Bridgeport's HamletHub Mon, 06 Feb 2023 23:43:27 -0500 DEEP Launches Free Swimming Lesson Program in Partnership with Connecticut YMCAs


Qualifying children to benefit from federal funds at 14 YMCA locations, program part of DEEP initiative to make outdoor recreation more accessible and inclusive to residents in 2023

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) Commissioner Katie Dykes joined U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05), local and state elected officials, and YMCA leaders today to announce $1.5 million to fund free swimming lessons to qualifying children. The partnership with the YMCA will enable 14 participating YMCA pools in the state to offer lessons over the next three years.

The program, funded through federal American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) funds authorized by the Lamont Administration and State Legislature, is expected to serve 3,000 children each year. Children 17 or under, living in Qualified Census Tracts and/or receiving SNAP benefits, or recommended to the program, are eligible to register for the free swimming lessons at participating YMCAs. These lessons are one of numerous DEEP initiatives aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation activities in State Parks and Forests.

“Each year too many children’s lives are claimed from drowning,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “The Connecticut YMCA Free Swim Lessons Program will not only save lives, but also provide children with a fun recreational activity that will create a lifelong skill.”

“DEEP is committed to making outdoor recreation more inclusive and accessible, and we are thrilled to announce this amazing partnership with the YMCA, offering free swimming lessons to children in Connecticut,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Swimming is such an essential element to many great outdoor experiences. To offer this opportunity to kids statewide will introduce many of them to life-saving skills and is one step we can take to help prevent tragedy on the water. Drowning poses a particular threat to children in underserved communities, so we’re excited for kids to take advantage of this important program ahead of the traditional outdoor recreation season.”

“This grant from DEEP will allow over 2,500 children who may not have access to swim lessons to be able to participate and learn the importance of swimming and being safe around water,” said Jim O’Rourke, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Waterbury YMCA.

“Last session, when I was serving as co-chair of the Children’s Committee, we looked at causes of death for children in our state; I was saddened to learn drowning is a significant cause of death for young people, and it impacts children in inner cities, including Black and Hispanic children, more than the general population,” said State Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor. “It also impacts individuals in low-opportunity parts of our state more than the general population. At that time, we worked collaboratively to identify the best possible ways to prevent this, and educational opportunities for young children in our state were among them. It’s heartwarming to see that our state is following through on that.”

"As co-chair of the Committee on Children, and member of the Children's Water Safety Task Force, I am very grateful to the Commissioner and the Governor and Lt. Governor for recognizing the importance of water safety, and especially the need for lessons in low-income communities and communities of color,” said State Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire. “Swim lessons save children's lives, and cost and access should never be barriers to safety. I can think of no greater partners for this initiative than the YMCAs, and I thank them as well, for working with me since 2018 to help reduce barriers to access and save lives."

Connecticut is fortunate to have access to local pools, Long Island Sound, and many local lakes and ponds. However, access to swimming lessons is limited. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), more children ages 1-4 die from drowning in the United States than any other cause of death, and two children die every day from drowning. For children 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death.

Drowning death rates for Black people are 1.5 times higher than the rates for White people. Disparities are highest among Black children ages 5-9 (rates 2.6 times higher) and ages 10-14 (rates 3.6 times higher). In underserved communities, 79% of children who live in households with incomes less than $50,000 have no/low swimming ability. 

This Free Swim Lessons program is part of DEEP’s DEI in Parks Initiative for 2023, which focuses on improving access and inclusion in Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests. Additional DEI-related projects DEEP is pursuing as part of this initiative include:

  • Creating partnerships to provide internships in Connecticut State Parks, recognizing that in a study of Black employees in the National Park Service, 14 out of 15 interviewees mentioned an internship as their first introduction to State and National parks in general.
  • Improving our seasonal staff recruitment processes by:
  • Launching recruiting efforts months earlier than we have in the past;
  • Raising the seasonal salary pay range to $15-19/hour; and
  • Reaching out to DEI programs on college campuses to help promote seasonal job opportunities for 2023
  • Making DEI a priority in DEEP’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), the 5-year strategic plan for the state’s outdoor recreation resources and programs, by issuing surveys and collecting data to identify additional opportunities where DEEP can further invest in DEI-related improvements.
  • Providing additional youth group camping sites to provide children with opportunities for a positive outdoor experience.

List of YMCA locations participating in the Free Swim Lessons program:


]]> (CT DEEP) Charities Fri, 03 Feb 2023 12:14:25 -0500
FC Buzz Weekend of Art and Culture Includes Make It Funky – Celebrating the Music of Black America at The Bijou Theatre

FC Buzz Weekend February 3 – February 5

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to Elevate Arts and Culture in Fairfield County! Each week, look for a listing of weekend events and activities. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free eBuzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website.

Tangled Vine at The Palace Theatre, Stamford

Friday, February 3, 8:00 pm

Tangled Vine never fails to ignite a room! Composed of professional full-time musicians and  multi-winners of the “Best of the Gold Coast’s Highest Award for Total Votes since 2006. With a mix of classic and contemporary rock, soul, and rhythm & blues - from Janis Joplin to the Stones, Bruno Mars to Prince, Johnny Cash to Humble Pie - Tangled Vine delivers an irresistible performance.

