attract immigrants through the early 20th century. As immigration from southern and eastern Europe increased, Torrington's population exploded from 3,000 to 22,000 between 1880 and 1920. New immigrants during this period included the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians and Lebanese. In 1923, with a population of 23,000, Torrington was chartered as a city.

To celebrate it's 275 Birthday on October 17 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.  the city has planned a variety of events to commemorate this milestone on Main Stree in Torrington.  Notable residents from Torrington's past are sure to entertain and will read from scripts written by professional playwright, Charlene Donaghy.  There also be the "best of the best" antique car show in the he municipal parking lot next to City Hall. To add to the fun, the Survivors Swing Band will be playing the great old tunes of the 1920s through 1940s on the steps of City Hall and Tom Hooker Hanford will provide historic musical entertainment.  There will be plenty of food to buy including ethnic specialties located behind City Hall on Main St.
Party goers will be invited to take a horse-drawn wagon rides through Center Cemetery, the final resting place of some of Torrington's former movers and shakers as well as to tour the Torrington Historical Society.  
The rain date is October 18. For additional details visit For area information

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Harvest Festival at Stamford Museum and Nature Center

A fall family tradition returns to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 with the Annual Harvest Festival Weekend. This year, the weekend will be kicked off with a new event for adults-only – Octoberfest On The Meadow at 6:30 pm on Friday, October 16 with proceeds supporting the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. The evening will feature seasonal Oktoberfest brews, as well as Octoberfest favorites including kielbasa with sauerkraut and cherry beer roasted pork shoulder. Guests will be entertained by live music from Green Eyed Lady.

Octoberfest On The Meadow tickets are available for purchase online or by phone at 203.977.6521. Tickets prices are: SM&NC Members $60 per person/Non-Members $75 per person if purchased in advance, or SM&NC Members $70 per person /Non-Members $85 per person if purchased at the door.
The weekend will continue with the Harvest Festival Weekend, an annual family event celebrating the fall season, from 11 am to 3 pm both Saturday and Sunday. With plenty to do for the whole family, activities include hayrides, apple cider demonstrations, apple slingshots, a scarecrow contest, and pumpkin carving. Children (and parents) are encouraged to come in costume and participate in a parade at 1 pm led by a special guest. Other activities include farm animal demonstrations, face-painting, storytelling, children's crafts, music from Jay and Ray, and much more.
Harvest Festival Weekend Daily Admission Fees: SM&NC Members: $5 per person/Non-Members: $10 per person. Children 3 and under are free.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1936, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art and popular culture, the natural and agricultural sciences, and history. The Museum is a vital cultural and educational resource for the community, and a focal point for family activity and interaction, seeking to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, promote environmental stewardship, and nurture an appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that enhance the visitor's experience of its unique site.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center is located at 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT (3/4 mile North of Merritt Parkway Exit 35.) For more information call 203.322.1646 or visit
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

International Winning Playwright Festival at the Warner Theatre

The Warner Theatre located on 68 Main Street in the heart of Torrington is once again hosting the Warner International Playwrights Festival on October 15-17. Well over 200 plays were submitted from cross the United States and Canada and as far away as Australia.

This Festival is a celebration of new works by playwrights from across the country and around the globe. The Festival gives playwrights the avenue to submit works that explores the human experience and the human spirit through the presentation of dramatic work.
This year, the 11 winning playwrights include:
Thursday, October 15, 2015 beginning at 8 pm – PASTICHE
QUOTA by James Hutchison – Alberta, Canada
CAFÉ UNIQUE by Michèle Raper Rittenhouse – New York
KITTY & TOY by Julie Weinberg – New York
WHAT IS GAINED: A Muse on Consequence by Evan Guilford-Blake – Georgia
Friday, October 16, 2015 beginning at 8 pm – MOMENTS
GOLDEN YEARS by Cynthia Chapman – Massachusetts
FAMILY MARKERS by Faye Sholiton – Ohio
FACING BACKWARDS by George W. Kelly – New Hampshire
THE SOOTHSAYER by Steven Young – Texas
Saturday, October 17, 2015 beginning at 8 pm – DUET
JOANIE & FREDDIE ON VALENTINES DAY by Charlene Donaghy – Connecticut
ONE THREE TWO by Michael Weems – Texas
DAD'S VISION by Benjamin V. Marshall – New Jersey
NOT ENOUGH by Chip Bolcik – California
TWO by Eugenie Carabatsos – New York
The tickets are $15 per night. Each evening is themed with four to six plays performed each night.  For tickets call (860) 489.7180 or visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A trio of performances presented by the Namaskaar Foundation

The World on Stage, part of the Namaskaar Foundation has planned an exciting beginning to their 2015 - 2016 season.  The fist concert begins with the Brooklyn Raga Massive Crossover, an exciting concert featuring gifted up-and-comers from the worlds of Classical Indian Music and Fusion Jazz. Dedicated to showcasing a diverse array of Indian classical music, BRM believes in expanding the audience for Indian music by breaking conventions – as you'll see in this Crossover musical event on Oct 25th.

