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Celebrate Connecticut During A Statewide Open House



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Celebrate Connecticut During A Statewide Open House

By Shannon Hicks

More than 175 cultural organizations and tourism attractions throughout the state will open their doors to Connecticut residents, inviting them to discover and rediscover Connecticut’s fascinating world of art, history, and tourism with a variety of special visitor incentives on Saturday, June 10 — the 2nd Annual Connecticut Open House Day.

All ages can discover, or rediscover, tourism attractions and cultural organizations across the state with free or discounted admission and other special incentives just for Connecticut residents. Offerings vary by property.

“The overwhelming success of last year’s Connecticut Open House Day prompted us to offer this event again this year, with additional attractions that include many of our state’s farms and agricultural establishments,” said Jennifer Aniskovich, executive director of Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. “The event is the perfect opportunity for residents to see Connecticut on a tank of gas or less, and visit attractions for the first time or reacquaint themselves with a favorite treasure. This is a great day to rediscover Connecticut with the whole family.”

In addition, Connecticut Open House Day marks the second anniversary of the Connecticut Ambassador Program, a statewide initiative designed to instill pride in residents and encourage them to proudly share Connecticut’s treasures with visiting family and friends.

On Connecticut Open House Day, visitors can sign up to become a Connecticut ambassador at participating sites. They will receive a special Ambassador Kit to learn how to become advocates of all that is quintessentially Connecticut and be well-informed “tour guides.”

In our region, the following organizations have confirmed participation:

Abrash Galleries Rugs & Antiques, within Woodbury’s “Antiques Mile” at 40 Main Street North/Route 6 (263-2980), will offer ten percent discounts on all inventory and will be offering hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks;

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, at 258 Main Street in Ridgefield (203-438-4519; AldrichArt.org), will offer free admission all day. The museum is presenting five full exhibitions currently: “Killamanta Kutimusaq (To the Moon and Back,” with sculpture, collage, and video by Jennifer Zackin that were all inspired by her excursions to South America and the artist’s relationship with native Peruvians; “Mary Temple: Extended Afternoon,” a three-phase installation of trompe l’oeil paintings of light falling across interior and exterior walls, tracing light as it begins outside the museum, moves inside and through galleries bisecting space, and finding its way to the furthest reaches of the museum; “Homecoming — Sarah Bostwick: Cliffs and Crayons,” elegant three-dimensional drawings that reference architectural and landscape space, the first of three exhibits honoring artists who grew up in Ridgefield and were influenced by the Aldrich; “Homecoming — Damien Loeb: The Constructed Image,” realist paintings that appropriate images from popular culture and high art; “Homecoming — Doug Wada: Vehicle,” paintings that depict common, everyday objects on a one-to-one scale; and “Tom Burckhardt: Full Stop,” a full-scale replica of an artist’s studio made entirely of cardboard and black paint, filled with historical art references and windows that offer views of New York’s skyline;

The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street in Bridgeport (203-331-1104; Barnum-Museum.org, will have $1 off general admission between 1 and 4:30 pm. The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Grand Adventure: A Celebration of the American Spirit in Bridgeport,” is an in-depth exploration of Bridgeport’s 19th Century industrialization and urbanization with emphasis on P.T. Barnum’s role in the city’s growth, while the museum’s exhibitions also include a 1,000-square foot three-quarter-inch scale model of a five-ring circus hand carved by Meriden resident William Brinley, artifacts celebrating the famous American opera star Jenny Lind in a collection called “P.T. Barnum Presents The ‘Divine Jenny’ Lind,” and the museum’s oldest artifact, an Egyptian mummy named Pa-Ib that is more than 2,500 years old;

The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, 9 Main Street North in Bethlehem (203-266-7596), will offer free admission between 11 am and 4 pm;

Brookfield Craft Center, 286 Whisconier Road/Route 25 (775-4526; BrookfieldCraftCenter.org), is offering a free gallery poster and catalogs of its current class offerings;

Brookfield Museum & Historical Society, Route 25 at 133 in Brookfield Center (740-8140; BrookfieldCTHistory.org), will be open from noon to 4, hosting an open house and featuring the exhibition “The Brookfield Landscape: Past & Present”;

City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court in Bridgeport (203-334-7748; CityLightsGallery.com), will have a complimentary limited edition commemorative poster for all visitors;

The Connecticut Antique Machinery Association Museum, 31 Kent-Cornwall Road in Kent (860-927-0050; CTMachinery.com), will be open with free admission all day. The museum will also be hosting the 4th Annual Rock Swap & Sale from 9 am until 4 pm (rain date June 11), co-sponsored by CAMA and Danbury Mineralogical Society in front of The Connecticut Museum of Mining and Mineral Science on CAMA’s grounds (call 860-354-0296 for Rock Swap specifics);

Cornucopia at Oldfield, a bed-and-breakfast at 782 Main Street North (Route 6) in Southbury, will be offering tours of the property from noon until 4 pm, along with cookies and lemonade and $10 coupons good at any Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association member;

Glebe House & Gertrude Jekyll Garden, the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in the New World and the location of the only extant American garden planed by England’s most venerated garden designer, at 49 Hollow Road in Woodbury (263-2855; TheGlebeHouse.org), will be open free of admission fees all day (1 to 4 pm);

Gregory James Gallery, at 13 Main Street in New Milford (860-354-3436; GregoryJamesGallery.com), will be in the midst of presenting an exhibition with Roxbury Congregational Church and all visitors on June 10 will not only see the show but also receive a special gift and refreshments;