Richard Thompson at SHU Community Theatre, Fairfield 

Friday, February 3, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Crowned “the finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix” by the Los Angeles Times, Richard Thompson is a legend who holds lifetime achievement awards from both the Americana Music Association and the BBC Awards. One of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” he has influenced and been covered by a diverse group of stellar musicians. His 19th album, 13 Rivers, features the fleet-fingered fretwork and poetic songwriting that leaves critics and fans breathless. 

“I Hate Hamlet” at Music Theatre of Connecticut, Norwalk

Friday, Feb 3, 8:00 pm, Saturday, Feb 4, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm, Sunday, Feb 5, 2:00 pm 

Don’t miss this hilarious play by Paul Rudnick! Andrew is a young, successful TV star who relocates to New York and rents a marvelous, gothic apartment. With his TV career in limbo, the actor is offered the opportunity to play Hamlet onstage, but there’s one problem: He hates Hamlet. Through Feb 19th.

Take Your Child to the Library Day at The Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield

Saturday, February 4, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 

Free, fun and fabulous activities for families all day long! Stop in to enjoy the activities, get a Library card, and explore all the wonders that the Ridgefield Library has to offer. The Library is an ideal place for children to play, discover, make friends and have fun. No registration necessary. Activities include Wild Things with We Grow Yoga @ 10:30 am and A Pokemon Token Tournament @ 3:00 pm. Plus, an all-day scavenger hunt & indoor storywalk featuring "A Library" by Nikki Giovanni.

Valentine’s Day Embroidery at Wilton Historical Society, Wilton

Saturday, February 4, 11:00 am

Design and embroider your own ‘Valentine’ muslin pillows to give to friends or family on the fourteenth. Museum Educator Catherine Lipper will discuss Valentine’s Day and its historical significance, in addition to the uses of embroidery in Colonial Times. At the end of the workshop, each participant will be given a heart-shaped sugar cookie to decorate and take home. Don’t miss out on this sweet celebration!

Oscar Nominated Film Festival at Avon Theatre, Stamford

Saturday, February 4 through March 12, 11:00 am

Starting this Saturday, with “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” and Sunday, with “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Stamford’s Avon Theatre brings you the Oscar Nominated Film Festival, showing every nominated film at 11am on Saturdays and Sundays through March 12.

43rd Annual Juried Photography Show Reception at Carriage Barn Art Center, New Canaan

Saturday, February 4, 4:00 - 6:00 pm 

View and celebrate professional, amateur and student photography whose work was selected by juror, Christina Zanetti, Director of the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City. The opening reception is free and open to the public.

The Tortoise and the Hare at SHU Community Theatre, Fairfield

Saturday, February 4, 7:00pm

The Lightwire Theater Co. presents a clever and modern twist on Aesop’s classic fable: “The Tortoise and the Hare.” With dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and the creative use of music from classical to pop, this production brings this tale into a new brilliant light.

Licata Glass Exhibit at The Greenwich Arts Council, Greenwich

Sunday, February 5, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Inspired by hikes throughout the Hudson Valley, David Licata’s body of work is made up of sculptural landscapes and moments frozen in time. By using traditional metalsmithing techniques while working with glass, Licata created visual conversations about strength, vanity and protection. His glass chain elements are meticulously connected link by link so that shadows, tones and colors come to life as light shines from different directions throughout the day.

A Rocky Road: The Struggle for Rights in America at Wilton Library

Sunday, February 5, 4:00 pm

You're invited to a Wilton Historical Society Scholarly Series with Dr. Camesha Scruggs, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, who will discuss the role of children and domestic workers as integral change agents in the Civil Rights Movement.

Make It Funky – Celebrating the Music of Black America at The Bijou Theatre, Bridgeport

Sunday, February 5, 8:00 pm

Funk It Up with Eugene Dobbs Nu-Cullers & The Bernadettes at this WPKN Black History Month event - high energy classic Motown, soul, funk, rock and reggae with tinges of jazz and blues, including music by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight & the Pips and many, many more. 

See these and discover hundreds more events on the FCBUZZ EVENTS page at Sign up for the Cultural Alliance eBuzz to receive top picks and spotlights each week in your inbox.

]]> (Lorie Lewis) Events Fri, 03 Feb 2023 09:46:27 -0500
Who should we believe? Punxsutawney Phil or Connecticut's own Beardsley Bart?

And on the other hand... after Pennsylvania’s world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter this morning after seeing his shadow, Connecticut's own weather-predicting Prairie Dog has a different weather outlook for the Nutmeg state.


Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have ‘Beardsley Bart?’ Beardsley Bart, Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog shared his weather forecast with a small gathering of his friends early this morning. This year, he did not see his shadow, revealing that Connecticut will enjoy an early spring.

“Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and when he came out this morning, he confirmed that he did not see his shadow,” explained Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “But every year, Beardsley Bart says that spring is coming eventually, and he has always been 100 percent correct.”

Dancho invites everyone to visit the Zoo throughout the cold weather, as that’s when many of the animals are most active. Animals who enjoy cold temperatures include the Amur leopards, Amur tiger, North American river otters, and Mexican grey and red wolves. 


