Creativity Connects New Canaan: Meet Hilary Wittmann, Executive Director of Carriage Arts Center

Creativity Connects New Canaan

What fuels a vibrant, connected and creative community? What makes people feel good about living in New Canaan?

When locals share the creativity that they uncover in the nooks and crannies of their community it brings about connectivity and makes us all feel good. Believe it or not, you discover creativity every day as you walk, shop, work, and play in New Canaan? 

Creativity connects us.

Meet Hilary Wittmann, Executive Director of Carriage Arts Center in New Canaan.

Is there an organization in town that makes you feel good?

One of the things that makes New Canaan special are the many organizations that strengthen our community, and the people who are passionate about supporting those organizations.  We're always looking for creative ways to collaborate with other local non-profits.  For the last three years we [Carriage Barn Arts Center] has partnered with LiveGirl on an exhibit and arts showcase celebrating female power in the arts;  two "Art For Alz” exhibits raised about $5,000 for the CT chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association; and we’re about to wrap up the inaugural New Canaan Sculpture Trail produced with the New Canaan Land Trust.  We’ve also partnered with the Glass House and the Historical Society and host presentations and fundraisers for New Canaan PTC organizations, Newcomers Club, youth sports teams, and the local Garden Club and National Charity League.  

Any place in town where you go for inspiration and creativity?

Our organization’s “home" is in New Canaan’s Waveny Park.  I feel lucky to come to work at such a beautiful place, and most days enjoy a walk with my dog before heading into the office.  There are wonderful trails, woods, open meadows and a pond that was just restored by the Waveny Park Conservancy.  It can be very peaceful and quiet or filled with activity and energy.  On a recent Saturday, the park was filled with families picnicking, dog walkers and joggers, Plein air artists, photographers, young soccer players, even a couple getting married in the walled garden.  

Waveny Park was formerly a private estate and was given to the town in the 1960’s.  About 10 years later a group of local artists and arts supporters proposed turning the original carriage house into the Carriage Barn Arts Center to promote the arts in the New Canaan and support local artists.  So our organization has a 45-year history in Waveny which I find really inspiring!

Finish this sentence: When I think of creativity in town I think of …

All the artists who are members of the Carriage Barn!  They include aspiring amateurs, young students and accomplished professional artists working across mediums and styles.  By sharing their work and creative journeys they inspire others to get involved!  I also think of New Canaan’s past -- the artists, writers, architects, musicians and other creative people who've left a mark on our town.  

Creativity Connects New Canaan made possible by LIFEWTR.

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The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HamletHub or LIFEWTR. 


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