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Avielle Foundation Celebrates New Home

Published: August 11, 2018 at 12:00 am


The ribbon flies as Jennifer Hensel, co-founder of The Avielle Foundation, and Dr Jeremy Richman, co-founder and CEO of The Avielle Foundation, snip through it in celebration of the organization's move into space in Edmond Town Hall. Joining Ms…
The ribbon flies as Jennifer Hensel, co-founder of The Avielle Foundation, and Dr Jeremy Richman, co-founder and CEO of The Avielle Foundation, snip through it in celebration of the organization's move into space in Edmond Town Hall. Joining Ms Hensel and Dr Richman at the August 8 ribbon cutting are, from left, Bryan Roth, Edward Jones and Newtown Chamber of Commerce; Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal; Abbie Fricker, director of synergy; (Ms Hensel and Dr Richman); and Nick Hoffman, development director of The Avielle Foundation. -Bee Photo, Bobowick

Fluttering briefly on a humid summer day was a ribbon strung between pillars at the Edmond Town Hall. Slicing through it during a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 8 was Jeremy G. Richman, PhD, Founder and CEO of the Avielle Foundation, which has recently moved into its new home in a suite just off the building's main lobby.

Dr Richman said the former town clerk's suite has "turned into great space" for the Avielle Foundation.

"We really wanted to move in," and the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers "really wanted us," he said. The location "is ideal in the iconic Newtown Main Street building. The foundation's origins are tragically Newtown; it's a good place for us to be."

The space just off the main lobby now has fresh paint, new carpet, and a few other upgrades.

Leaving their former, much smaller space in Fairfield Hills in a duplex occupied by Parent Connection, the Avielle Foundation will make the most of the larger area in a building where some of its activities already take place, such as Brainstorm Experience.

As stated on the foundation's website,, "The Brainstorm Experience is an ongoing series of talks, workshops, and activities designed to engage communities, foster brain health, and end the stigma associated with brain illnesses. These experiences enhance our understanding of the strengths and vulnerabilities of our most important organ, the brain, and feature brain health experts, activists, celebrities, and storytellers." The next event is August 24, from 7 to 9 pm at the Edmond Town Hall. Tickets are $15 online until 5 pm the day of the show and $20 at the door. For group purchase or discount code for brain health professionals, educators, first responder or medical professionals, e-mail Visit the website to see the Brainstorm events schedule.

The new Main Street location will gain them visibility.

"We will get a lot of foot traffic and people walking by might stop in," said Dr Richman. "We will have a lot of access to people that we did not have in the past. We can advertise events," he added.

The new space will also be used for training in areas such as brain health first aid, for group meetings and program implementation, board meetings, and intern meetings, he said.

The foundation explores "a lot of basic neuro science and psychology and risk factors and what do we know and not know with regard to violence and compassion," Dr Richman said.
More space will allow for expansion.

"We have large army of interns, and a large majority are Newtown people, and we wanted a space for them to work." Regarding the younger interns, "I wanted them to have computer access."

Learn more about the Avielle Foundation and its mission "to prevent violence and build compassion through neuroscience research, community engagement, and education," at

Edmond Town Hall Operations Manager Sheila Torres said the foundation's renovated space is "really beautiful; they have built a new home here."

She said, "I think this will be beneficial for them because some programming takes place in the theater, and they have launched programs that run here."

Ms Torres is pleased to have new tenants in the building, she said. "This space here in front of the building is a great space." The foundation "is a great organization to be here in our building."

The space was previously occupied by town historian Dan Cruson and also served the Borough of Newtown.

The Borough offices have relocated to the former Probate office suite, just down the hall, Ms Torres said.

Mr Cruson has relocated to the Newtown Municipal Center.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2