]]> (Lisa Clair) Life Thu, 02 Feb 2023 06:59:57 -0500
CT Police Officers, companies, individuals, and sponsors across the state raise over $275,000 and counting for No Shave CT!

If you ran into a police officer in November, there may have been something different about them, BEARDS! Beginning on November 1st and running through December, more than 70 police departments across the state of Connecticut along with companies, universities and individuals put down their razors to team up with the Connecticut Cancer Foundation to help raise funds for their No Shave CT fundraiser. 

Presented by Schick, whose manufacturing facility is located in Milford and its parent company, Edgewell Personal Care, is headquartered in Shelton, CT, serves as an annual sponsor for the fundraiser.

Funds raised will benefit these five little ambassadors with life-changing support, along with many CT cancer patients, to help with critical everyday living expenses such a rent, utilities, food, and more.

Officers generally follow strict rules about facial hair, but these rules were relaxed through the end of November into December for some. The concept was to donate the money saved on shaving supplies to a good cause. The goal was to bring attention to the needs of CT cancer patients and the financial side effect of cancer.

Branford Fire Department, Groton Long Point PD and Wallingford PD were the three top fundraising teams!

The leader of the team, Lt. James Cifarelli of the Wallingford PD said, “While it feels good to be the top fundraising police team, what feels better is that knowing the money all the teams raised immediately helped local families and will continue to help the Connecticut Cancer Foundation accomplish their mission throughout the year," Eric O’Toole, President North America at Edgewell, said, “We’re so proud and grateful to have been a part of CCF’s 2023 No Shave CT campaign. Being a people-first organization, we strive to make a difference in the communities in which we operate. This annual event is one we’re passionate about and that truly has a meaningful impact on so many folks in Connecticut. We’re honored once again, to support and raise awareness for the cause.”

Jane Ellis, CCF Executive Director, said “Our valued friends at Schick along with the community across the state came together once again to support CT cancer patients! Here at CCF, we believe that no cancer patient should have to worry about a roof overhead, lights on or food on the table while battling cancer.

This amazing fundraiser will support this effort! My sincerest gratitude to all who participated!” Also supporting the cause were generous sponsors Pasta Vita, Liberty Bank, Colt, Executive Auto Group, iHeartMedia, Blueway Commons, River Lane, Whelen Engineering Co., NBC Universal, The Monkey Farm Cafe, Elyse Ryan Jewelry, SUPERMILL, CID, EMCOR and the Bridgeport Islanders.

The Connecticut Cancer Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1987 to provide financial assistance to CT cancer patients and their families and to fund cancer research.

To learn more go to

]]> (Jane Ellis) Charities Wed, 01 Feb 2023 11:41:59 -0500
Beardsley Bart the Prairie Dog to Offer Spring Prediction on February 2

Who needs Punxsutawney Phil when you have Beardsley Bart? Connecticut’s own Prognosticating Prairie Dog, Beardsley Bart will be making a sunrise appearance on Groundhog’s Day to share his weather forecast on Thursday, Feb. 2. Bart’s closest confidant and Prairie Dog Interpreter Gregg Dancho, director of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, will translate for Bart when the sun rises at 7:03 a.m. 

“Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and an eternal optimist,” explains Dancho. “He’s happy to greet the day and share his infallible predictions on the arrival of spring.”

Dancho will be on hand for interviews and photos on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave in Bridgeport. He can be found at the prairie dog “pop up” exhibit, where he will be watching for Beardsley Bart to pop up.


]]> (Lisa Clair) Life Mon, 30 Jan 2023 08:04:06 -0500
FC Buzz Weekend of Arts and Culture January 27-29

FC Buzz Weekend January 27 - January 29

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to Elevate Arts and Culture in Fairfield County! Each week, look for a listing of weekend events and activities. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free eBuzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website by our members.

Music on the Hill Cultural Drum & Fun at Music on the Hill, Wilton

Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29, 4:15 pm

Grab your family and friends to explore the wonderful world of music through drumming. Open to kids of all ages! Authentic instruments from Africa, Brazil and beyond will be on hand for the musical fanfare! Led by Master Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Kwame' Henry Jones. Located in Wilton at 531 Danbury Road.

The Gibson Brothers at StageOne of FTC, Fairfield

Friday, January 27, 7:45 pm

Winners of just about every bluegrass award there is, this group has one foot in acoustic music traditions and the other in the adventurous side of roots music. They blend close harmonies and agile picking with a melodic approach that incorporates elements of contemporary country and classic rock.

Paper-making at Sterling House Community Center, Stratford

Saturday, January 28, 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm

The Arts Alliance of Stratford invites you to a paper-making workshop that will explain how paper can be made from invasive species of plants and common weeds. The short presentation will be followed by a hands-on component where students can try pulling sheets of paper themselves. This process will be wet, so please wear appropriate clothing.

GCTYO Annual Concerto Competition at Pequot Library, Southport

Saturday, January 28, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

It's the year for strings with seven competition finalists featuring Principal Orchestra student musicians who play violin, viola, and cello from towns all over Connecticut competing for a $500 prize and the chance to perform as a soloist at the Spring Concert. 

