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WCSU to honor Brookfield Native Tony Cirone at WestConn Society Breakfast

<p class="ql-align-center"><br></p><p>DANBURY, Connecticut — Tony Cirone, CPA, managing partner in <a href="https://cironefriedberg.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">CironeFriedberg LLP</a>, will be honored at the WestConn Society Breakfast for Student Success on Wednesday, May 1. The event to recognize Cirone, a longtime supporter of <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Western Connecticut State University</a>, will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road in Danbury. Register to attend at <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/giving/events/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">/www.wcsu.edu/giving/events/</a>. </p><p>“We are celebrating Tony Cirone, not only for his long-standing work as a benefactor of Western Connecticut State University, but also because of his outstanding leadership within the community and beyond,” said Martin Morgado, chairman of the <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/giving/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">WCSU Foundation</a>, which sponsors the breakfast.</p><p>Cirone has been a member of the WCSU Foundation Board in numerous positions since 2016 currently serving as treasurer, and is on the finance and investment committees. In that capacity he assists with the Foundation’s financial stewardship and is an advocate of the institution in the local business community.</p><p>A Brookfield native, Cirone graduated from the <a href="https://www.aacsb.edu/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">AACSB</a>-accredited <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/asb/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ancell School of Business</a> at WCSU in 1988 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/admissions/programs/accounting/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Accounting</a> and became a licensed CPA. After spending several years working in a large Connecticut-based CPA firm, he took the opportunity to come back to his roots and start his own practice in Danbury in 1992.</p><p>Most recently, Cirone is the managing partner at CironeFriedberg LLP, a leading regional CPA firm serving middle-market, privately held and family-owned businesses and individuals providing a full range of tax, audit, accounting and business advisory services with Connecticut office locations in Bethel, Shelton and Darien.</p><p>While attending WCSU, Cirone met his wife, Jen, of 30 years. They are the parents of four grown children and have lived in Newtown for more than 20 years. Outside of the office, Cirone is active in community and professional organizations, and is currently a trustee for Union Savings Bank, a member of the Board of Directors and chair of finance for Immaculate High School, and a member of the Board of Directors and current treasurer for the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce and Ridgewood Country Club. Cirone also is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.</p><p>Proceeds from the WestConn Society Breakfast will benefit students at Western Connecticut State University through the WCSU Foundation.</p><p>For information on sponsorships and individual tickets, go to <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/giving/events/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">wcsu.edu/giving/events</a>. For more information, contact WCSU Communications and Marketing at <a href="mailto:pr@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">pr@wcsu.edu</a>.&nbsp;</p>

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 Media Arts Film Festival and DIMA Exhibition at WCSU

