Recognizing the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut as a leader in promoting and advocating for arts, history, and culture as a primary driver of the economy in Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties, members of the Western Connecticut legislative delegation have proposed a bill in the General Assembly to provide support to the Cultural Alliance. Through the expansion of the State’s current arts grants to include the Cultural Alliance, the act would appropriate $79,000, administered through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and effectively open the doors for the Cultural Alliance to be recognized annually as a Connecticut state budget line item. With offices at 287 Main Street, Danbury, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is the only regional service organization working to leverage the arts to grow the regional economy and ensure better access to arts and culture for all residents and visitors in Western Connecticut.
Enthusiastically introduced by Connecticut state Representative David Arconti, Jr. of the 109th District (Danbury), and joined by state Senator Michael McLachlan (24th District -Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield and Sherman ) and state representatives Mitch Bolinsky (106th District - Newtown), Cecelia Buck-Taylor (67th District – New Milford), Dan Carter (2nd District - Bethel, Danbury, Newtown and Redding), Janice R. Giegler (138th District - Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield), Bob Godfrey (110th District - Danbury), Debra Lee Hovey (112th District - Monroe and Newtown ), and David A. Scribner (107th District - Bethel, Brookfield and Danbury), the bill would allocate funding, joining the Cultural Alliance with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance as arts service organizations deserving direct state funding. Lew Wallace, President of the Cultural Alliance, thanked the legislators for their support and noted that "the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, with its new Danbury offices, @287 Gallery Shows, workshops, and other presentations, and expanded outreach into the community-at-large, is in a strong growth phase and deserves similar support given to other regional arts organizations around the state. I applaud our legislators for working to bring our tax dollars back to our region to benefit our local economy."
The Cultural Alliance serves a ten-town region that includes Danbury, Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, and Sherman, providing services and resources to more than 450 organizations related to arts, culture and history, hundreds of artists in all disciplines, and countless small, commercial businesses engaging in creative graphic design, architecture, and photography. Danbury ranks 6th in the country for its “artistic wealth”, according to Richard Florida (The Atlantic, 2011) and is the birthplace of one of America's greatest composers, Charles Ives, as well as where Marion Anderson, the celebrated Afro-American contralto, lived for many years.
The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is supported by public and private funding, corporate sponsors, and by its 165 members including more than 55 arts, history, and cultural organizations. Its @287 Gallery Show currently features works by artists Bryn Gillette and Michael R. Patterson, running through June 27th. For more information, call (203) 798 0760 or visit www.artswesternct.org
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