Norwalk Symphony’s 11th Annual Concerto Competition at Norwalk City Hall

Saturday, January 28, 2:00 pm

It’s the Young Artists Concerto Competition for students 12-18 years of age! The winner will perform with the Norwalk Symphony on Sunday, March 26 at the ‘Music for All Ages’ concert. 

“Reclaimed Topographies” Exhibit at Heather Gaudio Fine Art, New Canaan

Saturday, January 28, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Come to an opening reception for Jessica Drenk, an artist known for creating eye-catching transformations with commonplace manufactured objects, such as pencils, books, PVC pipe, and even Q-tips. The artist's wall and floor sculptures and installations explore the effects of accumulation and aggregation through a labor-intensive process that recontextualizes the material to evoke natural phenomena.  

Circles Around The Sun at StageOne of FTC, Fairfield

Saturday, January 28, 7:45 pm

This tripping-instrumental quartet was certified authentic psychedelia before they ever appeared on record — by no less than the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. Guitarist Neal Casal started CATS with keyboard player Adam MacDougall, bassist Dan Horne and drummer Mark Levy after he was commissioned to create original intermission music for the Dead’s Fare Thee Well reunion shows in 2015. 

The Lords of 52nd Street at The Ridgefield Playhouse

Saturday, January 28, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Back after four previous sold-out shows, the Lords of 52nd street welcome you to another event! Best known for backing Billy Joel on many of his greatest hits and most memorable concerts, The Lords Of 52nd Street are more than sidemen, they are stars in their own right, and their massive musical contributions helped shape Billy Joel’s music into one of the best-selling and most beloved songbooks of the 21st century. Led by multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata, drummer/percussionist Liberty Devitto and guitarist Russell Javors, The Lords Of 52nd Street’s signature sounds can be heard on hits like “Only The Good Die Young,” “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" and many more!

Poet Ralph Nazareth at Stamford Unitarian Universalist Church

Sunday, January 29 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Head to Stamford for a Poetry Reading and Kick-off Talk for the PoemAlley Poetry Workshop with Stamford Poet Ralph Nazareth. Enjoy light beverages as Nazareth discusses several of his favorite poets, including James Wright, Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton, and Elizabeth Bishop. Ralph's talk is intended as a community “creative conversation” with participant engagement, so come to listen, learn, read and discuss.

John Dominick, Bass-Baritone at First Church Congregational, Fairfield

Sunday, January 29, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Immerse yourself in the bass-baritone sounds of John Dominick, performing music by Finzi, Ibert, Burleigh and Rachmaninov. Dominick has sung multiple engagements at Carnegie Hall, has been a soloist for New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, St, Petersburg Opera, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and more. John will be accompanied by Music in the Meetinghouse Artistic Director Frank Martignetti.

Linda Eder at The Ridgefield Playhouse

Sunday, January 29, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

One of the greatest voices of our time, best known for originating the role of Lucy in her Theater World Award-winning performance of Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde. A best-selling recording artist with fourteen solo albums to her credit, Eder brings a diverse repertoire spanning Broadway, Standards, Pop, Country, and Jazz. 

See these and discover hundreds more events on the FCBUZZ EVENTS page at Sign up for the Cultural Alliance eBuzz to receive top picks and spotlights each week in your inbox.

]]> (Lorie Lewis) Events Thu, 26 Jan 2023 06:43:57 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Bridgeport: Jaelah's Car Detailing Service

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT J.A.E.L.A.H's Car Detailing Service!

Four questions with Lonnie Montgomery, founder of J.A.E.L.A.H's Car Detailing Service.

Why did you start your business?

I started J.A.E.L.A.H.'S Auto Detailing because I have always enjoyed caring for my vehicle since I owned one at 21. Then I had children...and the mess they always make in the car had me working extra hard. I then realized there are so many that don't have time to clean there and bring it to car washes that don't clean thoroughly or do more damaging than helping to their vehicle.

What is your best-selling product/service?

My best and most popular service is interior detailing service.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

I use Chemical Guys, Home Depot, Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, and O'Rielly's.

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

I like to think that I have exceptional customer service. I love to have a rapport with my customers. The conversations are the best part of my business.

J.A.E.L.A.H's Car Detailing Service is located at 1539 Fairfield Ave. Visit J.A.E.L.A.H's Car Detailing Service online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!

]]> (Dan) Places Wed, 25 Jan 2023 03:51:00 -0500
Chelsea Tipton II To Lead "Third Turn" March 18 at The Klein

 The Greater Bridgeport Symphony will be showcasing sought-after guest conductor Chelsea Tipton II, an already well-known talent in our area as Pops Conductor for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, at The Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, CT on Saturday, March 18 at 8:00pm for their Third Turn

The show will feature Beethoven’s great “Symphony No. 7.” Its second movement “Allegretto” will be familiar to many as the dramatic backdrop to King George VI’s oration in the film, The King’s Speech, as well as many other movies. Acclaimed young cellist Sterling Elliott will perform the dazzling Dvořák “Cello Concerto” while “Global Warming,” a composition by award-winning composer Michael Abels, will round out the program.  Abels work has been featured in films such as Get Out, Nope, and more.  The piece was written in 1990 to describe the changes in the political climate of the world as Communism collapsed, but Abels says, “At the time of its premiere, ‘global warming’ was not the politically charge term it is today.  The piece was not written as a political statement, but its political message has inevitably deepened as climate change has evolved from theory into reality.”