<p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Western Connecticut State University</a>&nbsp;Media Arts Film Festival &amp; Digital Interactive Exhibition returns to the WCSU Midtown campus on&nbsp;<strong>Friday, May 10</strong>. In its 10<sup>th </sup>year, the popular festival showcases the best student works from the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/dima/mediaproduction/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Media Arts Production, Digital &amp; Interactive Media</a> Arts and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/art/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Art</a>&nbsp;programs at WCSU.</p><p>&nbsp;The event takes place in the Student Center on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. reception and Digital Interactive Media Arts Exhibition in the Student Center lobby, and a 7 p.m. film screening and awards ceremony in the Student Center Theater. The festival is free and open to the public; formal attire is encouraged, but not required. There will be hot and sweet refreshments and a cash bar during the reception.</p><p>&nbsp;Sponsored by the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/com/org-clubs/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">BEA Student Media Club</a> and &nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/alumni/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">WCSU Alumni Association</a>, the event will culminate with awards for best short films, documentaries, news, screenplays, animation, interactive media, soundscapes and music videos. The judging panel includes faculty, media professionals, and WCSU alumni. </p><p>&nbsp;For more information, contact Dr. JC Barone at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:baronej@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">baronej@wcsu.edu</a> or WCSU Communications and Marketing at <a href="mailto:pr@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">pr@wcsu.edu</a>.&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Western Connecticut State University</a>&nbsp;Media Arts Film Festival &amp; Digital Interactive Exhibition returns to the WCSU Midtown campus on&nbsp;<strong>Friday, May 10</strong>. In its 10<sup>th </sup>year, the popular festival showcases the best student works from the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/dima/mediaproduction/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Media Arts Production, Digital &amp; Interactive Media</a> Arts and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/art/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Art</a>&nbsp;programs at WCSU.</p><p>&nbsp;The event takes place in the Student Center on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. reception and Digital Interactive Media Arts Exhibition in the Student Center lobby, and a 7 p.m. film screening and awards ceremony in the Student Center Theater. The festival is free and open to the public; formal attire is encouraged, but not required. There will be hot and sweet refreshments and a cash bar during the reception.</p><p>&nbsp;Sponsored by the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/com/org-clubs/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">BEA Student Media Club</a> and &nbsp;<a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/alumni/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">WCSU Alumni Association</a>, the event will culminate with awards for best short films, documentaries, news, screenplays, animation, interactive media, soundscapes and music videos. The judging panel includes faculty, media professionals, and WCSU alumni. </p><p>&nbsp;For more information, contact Dr. JC Barone at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:baronej@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">baronej@wcsu.edu</a> or WCSU Communications and Marketing at <a href="mailto:pr@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">pr@wcsu.edu</a>.&nbsp;</p>

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 Why Small Businesses Matter in Danbury: Tom Caruso Photography

<p><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(50, 55, 61);">Why Small Businesses Matter</strong></p><p><em style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Shop small, do big things for your community</em></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">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!</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Meet Tom Caruso, founder of&nbsp; </span><a href="https://www.tomcarusophotography.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Tom Caruso Photography</a><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> LLC</span></p><p><em style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">*Editors note: here, Tom captured a&nbsp; Great Blue Heron in flight at Tarrywile Park in Danbury</em></p><p><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Why did you start your business</strong><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">?</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Photography is my true passion. After posting many of my best photos on Facebook, several of my friends encouraged me to turn pro because they said I have a great eye. I took their advice and started my company in New York in 2020, and then I opened it in Connecticut when I moved to Danbury in 2022.</span></p><p><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">What is your best-selling product/service?</strong></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">My best-selling services are real estate and drone photography. I partner with companies that use my professional services to photograph shopping centers and other real estate properties in Connecticut and New York state. I also sell my nature, wildlife and landscape photos on my website</span><a href="https://www.tomcarusophotography.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> https://www.tomcarusophotography.com/</a></p><p><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Have you reimagined your small business?</strong></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Since moving to Connecticut in 2022, I am looking to expand my service offerings and grow my business here in Connecticut. So far I have grown my client list but I would like to attract new customers.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Visit Tom Caruso Photography online </span><a href="https://www.tomcarusophotography.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">https://www.tomcarusophotography.com/</a><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> and on Instagram@ </span><a href="https://www.instagram.com/tomcarusophotography/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">tomcarusophotography</a><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> and</span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063621876667" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);"> Facebook&nbsp;</a></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Questions? Email </span><a href="mailto:TomCarusoPhotography@gmail.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">TomCarusoPhotography@gmail.com</a></p><p><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">HamletHub thanks</strong><a href="http://www.jkinfordbeautygroup.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);"><strong> </strong></a><a href="https://www.fairfieldcountybank.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(17, 85, 204);"><strong>Fairfield County Bank </strong></a><strong style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!</strong></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

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ACT of CT announces star-studded cast of KINKY BOOTS, on stage May 23 - June 16

