The Newtown Arts Festival has issued a Call to Artists for its 2014 event. Now in its third year, the festival has attracted an average of 4,000 visitors each of its first two years. Set for September 13-14, the festival takes place on the Fairfield Hills campus. The festival is juried in order to ensure success by limiting the number of booths per category and to maintain the arts festival goals, according to the application. Organizers look for handmade, original, unique and creative work and talents.
The Newtown Parent Connection, Inc., in partnership with Brookfield CARES, announces the return of its popular, parent education day Parent Empowerment University (PEU). This year’s sessions will be offered Saturday, March 22, at Newtown Middle School. PEU is offered to parents and caregivers who wish to be proactive and learn positive parenting strengths for raising children of all ages. This year’s keynote speaker is Jane Nelsen, EdD, LMFT, noted author and accomplished educator in the field of Positive Discipline. Her topic is “How to Empower Your Children and Yourselves!” Among the guest speakers this year are Mary Ronan, Maggie Ronan Gavin and Charlie Manos; additional speakers and their topics will be announced.
The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and honors and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Milford will be home of one of those playgrounds. To be located at 150 Gulf Street, it will be built this month in memory of 6-year-old James Mattioli. Volunteers are sought to help build the playground, and runners are sought for a 5K fundraiser planned for the morning of the playground's ribbon cutting.
Lingering snow may be on the ground with more in the forecast, and many are counting down the days until the beginning of spring, but Marie Athans is already thinking about summer. She hopes residents interested in hosting an inner city child for a week or two will join her on March 20, the first day of spring, for a Fresh Air Fund Day Get-Together at Franco’s Pizza & Pasta to learn more about the nonprofit organization that provides the free summer vacation to the city children that will “introduce them to the joys of country life,” states a recent release. The get-together will be between 4 and 6 pm, with free pizza and surprises for children.
The Working Women’s Forum, an association of local professionals and entrepreneurs, will feature “Refining Your Public Speaking: Deliver Your Message Effectively” with Newtown resident and IT professional Alenda Calderbank on Wednesday, March 12, at The Villa Restaurant. Networking and light dinner begin at 6 pm, followed by the guest speaker. Many people find public speaking to be daunting, and have been discouraged from pursuing opportunities in order to avoid it, according to Ms Calderbank, a member of Toastmasters since 2005. In her talk, she will describe ways to get comfortable speaking before a group.
Boy Scout Troop 270, which is sponsored by Newtown Congregational Church, awarded the rank of Eagle Scout to 11 of its troop members in 2013, setting a new troop record. The young men who achieved this rank during the past 12 months are Daniel Ansari, Jack Benedict, Sam Boland, Tyler Coleman, Chris Erikson, Nicholas Lafky, Karan Marwah, Matt Rosa, Henry Summ, Brandon Unger, and Jonathan Vaughn. The previous record was six Eagle Scouts in one year, which was set in 2012.
The Newtown Foundation, a group formed post-12/14 focus on education, healing and cultural programs, has a number of events coming up in the next weeks.
Youth wishing to take part in the Spring PeaceJam at the University of Connecticut should contact the foundation no later than March 7 to register; adult chaperones are also needed. The foundation will benefit from a 24-hour online fundraising event through Fairfield County Community Foundation. It will also see a sculptural installation donated by Susan Woods, travel to Washington DC for a temporary exhibition.
When The Low Anthem last graced the stage at Edmond Town Hall, in June 2011, the Live at ETH series was a fledgling newborn, and the band had just released its second album, "Smart Flesh." Since that release, the band has headlined major festivals the world over, and played shows with fellow acclaimed artists like Iron and Wine, The National, Emmylou Harris, The Chieftains, Grandaddy and Bruce Springsteen. They have appeared multiple times on late night TV, won MOJO magazine’s Breakthrough Award, and Esquire just spotlighted them in a piece entitled “15 Bands to Watch in 2014,” and their newest album is about to be released. The band will return to Newtown for its next Live at ETH show on Friday, April 11. Mark Barden and Alternate Universe will open.
“A Different Artist, A Different Day” will be the theme of the HealingNewtown Summer Art Camp. Set to be held at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, the camp will be offered July 7-11 for ages 7-11 and July 14-18 for ages 12-15. Sessions will run from 10 am to 1 pm each day, and will focus on a specific artist and project. Working with HealingNewtown Director Valerie Culbertson will be Danielle Estrella, a Dean’s List art therapy major with a painting minor from Marywood University, Pennsylvania.
St Rose of Lima School is pleased to announce that acclaimed speaker, writer and peak performance coach Rex Crain will be hosting a community session on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 pm. The program, “Life Lift: Where the impossible becomes possible,” will be in the Monsignor Weiss Gathering Hall at St Rose of Lima School. All Newtown adults are invited to the free program.