Tipton is no stranger to GBS.  He conducted a memorable and Covid-safe outdoor concert in September of 2020 at Indian Ledge Park in Trumbull at the height of the Pandemic.  With a reduced number of musicians and an audience spread out over an acre, Tipton thrilled the crowd with the only full orchestra concert presented in our region at that time.  This concert paved the way for GBS’ successful online season in 2020-21.  GBS was one of only four of the 1,710 orchestras in the country to put forward a full-orchestra season of music during those difficult days.  Tipton returned to Bridgeport in September 2021, conducting GBS in a well-attended pops concert at Bridgeport’s Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater.  “I am so excited to work with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony again,” says Tipton.  “This will be my third visit with them, and we have a fantastic program to share with the community.  Sterling Elliot will be playing one of the greatest works ever written,  Dvořák’s ‘Cello Concerto,’ a true masterpiece admired for the beautiful orchestral music and the lyricism Dvořák gives to the cello.  Then we will close out the concert with the dramatic Beethoven ‘Symphony No. 7,’ a work filled with optimism and joy, despite the many challenges in his life.”

Tipton will also conduct a special concert with GBS featuring Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, with organ soloist Glen Segger, on Friday May 5, 2023 at St. Peter’s Church in Danbury.  Information on this event will be released shortly.

GBS has hosted conductor-candidates Eduardo Leandro (November 2021), Benjamin Hochman (November 2022) andChelsea Gallo (December 2022), as anticipation builds over the selection of a successor to the beloved Eric Jacobsen, who has led GBS since 2014.  GBS plans to announce the identity of its new Music Director at the final concert of the season,Godspeed Maestro Jacobsen, on April 8 at The Klein, which will be Eric Jacobsen’s farewell performance as Music Director. 

Tickets from $18.00 to $65.00 are available at, or by calling GBS at (203)576-0263.  Ticket buyers who have already attended two or more concerts this season will be eligible for a 15% discount.

]]> (Julie Lichtenstein ) Events Mon, 23 Jan 2023 10:03:36 -0500
Veterans and Their Families Can Find Support at Homes forthe Brave's Annex in Downtown Bridgeport

Homes for the Brave (HFTB) has announced the opening of its Annex location, a hub of valuable resources located in Downtown Bridgeport at One Lafayette Circle, Suite 100. The Annex is designed to provide a wide range of programs and services to Veterans and their family members in the Greater Bridgeport area.

This location offers a variety of services, including the Tony Cinquanta Veterans Service Center, the Training for Success Vocational and Educational Program, and the HFTB Clinical Program. These programs are designed to provide Veterans and their families with the support they need to achieve recovery, connection in their community, stable housing, and more. Services include case management, individual therapy, support groups, yoga, and more services are being added all the time.

Case management services are provided by HFTB staff and include education about available resources, assistance with housing searches, networking with potential landlords, homelessness prevention, advocacy with community health providers, acquiring necessary documentation for work, housing, or other goals, referrals for mental health/substance use treatment, guidance on problem-solving and decision making, teaching of life skills to support life transitions and home-based case management follow-up services to Veterans for up to 6 months for individuals exiting homelessness or who are at risk of losing their housing.

Also offered at the Annex is recovery-oriented mental health and substance use treatment provided by a licensed therapist and overseen by a licensed clinical psychologist, including individual therapies, group therapies, therapies with an emphasis on trauma, and client centered treatment for Veterans and their family members.

In addition to these services, the Annex employs a full-time vocational counselor who provides individualized support for any interested Veteran or family member, including assistance with creating a resume, job searching and job coaching, interview preparation, partnership with and referral to training programs, financial support to overcome employment barriers, computer skills training, and information about Veteran education benefits.

The Tony Cinquanta Veterans Service Center is an open-access drop-in center for any homeless or at-risk Veteran, open to all Veterans experiencing housing concerns. Programming is tailored to need and includes skills training like computer classes. Other services that are offered periodically include opportunities to interface with representatives from federal legislative offices, art therapy and creative writing workshops, walking groups, yoga, and access to therapy dogs and AA meetings.

Addressing basic needs is also an important aspect of the services offered at the Annex. HFTB ensures there is a stocked emergency food pantry on site, as well as access to education about nutrition, budgeting and referral to appropriate basic need resources in the Greater Bridgeport area.

HFTB CEO Vince Santilli stated, “We are proud to open our doors to Veterans and their families in the Greater Bridgeport area. The Annex is a vital resource for Veterans to access the support they need in order to achieve stability and independence in their lives. We look forward to serving our community and supporting our Veterans in any way possible.”

The goal of Homes for the Brave is to provide the housing and services necessary for homeless individuals, with an emphasis on Veterans, to meet their life goals safely as they learn, grow, recover, and join in the communities of their choice with confidence. The Annex is a vital resource for Veterans in the Greater Bridgeport area to access the support they need to achieve and maintain stability and independence in their lives.

HFTB invites all Veterans and their families to visit the Annex and take advantage of the programs and services available to them. For more information about Homes for the Brave and the programs and services offered at the Annex, please visit our website at or contact us at (203) 275-0600.