The BRM Crossover will feature several extraordinary artists, including the versatile classical Indian musician Arun Ramamurthy, who makes soulful sounds with the Carnatic violin. Arun specializes in Carnatic music, while also pushing the boundaries of the form through genre-bending projects, including his own jazz trio and his Carnatic Sundays concert series in New York City's West Village.
Also headlining the concert is Jay Gandhi, a devoted teacher and performer who has captivated audiences around the globe with his mastery of the bansuri flute, using it to make sounds that are at turns haunting and thrilling. Trained under bansuri masters, Jay's musical interests span the Indian sub-continent, reaching across the African diaspora and into the American classical and jazz traditions.
Outstanding jazz stylings will certainly be in the spotlight for this event, as we welcome artists like New York-based upright and electric bassist/composer Michael Gam, who is well-versed in both cutting-edge modern jazz and Indian classical music. With his group the Om Gam Ensemble, Michael is experienced in creating East-meets-West sounds.
The concert will also boast the talents of accomplished musicians such as jazz percussionist Sameer Gupta on tabla and drums; composer and jazz virtuoso Sharik Hasan on piano; and emerging jazz and Hindustani musician Pawan Benjamin on saxophone.
The Brooklyn Raga Massive Crossover event is presented by the Namaskaar Foundation - World on Stage in partnership with the ICC Greenwich. With our mission to promote, preserve, and raise awareness of the traditional performing arts and culture of India and beyond, Namaskaar Foundation is passionate about presenting the next generation of exceptional artists.
To see these brilliant young superstars-in-the-making as they play a dazzling program of Indian classical music and jazz fusion, catch them on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 5pm at Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library (101 W. Putnam Ave.) in Greenwich, CT. 

This concert is followed by PACO PENA & Flamenco Dancers on November 18 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. It is intense, passionate and wild with a constant threat of losing control, barely held back by a strict rhythmic structure. It is Flamenco, the signature musical style of Spain. Paco Pena, Flamenco, showcases this mesmerizing musical genre whose history is mysterious and debated, yet undeniably powerful and timeless. With a highly impressive record of playing venues throughout the world and captivating international audiences, Paco Peña and his dancers promises a fiery displays, stunning precision and boundless passion ones more on our stage at Palace Theatre in Stamford.

On November 17 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. a show called Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers takes center stage.  This concert invites you to explore the lush and exotic land that is India! The Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers of India present The Spirit of India, a new step toward a bold vision in Indian live music and dance being presented to the world for the first time. Rahis Bharti, one of India's greatest musical figures, and the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers will guide you on a lively musical journey from Rajasthan to Mumbai.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

Center for Contemporary Printmaking 20th Retrospective

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP) announces the opening of 20th Retrospective: Highlights From the Past 20 Years, on display through December 13, 2015. 

Donald Sultan, Yellow Poppies September 12, 2013, 2013, 8 color screen-print with flocking, courtesy Mary Ryan Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist and Mary Ryan Gallery, New York.

As the culminating event celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the retrospective features work by artists who have exhibited at CCP's Grace Ross Shanley Gallery—many of whom have been integral to the Center's development: Donald Sultan, Michael Mazur, Helen Frankenthaler, Gabor Peterdi, Robert Andrew Parker and Robert Cottingham, among others
It is wonderful to see exhibiting artists from the past twenty years brought together to celebrate the art of printmaking at this show. An extraordinarily powerful image, Donald Sultan's Yellow Poppies September 12, 2013 is an eight–color screenprint with flocking, on loan to the Center by Mary Ryan Gallery. Sultan was the first artist selected to create a limited edition print for CCP's Edition Club—now an annual fundraiser at the Center.
The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has loaned three of her prints for the exhibition. The eponymous Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage—home to the Center's Artist-in-Residence program— was supported early on by the generosity of Frankenthaler who donated printing presses and other material support to CCP and was a member of its Advisory Board. Gabor Peterdi Studio has loaned an early work showing Peterdi's signature small moveable intaglio plates and the Dremel drill as a drawing tool; and, Still Life in Germany (1946), a rare pure line engraving. Michael Mazur 's monotype portrait of Peterdi at work is also on loan. Mazur had been a student of his at Yale and a lifelong friend. Peterdi lived and worked in Norwalk (Rowayton) for fifty years and had been an early advisor to Grace Shanley. Coincidentally, the 20th Retrospective brackets Peterdi's 100th birthday.
About the Center
The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the art of the print: intaglio, lithography, monotype, silkscreen, woodblock printing, paperworks, book arts, and digital arts. Housed in a 19th–century stone carriage house, this 5,000–square–foot historical landmark is located at 299 West Avenue in Mathews Park, Norwalk, Connecticut. The CCP gallery and offices are open Tuesday–Sunday, 9 am–5 pm. Closed Monday. Grace Ross Shanley Gallery features acclaimed juried exhibitions throughout the year and is handicapped accessible.
The CCP curriculum includes over 75 printmaking workshops per year. Artists who participate in the Artist-in-Residence Program have the opportunity to live and work in Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage close to the main building. Edition printing is offered by the CCP master printer and an associate printer on staff. For more information, please call 203-899-7999 or visit