Music, Crafts, Art And Healing End The Year At HealingNewtown Holiday Party

Photo: Kendra Bobowick

Tim Walsh, perched on stilts and juggling while towering above the crowd Sunday, December 22, entertained children during HealingNewtown’s Holiday Party at Newtown Congregational Church hall. A Bethel resident, Mr Walsh joined Newtown Juggling & Circus Arts Club that day.

Rock and roll sounds from Quicksand Planet and Ursuland bands kept the room jumping Sunday, December 22 during the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission & HealingNewtown Holiday Party.

Newtown Congregational Church’s Great Room was filled with festivities for families and children for four hours on Sunday, as the event beckoned guests, offering carols, Hearts of Hope, Newtown Juggling & Circus Arts Club performers, and arts and crafts table, circle of love, and more.

Famed sculptor Bill Covits donated a peace ice sculpture that drew children's attention in the parking lot.

Working hard to use an oversized marker to draw crafts was five-year-old Rusa Ellul. Behind her and hovering above the crowd on stilts was Tim Walsh, also juggling. Nearby and painting decorative hearts for Hearts of Hope was Amanda Poole of New York.

Also in attendance on Sunday was Valerie Culbertson, the new director of HealingNewtown.

“We wanted a festive event and a lot of people came and enjoyed themselves,” she said, glancing at the bustle of activity in the church hall. HealingNewtown, which operates under the umbrella of NCAC, has been operating out of the church since early July.

She hopes to resume programming in the new year, working with artists and musicians, etc, who offered their services to HealingNewtown.

“I want a collaborative endeavor between the audience and the artists,” she said. Ms Culbertson is also hoping for interactive programming with authors and poets in the new year. A variety of weekly workshops are on the horizon for 2014, including forums and bi-monthly programming and other functions, she hinted.

Considering her goals for the year, she said, “I would like structure in place. Sustainability is a goal.”

With her year-long, grant-funded part-time position as director, she has “much to do” in that time, she said.

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