NORWALK, CT - As the school year winds down and we glide into the summer season, Stepping Stones Museum for Children is heating things up with two separate, special events that will give local adults and families the chance to immerse themselves in and explore cultures south of the border…without leaving Fairfield County.
In partnership with Norwalk-based Creative Connections, Stepping Stones is hosting its inaugural Latin Dance Night fundraiser on Friday, June 21, an adults-only evening featuring Latin music performed by a live band and spun by DJs, professional Latin dance performances, delicious Latin food, special cocktails and dancing. This night is so big that, for one night only, we’ve rebranded to #303InThePark as our children’s museum by day transforms into Norwalk’s hippest hot spot by night! Latin Dance Night’s VIP reception will take place from 7:00 – 9:30 pm while the general admission portion of the event takes place from 8:00 pm to midnight.
On Sunday, June 23, Stepping Stones will host its second annual Sabor Together event, a family-friendly festival conceived and planned in partnership with the museum’s volunteer-led Global Connections Initiative Committee. Sabor Together showcases our region’s rich and diverse Latino culture and welcomes all members of our community to our award-winning children’s museum in an inclusive, representative and responsive manner. More than 1,000 people are expected to celebrate the traditions of our local Latin American communities through food, music, and the arts. Sabor Together will take place from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The Summer Solstice occurs on June 21st. It may be the longest “day” of the year in our area, but Stepping Stones will see to it that the shortest “night” will be the year’s most memorable. What better way to welcome in the first night of summer than with a red-hot, adults-only dance party under the cool lights of our Celebration Courtyard tent. Presented in collaboration with Creative Connections, an international non-profit that connects students in the USA with their international peers through the exchange of art and ideas, Latin Dance Night serves as a joint fundraiser for both organizations and unfolds in two parts. The VIP Experience will take place indoors from 7:00 – 9:30 pm and feature a live performance by Band Central, dancing, dance demonstrations and lessons, an open bar with specialty cocktails and food catered by Marcia Selden Catering and Events. Tickets for the VIP reception costs $125 per person and also provides the purchaser admission to the DJ Dance Party taking place outside under the tent of the Celebration Courtyard. The Latin tunes will be spun by DJ Charlie and DJ X of musicBOXnyc. There will be lots of dancing, food provided by Ají 10 Restaurant in Norwalk, a cash bar, a Latin dance performance by The Dance Collective of Westport, plenty of fantastic photo ops and so much more. Tickets for the DJ Dance Party are $40 per person for members and $45 per person for non-members. Parents, get your babysitter lined up now as this is an adults-only event. You must be 21 or older to attend Latin Dance Night at 303 in the Park! For tickets to the VIP Experience, visit www.creativeconnections.org/2019-latin-dance-night. For tickets to the DJ Dance Party, visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/dance.
Two days later on Sunday, June 23rd, Stepping Stones will continue its celebration of Latin culture with its second annual Sabor Together event. This family-friendly, multicultural festival will showcase music, food, storytelling, performances and arts from our local Latin American communities. Throughout the museum, bilingual volunteers will be on hand to help visitors experience our exhibits in both English and Spanish. Special activities throughout the day will enable children to learn about other cultures through active, hands-on play. Story times and other regular museum activities will feature a Latin flare. Sabor Together will take place from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is free for Stepping Stone members and reduced for non-members registering for the event in advance, only $10 per person for adults and $5 per person for children. Admission is $15 per person for all non-member attendees on the day of the event. For more information or to register in advance, visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/sabor.
“Our local area is vibrant, historic and culturally rich, and we want to provide children and families living here with the opportunity to experience the magnificence of the world beyond our region,” said William E. Jeffries III, Vice President of Fund Development and Strategic Initiatives at Stepping Stones. “A person’s ability to respect and embrace diversity, appreciate different cultures and be knowledgeable about the history of different parts of the world helps cultivate their global competency and helps shape their future success.”
“Stepping Stones is working to increase our connection to the diverse communities in our region with this more inclusive, welcoming and representative approach,” explained Jeffries.
“Our Global Connections Initiative creates priceless exposure to the world’s diverse cultures and customs for children and gives families the opportunity to explore the world without leaving Norwalk. We do this through regular programming and our special events. So we’re extremely excited to kick off the first night of summer with a sizzling, adults-only Latin Dance Party on Friday, June 21 and then to invite local families to join us on Sunday, June 23 to experience the Sabor or flavor of the amazing Latin American culture.”
“Bringing global understanding to young people and communities around the world is the mission of our work,” said Alan Steckler, Founder President of Creative Connections. “Joining Stepping Stones in this celebration is a wonderful opportunity for us and we are thrilled to be working with them to bring the fun and culture of Latin America to life. Let the party begin!”
Stepping Stones has been honored twice for its diverse, multicultural programming. In 2011, the museum’s Multimedia Global Connections Initiative, of which Around the World is a component, won a prestigious Promising Practice Award from the MetLife Foundation and the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM). In 2013, the museum was lauded by the MetLife Foundation and ACM with the Promising Practice Replication Award.
Corporate sponsorships of all levels for Latin Dance Night and Sabor Together are still available. Providing important support for these events are Gold Sponsors Rob and Diane Fried/Band Central, Rene Soto Gallery and Ají 10 Latin Cuisine; Silver Sponsors The Dance Collective of Westport, Fairfield County Bank, Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning, musicBOXnyc, Saltwater SoNo and VB Productions; Bronze Sponsors B_Entertained DJs and More, La Calle Arepas Bar, LatinColors Magazine and Shiny Star; and Honorary Sponsors A.T. Construction LLC, Get Beyond, Members Credit Union, New York Life Westchester and Tafur LLC and Um Media LLC.