<p><span style="color: rgb(5, 5, 5);">ACT of CT Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine says, "We are so excited to be able to announce the cast of our upcoming KINKY BOOTS! And what a FABULOUS cast they are!!!"</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(5, 5, 5);">There are less than a week until rehearsals begin. You won’t want to miss this spectacular production!</span></p><p>With music by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, and book by Harvey Fierstein, KINKY BOOTS tells the story of two people who seem to have nothing in common…. or so they think! KINKY BOOTS reminds all of us to celebrate our lives TRIUMPHANTLY! Performances run from MAY 23rd through JUNE 16, 2024!</p><p>This is ACT's final production of the 2023-24 season.</p><p><span style="color: rgb(5, 5, 5);">Visit ACT's website (</span><a href="https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Factofct.org%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR0EWcex6tkbNwcwXuGMpWF3ObaqTGapi_TD3xAP8Ujj9-rnOc7CFB2hHnU_aem_AfFcsAbhhc4u-etFuwWWtH4NzdRvuW_qMxdcWbXuhMxOkgFuTLPqqUtTyj9Y7xinosfocjUqBjvMaWYoOuCH5fEu&amp;h=AT0NRnd-HwnlZn-weAuEdyObS_39Vz2QVC6iwK6Q2kPr6VYWoPAB_fxLH_CmHUPnaxUGPSJoQoTmTkXRRjEUyIhnjae_vZ6CfwMoek2FnvPXqS-WE7pmjpRe6eRQKss&amp;__tn__=-UK-R&amp;c[0]=AT3yHnerGRgf2sbfNxMe5l_OQn02qw4ARssL0da1eLro8jI3vtVYXRy2o8fj9kKFrUxG4y123vVKed2YYFZFHs-nd9T1FnCNybZKPdGFXzZ0EBoNnueSQ7134GE-Zg0TfTrbKrNDrcGNlgVJTJcbRWllWZvNpj1Zr-qFubgjn536xBJniz2fcYv626X2hlno7M7HnUt2pzLea0Kodtz3dh_8UvADHNDJspke" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: var(--blue-link); background-color: transparent;">actofct.org</a><span style="color: rgb(5, 5, 5);">) or call the box office at (475) 215-5497 to grab your tickets today!</span></p>

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Danbury Public Schools among the "2024 Best Communities for Music Education"

<p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">The NAMM Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2024 Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) Awards, a signature program now in its 25th year of recognizing and celebrating school districts and individual schools for their support and commitment to music education and their efforts to ensure access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Among the 975 school districts in the country that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education are several in Fairfield County including Danbury, Darien, Bethel, Newtown, Wilton, Fairfield, Westport, Bridgeport, and Norwalk.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Now in its 25th year, the 2024 Best Communities for Music Education program recognizes and celebrates school districts and schools for their support and commitment to music education and efforts to ensure access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">According to The NAMM Foundation, “The award program recognizes and celebrates outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education."</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Learn more about The NAMM Foundation</span><a href="https://www.nammfoundation.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> https://www.nammfoundation.org/</a></p><p><br></p>

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Hispanic-Serving Institution celebration open to public at WCSU