]]> (Mary Elizabeth (Mea) Allbert ) Charities Mon, 23 Jan 2023 09:59:31 -0500
FC Buzz Weekend of Art and Culture in Fairfield County January 20-22

FC Buzz Weekend January 20-22

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to Elevate Arts and Culture in Fairfield County! Each week, look for a listing of weekend events and activities. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free E-Buzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website by our members.

Spend a cold winter weekend surrounded by the warmth of arts and culture – the fire of music, the heat of theatre, the sizzle of dance. We’ve got it all for you!

Shadow at Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield

Friday, January 20, 5:30 pm

Witness the debut feature-length film by Australia’s internationally acclaimed Back to Back Theatre, a professional theatre company with an ensemble of actors with disabilities at its core. SHADOW is a darkly humorous 56-minute film based on Back to Back Theatre’s award-winning stage play THE SHADOW WHOSE PREY THE HUNTER BECOMES (2019), which was developed, in part, at the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA. Join the creators of SHADOW in a post-film moderated discussion with Cast member/Coauthor Simon Laherty, Director/Coauthor Bruce Gladwin, and Executive Producer Tim Stitz.

An Encaustic Journey” at The Meeting House, Ridgefield

Friday, January 20,  6:00 - 9:00 pm 

Celebrate local art as Art In Common presents a solo show by CAFC member Holli Levy. Holli's work combines encaustic paint, photography, and other mixed media elements. Join the celebration of Holli’s work!

Yacht Lobsters at StageOne FTC, Fairfield

Friday, January 20, 7:45 pm

Swing with the beat of the Yacht Lobsters’ big sound that recreates - and at times reimagines - the studio mastery of retro-rock icons like Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, and Hall & Oates. ​Their cool vibe is fused with stellar vocals, a full horn section, and unique elements of NOLA funk, classic rock and jazz improvisation.

Broadway’s Rock of Ages Band at The Ridgefield Playhouse

Friday, January 20, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

This show is a must see! Featuring the electrifying rock stars from the original Broadway cast – Tony Award nominated star, Constantine Maroulis – Vocals, Joel Hoekstra – Guitar, Tommy Kessler – Guitar, Winston Roye – Bass, Jonathan Ivie – Keyboards, Jon Weber– Drums, and Josephine Rose Roberts– Vocals.

Norwalk Film Festival at Wall Street Theater, Norwalk

Friday January 20 through Sunday January 22

Starting Friday night at 7pm with an opening night celebration party at Spacecat Brewing Company, the Norwalk Film Festival features film screenings, panel discussions, award presentations, and more. The festival continues on Saturday from 10 am - 10 pm and Sunday 1-9 pm at Wall Street Theater.

Easton Arts Council 2023 Members Show at Easton Public Library

Saturday, January 21, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, 

Meet area artists, take in local art work, and socialize as you celebrate art at an opening reception for the Members Show with free live music and refreshments. 

“moments” at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield

Saturday, January 21, 7:00 pm

Take in a multi-faceted performance piece of dance, music, and art by Ali Kenner Brodsky. This performance has been in development for the past five years, and it explores memory, loss, and love. Unfolding through subtle gestural movement and emotionally evocative music, the piece evokes memories of past relationships, the longing for a closeness once felt, and the challenge of how to move forward through grief. 

Buffalo Rose at Voices Cafe, Westport

Saturday, January 21, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Settle in for a warm winter evening with one of the hottest modern folk/Americana bands. A wildly charismatic six-piece modern folk/Americana band from Pittsburgh, this band takes the singer-songwriter tradition to a new level by crafting original songs that are emotive and inspired by a world of influences.

Mary Cassatt: American Tastemaker at The Flinn Gallery, Greenwich

Sunday, January 22, 2:00 pm

The Greenwich Library welcomes Laura D. Corey, Ph.D. from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first Pat Reeves Annual Flinn Legacy Lecture. Dr. Corey has published and lectured extensively both in the U.S. and abroad on the topic of Mary Cassatt's career as an advisor to American collectors. Best known as an Impressionist painter and printmaker, Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) was also a prolific art advisor who had a hand in exporting over a thousand works of art from Europe to the United States.

ARTalk at The Ridgefield Library

Sunday, January 22, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Join Dmitri Wave Wright, a contemporary painter who embraces an American Impressionist philosophy, for a brief overview of Impressionism as a radical art movement that began in Europe in the late 1880. Wright teaches classes, conducts workshops and has led tours in the U.S. and abroad, and is the Master Artist/Instructor for Weir Farm National Historical Park, the only park in the U.S. dedicated to American Impressionism. His work is housed in many museum and corporate collections.

The Petty-Drayton Music Program at The Norwalk Art Space

Sunday, January 22, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

It’s a kick-off event for the new music program directed by INTEMPO! Enjoy a free music performance featuring student performances with world renowned multi-instrumentalist Charley Drayton and an introduction to the program by Bernard Drayton and Adria Petty. 

See these and discover hundreds more events on the FCBUZZ EVENTS page at Sign up for the Cultural Alliance eBuzz to receive top picks and spotlights each week in your inbox.

