Daniel E. Offutt Trust Grants $50K to WestonArts, Inc.

WESTON, CT — WestonArts, Inc. (westonarts.org) announced the award of a $50,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust. WestonArts (WA) is grateful for this significant grant and similar gifts provided by the Trust in past years. In 2017, WestonArts received a $104,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust that funds WestonArts Scholarships ‒ annual awards for graduating Weston High School seniors to support their continuing education in the arts. This additional $50,000 grant will enable the creation of the “WestonArts Offutt Enrichment Fund,” and will be applied towards the organization’s mission to support and develop the arts in Weston. 

Daniel E. Offutt lived in Weston for over three decades in a home he built. This property proudly displayed many of his own large, beautiful, steel sculptures.  He had a career as a stockbroker after obtaining an MBA from Columbia University in 1965. Richard Orenstein, trustee of the Offutt Charitable Trust, said of Daniel, “Those who knew him would remember him as a tennis player, traveler, sailor, metal sculptor, woodworker, fixer of anything, collector of everything, lover of projects, stock market investor, and good friend.

Specifically, the “WestonArts Offutt Enrichment Fund” will provide need-based financial support to Weston youth to pursue advancement and enrichment in all facets of the arts. Providing need-based grants has been a critical part of WA’s mission since its formation in 2005. WA partners with the Town of Weston Social Services Department, led by Allison Lisbon, Director of Social Services. Ms. Lisbon identifies youth in need of financial support for art-based education, instrument rentals, and event and program participation fees.

“WestonArts is thrilled to be the recipient of this generous gift which specifically supports our organization’s vision. The newly established fund will help countless students pursue artistic education without bearing a prohibitive financial burden. The fund will nurture the arts in Weston and, in turn, benefit our community at large. Art stimulates the imagination, opens the heart and mind to possibilities, and fuels the soul,” said Patricia Perez-Goodrich, WestonArts Chair.

To make these arts-based enrichment opportunities as impactful as possible, WestonArts also facilitates reduced rates for classes, rental services, and instruction with educational institutions and individual artists. Some of the generous organizations WA has partnered with include: The Westport Country Playhouse, The American Classical Orchestra, Suzuki School of Music, The Dance Academy of Westport, The Music Shed with David Morgan, The School of Rock in Fairfield, MOCA Westport, the Wilton Dance Studio, Jodi Stevens Bryce (voice lessons), SBE Performance & Productions, Leslie Giuliani (art classes), and Westport-based Atelier Constantin Popescu music instrument rentals. Individuals or organizations interested in partnering with this community effort or joining WestonArts, should contact info@westonarts.org.

In addition to raising funds for local scholarships and grants, WA also supports the arts in many other meaningful ways, including hosting events such as this past July’s first Weston Fine Arts Festival held in partnership with Gordon Fine Arts. The festival featured over 100 fine art vendors, along with a full weekend of live entertainment performed by a talented array of local performers including José Feliciano.  

“WestonArts pulled off a Herculean feat with the first annual Weston Fine Arts Festival. With the Offutt Trust as one of its sponsors, the organization gathered willing volunteers and orchestrated an upbeat outing that simultaneously built community and celebrated the arts.” said Samantha Nestor, Weston First Selectwoman.

Additional updates regarding WestonArts, its members, and the organization’s endeavors can be found in the WestonArts Spotlight, a new column in Weston Today featuring WestonArts news and happenings.

Through the years, WestonArts, a 100% volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has raised and disbursed over $600,000 in funds to support its mission in the arts. The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust’s generous grant to WestonArts will enrich the community of Weston well into the future. 

PHOTO: WestonArts Volunteers and Weston Social Services gathered to celebrate the recent $50,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust which will further the arts in Weston, CT. Bottom row (from left): Aline Weiller, Allison Lisbon, Cindy Wagner, Casey Lerner, Patricia Perez-Goodrich, Susan Young, Erin Gorman. Top row (from left): Christine Walder, Sally Eiler, and Adria Belport. WestonArts board members not pictured include Marc Fontaine, Hanna Przada, Debbie Rehr, Amy Borowik, and Agata Tria. 

Photo Credit: Veronica Hauresz, photographer & WestonArts board member

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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