<p class="ql-align-center"><br></p><p>DANBURY, Connecticut — <a href="https://www.wcsu.edu/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Western Connecticut State University</a>&nbsp;will celebrate its recent <a href="https://news.wcsu.edu/wcsu-designated-a-hispanic-serving-institution/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">designation</a> as a Hispanic-Serving Institution with an afternoon of events on Thursday, April 25, that pay tribute to the heritage of the community the university serves. The festivities will take place at the Berkshire Hall lobby and patio on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury, and will be free and open to the public. The first 150 attendees will receive an HSI T-shirt and everyone who attends will be entered in a raffle for some WCSU Swag. RSVP at <a href="https://wcsutickets.regfox.com/wcsu-hsi-designation" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://wcsutickets.regfox.com/wcsu-hsi-designation</a>. </p><p><strong>Planned events include:</strong></p><p>3:30 p.m. – Welcome by WCSU Pre-Collegiate &amp; Access Programs Associate Director Jessica Coronel, and Gabriela Perez, a graduating senior majoring in Anthropology/Sociology and Psychology with a minor in Multicultural Studies. Perez’s senior thesis for the Anthropology/Sociology major is an ethnographic study focusing on what makes a quality HSI. She is interviewing students and faculty, and will be summarizing her findings and personal experiences of the difference that intentional HSI planning and development can make in the lives of Hispanic students.</p><p>3:45 p.m. – Celebration of Puerto Rican faculty, staff, students and community members with a performance by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/BrassCityBomba" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Brass City Bomba</a></p><p>4:15 p.m. – Celebration of Brazilian faculty, staff, students and community members with a performance by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/connecticutcapoeira/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Benção Capoeira</a></p><p>4:30 p.m. – Lobo Awards Ceremony, presented by WCSU Interim President Dr. Manohar Singh and Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology Dr. Carina Bandhauer. Recipients are: Lobo Leadership Award –&nbsp;Danbury Mayor Roberto Alves; Lobo Student Award – Najely A. Clavijo; Lobo Faculty/Staff Award – WCSU Director of Financial Aid &amp; Student Employment Melissa Stephens; Lobo Alumni Awards – Carolina Bortolleto and Camila Bortolleto</p><p>5:10 p.m. – Celebration of Mexican faculty, staff, students and community members with a performance by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/trio.lospajaros/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Trio Los Pájaros</a>&nbsp;– Mariachi Music</p><p>5:45 p.m. – Celebration of Ecuadorian faculty, staff, students and community members with a performance by dancers from the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/CentroCivicoEcuatoriano/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ecuadorian Civic Center of Greater Danbury</a></p><p>6 p.m. – Closing</p><p><span style="color: rgb(36, 36, 36);">In addition to the entertainment, WCSU’s Sodexo dining services will provide an assortment of food to celebrate the occasion in style. Among the offerings will be an aguas frescas station, and tortilla and plantain chips with assorted dips including jalapeno cheese sauce, pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole and hot sauce. A buffet will feature grilled chicken asada, jasmine rice and a garden salad, and there will be a churro station for dessert — all at no cost to celebration participants.</span></p><p>For more information, contact WCSU Communications and Marketing at <a href="mailto:pr@wcsu.edu" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">pr@wcsu.edu</a>.&nbsp;</p>

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First Ladies: Paintings by Tina Sarno at the Gallery at Still River Editions

<p>First Ladies: Paintings by Tina Sarno at <span style="color: rgb(13, 13, 13);">the Gallery at Still River Editions. O</span>pening reception is free and open to all on Saturday, April 20th, 2 pm - 4 pm. The exhibit runs through June 28, 2024.</p><p><em>First Ladies</em> is an exhibition of oil paintings by Tina Sarno of Silvermine, Connecticut. Sarno began painting the series in 2018 at the suggestion of a friend, and she has painted over thirty-five to this date.</p><p>When painting, Sarno seeks out historical portraits and biographical details for inspiration, revealing things that may not come out in a formal portrait. For example, one of her most recent works shows Grace Coolidge with her pet raccoon, Rebecca.</p><p>Sarno says of this body of work, “My oil portraits are my impression of paintings from the past, painted from history instead of being painted from life.” Occasionally someone will look for a flattering likeness in a portrait and Sarno says, “People are smart, I think it’s important to challenge them and ask them to use their brains.”</p><p>Tina cites among her influences Alice Neel, Florine Stettheimer, Gustav Klimt, and John Singer Sargent. Regarding Neel, Sarno says, “Her portraits were painted in a manner that makes the viewer question who these&nbsp;people are without being forced to find them to be especially important, as in culturally historical figures.”&nbsp;</p><p>Some of the paintings are black and white, while others are in vivid color. A number of the paintings in this exhibition were created at Zero Foot Hills artist residency in Durham, CT in the summer of 2023.</p><p><a href="http://cristinasarno.tumblr.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(5, 135, 179);">Tina Sarno’s Website</a></p><p>IG: <a href="https://instagram.com/tinadsarno" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(5, 135, 179);">@tinadsarno</a> <a href="https://instagram.com/tinasarnoco" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(5, 135, 179);">@tinasarnoco</a></p><h2><br></h2>

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