Creativity Connects Newtown: Meet Marleen Cafarelli


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. 

Creativity Connects us. 

Meet Marleen Cafarelli, Newtown resident and founder of Photo and Video Art Works.

Is there a person or organization using creativity to provoke change in Newtown?

In 2013 I photographed the first Newtown Arts Festival organized by the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission. As the photographer of the event, it has been fascinating to see changes including increased diversity. Held on the grounds of Fairfield Hills Friday night to Sunday evening a weekend in mid September the arts festival offers something for everyone. Continuous live music of every genre, food trucks, crafts and educational booths, a variety of performances from theater to dance featuring local actors and dance schools, craft vendors, and Sunday morning the Newtown High School Band; The Nighthawks. By Sunday afternoon it has the feeling of an old fashioned family day with people sitting on the grass, or under the tents relaxing while enjoying the outdoors, the music, the food, and being together. 

The 2020 event has been canceled due to Covid-19, the new date will be June 5th, 2021 on the grounds of Fairfield Hills.

How does creativity connect you to Newtown?

I never realized how connected to the town and the people I would become until I started giving my time. That is what makes Newtown, “my town”, and not just a place to live. Through giving my reward is that feeling of creative accomplishment once a project is completed and posted online for everyone to enjoy.

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

For inspiration and when needing a mental break I go to the grounds of The 2nd Company Horse Guard. It feels like home as I have been their photographer for the past ten years. The view is magnificent as its one of the high points in Newtown and with those vista views you can see for miles. Sometimes I bring mints for the Horse Guard horses relishing my quiet time spent with those gentle animals. There are miles of walking and horseback trails all around the Horse Guard leading to the Newtown Animal Control Shelter named after Dr Brian Silverlieb where cats and dogs are available for adoption, Newtown Park and Bark Dog Park, and the CT Army National Guard’s Military Working Dog Facility. The trails also continue into the woods and fields of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. I don’t know of any other place in CT covering such a vast area where everything is animal-related, yet run by different organizations.

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

An event that makes me feel good each year is photographing Catherine’s Butterfly Party, a fundraiser for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. Animal rescue agencies come from all over the Northeast bringing a variety of animals for adoption. Last year over 5000 people attended, and 65 animals found their forever homes. 

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

When I think of creativity in Newtown I think of the fact there are so many giving people. People who give of themselves to better others lives, and not ask for anything in return. With so many giving it causes creativity as the people involved are continually striving to find new and better ways to help others.

Creativity Connects Newtown is made possible by LIFEWTR.

If you have local creativity to share and would like to be featured in this series, feel free to email   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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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