The Golden Age of Trucking Museum, 1101 Southford Road/Route 188 in Middlebury (203-577-2181; GoldenAgeTruckMuseum.com), open from 10 am until 2 pm, will offer free admission from 10 am until 2 pm (the museum is open until 4);

The Golden Pear at Grandview, a bed and breakfast at 111 Carmel Hill Road South in Bethlehem (203-266-7070; GoldenPearBB.com), will offer tours of the property and gardens, free cookies and lemonade, and $10 discount coupons valid at any member locations of Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association;

Goodwood Studio, 22 Olmstead Road in Redding (203-438-9147; GoodwoodStudio.com), will be open and visitors can watch an artwork in progress;

Gregory James Gallery, at 13 Main Street in New Milford (860-354-3436), will be preparing a joint venture representational art exhibit between the gallery at Roxbury Congregational Church, featuring local artists, a visitor sign-in book, a special gift for each visitor and an Ambassador Representative at the gallery;

House on The Hill, a bed-and-breakfast at 92 Woodlawn Terrace in Waterbury (203-757-9901), will also be open for tours, cookies, and lemonade between noon and 4 pm, and $10 discount coupons valid at any member locations of Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association;

Hummingbird Hill B&B, 891 Main Street South in Woodbury (telephone 263-3733), will offer tours, free refreshments and $10 discount coupons for use at any Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association member;

Open free of admission charges will be The Institute for American Indian Studies, at 38 Curtis Road in Washington (off Route 199 and Route 47; 860-868-0518; BirdStone.org). Current exhibitions include “Minerals of The Pomperaug River Valley,” with items from Southbury William J. Barrett, who has been collecting and studying minerals for more than 20 years. Artifacts from one of the first prehistoric sites documented in Litchfield County are also on view in “The Hopkins Archaeological Site,” as are original Native American-inspired watercolors and prints by the Connecticut artist and New York City native Joan La Rocca in “Bear Dancers” and pottery spanning more than 1,000 years of Southwestern development, focusing on Tewa and Keresan speaking peoples of Pueblo communities in New Mexico and Arizona, in “Southwestern Indian Pottery”;

From 1 to 4 pm, Keeler Tavern Museum, 132 Main Street in Ridgefield (203-438-5485; KeelerTavernMuseum.org), will offer free admission;

Litchfield History Society, 7 South Street (860-567-4501; LitchfieldHistoricalSociety.org), will waive admission fees all day — hours are 11 am to 5 pm;

Between 10 am and noon, visitors to Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven (203-787-4282; LongWharf.org), will get backstage access to the theater and the first 100 visitors will also receive free tickets to a performance of Late Night Catechism;

Longwood Country Inn, at 1204 Main Street South (Route 6) in Woodbury (266-0800), will also be one of the Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association properties participating, with tours of its property and gardens between noon and 4 pm, free refreshments and $10 discount coupons for use at any of the LHBBA properties;

The Mattatuck Museum, 144 West Main Street in Waterbury (203-753-0381; MattatuckMuseum.org), will also be open free of charge all day, 10 am to 5 pm;

In addition to being open from 10 am until 2 pm free of charge, New Milford Historical Society Museum, at 6 Aspetuck Avenue (860-354-3069; NMHistorical.org) will have a free walking tour at 10 starting at the town hall and ending at the museum. Having opened for the season on June 1, the museum is exhibiting “Picture Perfect: New Milford — The Art of Edith Wharton,” part of a collaborative visual arts program by the historical society, Gunn Historical Museum, Kent Historical Society, Litchfield Historical Society, Mattatuck Museum, Sharon Historical Society and Torrington Historical Society. The New Milford presentation offers a sampling of Wharton’s drawings, paintings and artifacts;

The Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury (203-755-4700; PalaceTheaterCT.org), will offer guided tours of the facility between 10 am and noon;

Quassy Amusement Park, on Route 64 in Middlebury (203-758-2913; Quassy.com), will have free all-day ride passes for the first 100 visitors who request an Open House Pass;

Free admission will be offered from noon to 4 pm at Shelton History Center, 70 Ripton Road (203-925-1803; SheltonHistoricalSociety.org);

Between 2 and 4 pm, visitors to Sherman Historical Society, 10 Route 37 Center in Sherman (860-354-3083; ShermanHistorical.org) can take a special tour of Old Store Museum and The David Northrop House of Local History, with refreshments offered as well, in addition to viewing part of “Images of Sherman,” a major undertaking by photographer Bruce Byers;

The Sloane-Stanley Museum and Kent Furnace, on Route 7 in Kent (860-927-3849), will waive admission fees all day and will be offering a special program on charcoal making and the operations of Kent Iron Furnace;

Stratford Antiques Center, an antiques co-op with 200 antiques and collectibles dealers at 400 Honeyspot Road in Stratford (378-7754; StratfordAntique.com), will be open 10 am to 5 pm and offering free refreshments;

Tapping Reeve House & Litchfield Law School, properties of Litchfield Historical Society located at 82 South Street, will be open 11 am to 5 pm and admission will be free;

Tucker Hill Inn, 96 Tucker Hill Road in Middlebury (203-758-8334; TuckerHillInn.com), will offer tours of the property and gardens, free cookies and lemonade, and give away $10 coupons valid at any member properties of Litchfield Hills Bed & Breakfast Association; and

Visitors to White Silo Farm & Winery, 32 Route 37 East in Sherman (860-355-0271; WhiteSiloWinery.com), will be offered a free glass of White Silo’s specialty Blackberry Sangria between 11 am and 5 pm.

For the most up-to-date listing of participating venues and other information, visit www.CTVisit.com.

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