A Newtown woman and her delicious holiday lighthouse are vying for the $1,500 grand prize in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 13th annual Festival of Lighthouses Contest. Donna Kern Ball’s “Gingerbread Man Kind” is among the 24 creative handmade entries in the holiday display, which will be open daily through January 19 in the popular Connecticut family attraction.
The lighthouses were built by local artists looking for a challenge, by families who wanted to work together on a fun project, and by students fulfilling a school assignment.
On October 19, Zoar Ridge Stables hosted 27 children who were participating in Embrace Hope’s “It’s a Beautiful World” photography workshop. They were met by four photographers — Debra Marafiote, Jens Haulund, Darrel Harrington and Danielle Amato — who gave them tips on taking an interesting photo. Armed with cameras and a new knowledge of light, angle and perspective, the children ventured out onto the Sandy Hook farm to capture anything that inspired them. The hope by organizers of the project is to remind not only the participants, but also everyone who views the photos, that the everyday world is full of splendor if one just takes the time to see it. A collection of photos that were created that day are now on exhibit at C.H. Booth Library. The public is invited to view the collection, which will remain in The Olga Knoepke Meeting Room until December 12.
The December meeting of the Genealogy Club of Newtown will double as the club’s annual Christmas party. The meeting and party will be held on Sunday, December 7, at Ridgefield Recreation Center. All are welcome. The meeting’s theme will be “Genealogy Ideas For Fun Holiday Activities.” There will be a raffle tickets to all members with a grand prize of a one-year year membership to New England Historic Genealogical Society, gifts, and plenty of refreshments and conversations.
The Sound Center for Music, Creative Arts and Mindfulness, in the historic renovated chapel at 31 Hawleyville Road, invites the public to usher in the holidays with a month of opportunities to relax, rejuvenate, and celebrate. On Sunday, December 7, an IAM Meditation Technique Workshop will begin at 11 am. Then from 2 to 4:30 pm, an open house will feature an herbal skincare party and holiday mini reiki sessions, by donation. A holiday boutique will offer local products, cards, art, ornaments, and more.
Local curator Rosemary Rau would like readers to know of two special events taking place within the next week. A pop-up show featuring works by five members of The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown will be presented at Barnwood Grill, December 3-6. Then on Monday, December 8, Mrs Rau and Avancé Esthétiques Day Spa owner Melanie Allen will co-host Gentlemen’s Evening of Holiday Shopping for Her.
One of many tangible signs of support sent to Newtown after 12/14 was a quilt made by students at St Hillary Catholic School in Fairlawn, Ohio, and sent to a school in New Jersey to show their support for children affected by 9/11. It was called the Comfort Quilt, and over 11 years the quilt traveled to six schools affected by natural disasters or gun violence, before arriving in Newtown in 2013. In September 2014 town officials realized that the Comfort Quilt was missing from its vast collection, either taken purposely from its Municipal Center display, or through error. The Comfort Quilt has not yet been returned, despite numerous pleas from town officials and archivists. Rather than break the circle of love for communities dealing with adversity, community residents Suzanne Davenport and Jan Brookes will give Newtown children an opportunity to pay it forward on Saturday, December 6, by coordinating a community effort to make another Comfort Quilt.
In advance of the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, musicians, celebrities and influential organizations are donating special items and experiences to benefit Sandy Hook Promise, in partnership with the luxury charity auction website CharityBuzz. The auction has opened, and will continue to accept bids through Thursday, December 18.
On Saturday, December 20, at 7 pm, Quiet Life will headline the ninth show in Newtown’s Live at the Edmond Town Hall series. Sparks flew when Quiet Life — Sean W. Spellman, Ryan Spellman, Thor Robert Jensen, and Philippe Bronchtein — formed in New London, where New England meets the Sound. The band has since toured with Dr Dog, Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, The Head and The Heart. Opening on December 20 will be The Korey Brodsky Band, based in Newtown.
The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown will welcome the internationally acclaimed artist Frank Bruckmann, who will demonstrate his process of painting a landscape in oil on Wednesday, December 3. Mr Bruckmann’s program will begin at 1:30 pm in the lower level of Newtown Meeting House. It is open to the public, free of charge.
The Newtown Arts Festival Artwork Selection Committee invites regional artists to submit artwork for consideration for the 2015 Newtown Arts Festival. The winning artist will receive $750 and the winning submission will be used to promote the 2015 Newtown Arts Festival. The festival is a Newtown Cultural Arts Commission event.