Joining the charitable efforts emanating from Newtown to employ the performing arts as a healing mechanism in the wake of 12/14, The 12.14 Foundation announced this week the selection of platinum-selling country music singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery as its first National Ambassador. He will play an active role in promoting the foundation’s arts programming, supporting its fundraising efforts, and building awareness for the organization’s plans to build a world-class performing arts and education center in Newtown. McCreery will promote the foundation’s mission and fundraising efforts through personal appearances and social media. The 12.14 Foundation’s long-range goal is to build a landmark, multi-purpose performing arts and education center of historical significance in Newtown as a beacon of hope and positive change for use by and to benefit people everywhere. Meanwhile, the foundation provides arts programming in other venues.
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 and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. Milford will be the location of one of those playgrounds, to be built in memory of James Mattioli. James was a 6-year old who was among the children killed on 12/14. His playground is scheduled to be built on March 15, with a ribbon cutting planned for March 22. That same morning, a 5K run/walk and kids fun run/obstacle course will be help to help cover the costs of the Milford playground.
Town Players of Newtown plan to offer four full productions and one limited run Black Box presentation for its 79th season. The season will open with "The Glass Menagerie" and continue with "I Hate Hamlet," have its Black Box offering of "Fully Committed," and then continue with "Lend Me A Tenor" in the fall and "A Christmas Carol" to close the season.
Broadway Records has announced the release of From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook on DVD (February 4), as a two-CD set, as two volumes digitally via iTunes (February 7), and on Blu-Ray (February 18). Broadway Records will donate 100% of its profits to support the Newtown-Sandy Hook community via The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. Beginning February 12, the 2-CD set and DVD will be available for purchase with combined discounts at Newtown/Sandy Hook area retailers, including Caraluzzi’s, The Toy Tree, Wishing Well, Down on Main Street, Queen Street Gifts & Treats, and Everything Newtown. The Blu-Ray will be available for purchase by February 24. The CD, DVD and Blu-Ray can also be purchased on Amazon.com. Additional retailers within Fairfield County are expected to join going forward.
The Town and Country Garden Club of Newtown is having Tovah Martin present a program titled “The Unexpected Houseplant” at 7 pm at Newtown Senior Center on Wednesday, February 12. Ms Martin is the author of many gardening books and is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in many publications throughout the country. She has also appeared on various television shows including Martha Stewart’s. In her presentation, Ms Martin will discuss houseplants with panache and plants that are usually not associated with windowsills.
Paul Frucht wrote "Dawn" to honor the assistant principal at the middle school he attended, and who later became principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The work also honors the other 25 victims of 12/14, and their families, and will be part of the final concert by Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra members and Western Connecticut State University faculty. The concert will be performed Sunday, February 9, at Ives Concert Hall at WCSU.
Town Players of Newtown will host open auditions for "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams on Sunday and Tuesday, February 23 and 25, from 7 to 9 pm each night. Marla Manning will direct the production, which calls for two women and two men. Rehearsals will begin in early March, and performances are scheduled for weekends, April 25 to May 17.
Flagpole Photographers Camera Club has an open program and general meeting-photo competition planned for February. The group usually meets at Booth Library, but has moved both of its February programs to The Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hall while repairs continue at the town library. On Thursday, February 6, the club will be hosting a “Program Night,” featuring an overview of photography and camera basics. Two weeks later the club will host a general meeting, with members also invited to participate in a competition. Both programs begin at 7:30.
It was many years ago, but contralto singer / songwriter Sloan Wainwright and Newtown musician Cadence Carroll both have similar memories of how they met. Music lovers may recognize Sloan Wainwright as part of the Wainwright dynasty in pop and folk music which includes brother Loudon Wainwright III, neice Martha and nephew Rufus Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche of The Roches. She will be the headline guest February 8 when the Flagpole Radio Café returns to the Edmond Town Hall Theater. Carroll, who has been playing, singing and writing music all her life, and is now a music and drumming instructor, counted herself in her younger days as one of Sloan Wainwrights most enthusiastic followers.
The second annual Sandy Hook Run For Families will be held at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, March 29. The event will feature a 5K run/fitness walk, as well as a half-mile fun run for children ages 2-11. Newtown children ages 2-10 have been invited to draw a logo for the T-shirts that will be given to youth runners in March. Children are asked to draw a logo that is inspired by the race or conveys what their town means to them. Originally scheduled to close this week, the deadline for entries has been extended to Tuesday, February 4. Contest forms are available at the office of The Newtown Bee, at 5 Church Hill Road; and can be downloaded the race website.