]]> (Lorie Lewis) Events Thu, 19 Jan 2023 07:07:33 -0500
Fairfield County Bank Coat Drive Now Through January 25!

Fairfield County Bank’s 17 branch office locations is collecting new and gently used winter coats for children in Fairfield County, benefitting Clothes to Kids of Fairfield County and the Connecticut Institute For Communities’ (CIFC) Early Learning Programs in Danbury. The drive will run from January 9—January 25, 2023.

Clothes to Kids of Fairfield County envisions a community in which every school-age child has quality clothing so that they may attend school with the confidence and self-esteem needed to achieve academic success. It is their mission to provide new and quality used clothing to low-income or in-crisis school age children in Fairfield County. New or gently used winter coats for children in Kindergarten—12th grade will be collected for Clothes to Kids of Fairfield County.

CIFC is a locally based independent, non-profit whose mission is dedicated to advancing our communities and fostering greater opportunities for low- and moderate-income families through a combination of health and education programs, and housing and economic development projects. New or gently used coats for children ranging from 6 months to 7 years old will be collected for CIFC’s Early Learning Program.

Anyone that would like to donate a new or gently used children’s winter coat can drop them off at a local Fairfield County Bank branch. For more information on the drive, please visit

]]> (Jillian Fernandez) Charities Mon, 16 Jan 2023 12:12:07 -0500
FC Buzz MLK Weekend Lineup of Arts and Culture in Fairfield County

FC Buzz MLK Weekend January 13-16

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to Elevate Arts and Culture in Fairfield County! Each week, look for a listing of weekend events and activities. The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free E-Buzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website by our members.

It’s a long weekend and we have lots of Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations on tap for Monday. There are also art openings, artist talks, comedy, and music ready for you to enjoy all weekend. So, explore your way into the new year with any or all of the following events:

“The Folding Chair Collective” at The NEST Arts Factory, Bridgeport

Friday, January 13, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Pop in for a pop-up art event with live music and refreshments in the upstairs gallery of the NEST. This collection of chairs responds to the call by former Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm: "If they don't give you a place at the table, bring a folding chair." Works by chair artists from CT, RI, NY, PA and the NEST artists with 2D and 3D wall hung art curated by Jane Fleischner.

 “LaughTrax: HNH Comedy with Olga Namer” at the Palace Theatre, Stamford

Friday, January 13, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Enjoy a night full of comedy from local area comics, hosted by Olga Namer, a New York based stand-up comedian and actress. Inspired by Sarah Silverman and Larry David, Olga brings her unique point of view of life to her comedy that has been described as “funny, honest, authentic, and sarcastic.”

 “Anything Goes” Exhibit Opening Reception at The Ridgefield Guild of Artists

Saturday, January 14, 4:00 - 6:00 pm 

Join the Guild for an opening reception for the first exhibition of the new year. Come to their members-only show with the theme Anything Goes, from the tried and true to something new. On view through Feb 12th. 

New Members 2023 Exhibit at Silvermine Galleries, New Canaan

Saturday, January 14, 2:00 - 4:00 pm 

Silvermine Arts Center welcomes 26 new members into its historic Guild of Artists, with this exhibition presenting innovative work in a variety of mediums and styles. Engage with the newest Silvermine artist members and learn about their works.

Floyd Nation: A Pink Floyd Experience at The Palace Theatre, Stamford

Saturday, January 14, 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Come rock with a U.S. based Pink Floyd Tribute Band that performs all of your favorite hits from the vast collection of Pink Floyd albums such as The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. You’ll be immersed in sound, lights and lasers as they take you on an epic journey, bringing back your best memories of some of the most iconic music ever produced. 

The Immediate Family at The Ridgefield Playhouse

Saturday, January 14, 8:00 - 10:00 pm 

Get ready to roll with the music of a rock and roll band composed of four of the most recorded, respected and sought-after players in modern music: Danny Kortchmar (guitar and vocals), Waddy Wachtel (guitar and vocals), Leland Sklar (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums) and the addition of prominent touring, session guitarist and songwriter Steve Postell (guitar and vocals). Frequent collaborators both in the studio and on-stage, their work can be heard on albums from Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, and many more.

Layers Revealed." at The Norwalk Art Space

Sunday, January 15, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Come hear an Artist Talk with professional photographer and Korry Fellow Jerri Graham plus Melissa Newman and Tim Holstrom. Thye will discuss their current exhibition "Layers Revealed" with moderator David Green, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. 

17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at Westport Country Playhouse

Sunday, January 15, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

It’s an afternoon of celebration and reflection honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westport’s celebration has been extended to three days and will culminate in a keynote address by author, creative artist, filmmaker, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist Junauda Petrus. Petrus’ work centers around Black wildness, laughter, futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle, and shimmer. Copies of her book The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, will be available for purchase on-site, with Petrus signing copies after her address. The program will also include a dance performance by students from Regional Center for the Arts.

Community Day: All Together Now at the Fairfield Museum

Monday, January 16, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by joining local author, illustrator, and Cultural Alliance member Lizzy Rockwell for a special celebration of joy, friendship, and community action, inspired by her book The All-Together Quilt (winner of the 2021 Connecticut Book Award). Enjoy hands-on activities such as designing a paper quilt block, hand sewing with felt, and a quilting bee. Visitors can also explore the new exhibition “The Social History of Quilts.”

