Creativity Connects Newtown: Meet Michelle Brown and Find Out What She Loves About her Community

Creativity Connects Newtown

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

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 Newtown. 

Meet Michelle L. Brown, Ph.D., Dean of the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences at Western Connecticut State University

How does creativity connect you to Newtown?

Since moving to Newtown nearly two years ago, I have been struck by how important the arts and creativity are to the entire town. I think that artistry is part of Newtown's community identity. The arts are required in Newtown schools while being cut in other parts of the country. Beautiful Ben's Bells "be kind" murals, meant to promote peace, adorn the exteriors of many Newtown public school buildings. Newtown is lucky to be home to many talented artists who display their work in their yards and donate it to beautify public spaces. The town's weekly newspaper, Newtown Bee, employs creative whimsy in some of its most popular columns. For me, to move through Newtown is to continually encounter creativity. It inspires my own creativity.

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

I love to read and write, so I go to the C.H. Booth Library for inspiration and creativity. The building is beautiful and is full of historical artifacts. It is also located in the heart of historic downtown Newtown. When I am at the Library, I feel like I am part of something bigger than myself. And, of course, the books, movies, and programs. It's my candy store! The Library is such an important resource and space for the community. I am lucky enough to serve on the Library's Board of Trustees, and that experience has taught me how deeply ingrained the Library is in Newtown's collective sense of identity, history, and consistency.

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

Love. Newtown has a strong sense of community, and that mutual support is both promoted and expressed through art. Lately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when I drive around town, I see big red cutout paper hearts stuck on trees and stop signs. I don't see any pattern in their geographic placement, and I like that. They loom in my peripheral vision at random intervals, surprising me every time. The hearts remind me that even though we are all sheltering in isolation from the rest of our community, we are all connected through love. Those hearts make me feel supported and loved, and they remind me to send a loving thought out into the air.

Creativity Connects Newtown 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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