Connect-Us: Bridgeport Has A Dream at Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport

Monday, January 16, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

All are invited to a free, youth-led cultural celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sponsored by Connect-Us. This show features 100 performers made up of a multi-racial, multi-generational cast. Through song, rap, dance, and poetry, they will pay tribute to Dr. King and celebrate his life.

See these and discover hundreds more events on the FCBUZZ EVENTS page at Sign up for the Cultural Alliance eBuzz to receive top picks and spotlights each week in your inbox.

]]> (Lorie Lewis) Events Fri, 13 Jan 2023 09:29:00 -0500
The Maritime Aquarium to Hold Teacher Appreciation Weekend

Ahead of International Day of Education on Tuesday, Jan. 24, The Maritime Aquarium is holding “Teacher Appreciation Weekend” to thank teachers for all that they do for their students. On Saturday, Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 22, teachers and one guest will receive free admission to the aquarium and a 4D movie.

“Our goal is for every teacher in the region to see The Maritime Aquarium and Long Island Sound as true extensions of their classroom,” said Vice President of Education Tom Naiman. “Teachers are among the unsung heroes of the last few years and supporting their efforts is an important part of our mission. We look forward to sharing all of the opportunities and resources we can provide with longtime partners and new friends during Teacher Appreciation Weekend.”  

Tables will be set up in Newman’s Own Hall highlighting programs for elementary, middle and high school students including A Way We Grow, Power of Plankton, Sound Resilience, and Crustaceans and Climate Change. At the tables, teachers can sample interactive activities and discuss how programs support Next Generation Science Standards with knowledgeable members of the aquarium’s education team.

In addition to program information, aquarium educators will have information about financial assistance teachers can take back to their respective schools.

All teachers are welcome at the event with valid identification at check-in. Pre-registration is encouraged. Those who pre-register by Thursday, Jan. 19, will receive a complimentary small coffee, soda, water, or hot chocolate from Sound Bites Café.

The inclement weather dates for this event are Saturday, Jan. 28, and Sunday, Jan. 29. For more information, visit


]]> (Emily Lavin) Places Thu, 12 Jan 2023 12:23:44 -0500
Free Oral Screenings and Presentations at Homes for the Brave Annex

Homes for the Brave is pleased to announce that The University of Bridgeport's Fones School of Dental Hygiene will be offering free oral screenings and oral care/health presentations at the Homes for the Brave Annex in downtown Bridgeport. These events will take place on the following dates:

January 10, 2023 - 1:15 pm - 4:00 pm

February 7, 2023 - 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

March 7, 2023 - 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

April 11, 2023 - 1:15 pm - 4:00 pm

The Homes for the Brave Annex is located at One Lafayette Circle, Bridgeport, CT 06604. These events are open to the public and no appointments are necessary. We encourage members of the community to take advantage of this opportunity and join us at the Homes for the Brave Annex on the dates listed above.

"At the Fones School of Dental Hygiene, we believe that everyone deserves access to quality oral healthcare, and we are proud to partner with Homes for the Brave to bring these services to the community," said Bianca Palumbo, Assistant Professor of the Fones School of Dental Hygiene. "We are committed to educating individuals about the importance of maintaining good oral health and addressing any concerns they may have. We look forward to working with Homes for the Brave and making a positive difference in the lives of those they serve."

The Fones School of Dental Hygiene is committed to providing accessible oral healthcare to the community. These free screenings and presentations are an excellent opportunity for individuals to receive valuable information about maintaining good oral health and to have any concerns addressed by skilled professionals.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Bridgeport's Fones School of Dental Hygiene to provide these important oral healthcare services to our community. The team at the Fones School is dedicated to improving the oral health of individuals, and we are grateful for their expertise and commitment to our mission at Homes for the Brave. Together, we hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve." said Vince Santilli, CEO of Homes for the Brave.

The mission of Homes for the Brave (HFTB) is, with an emphasis on Veterans, to provide the housing and services necessary for individuals experiencing homelessness to return to a productive and meaningful life. HFTB has served over 1,500 individuals while engaging with hundreds of volunteers and local organizations to craft an ever-expanding network of support. We strive to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for the community by providing innovative, comprehensive, and compassionate programs that demonstrate our dedication to our Veterans. For more information visit

]]> (Mary Elizabeth (Mea) Allbert ) Charities Tue, 10 Jan 2023 07:17:54 -0500
Fairfield Retailer Sells $2,000,000 Prize-Winning Powerball® Ticket for January 4 Drawing

While no one hit the Powerball jackpot for the Wednesday, Jan. 4, drawing, the Connecticut Lottery reports that one lucky layer matched the first five numbers drawn and won $2,000,000 on a winning ticket purchased at Cumberland Farms #4740 at 1101 Post Road in Fairfield.

"Because the winning ticketholder added the Power Play option to their ticket, the normal prize of $1,000,000 was automatically doubled to $2,000,000," according to the CT Lottery.

Players for the January 4 drawing have 180 calendar days, or until July 3, 2023, to claim their winning tickets.

Read more on the CT Lottery website here.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Fri, 06 Jan 2023 11:20:35 -0500