April 28, 2016

Enjoy a Tour of Private Gardens in Essex, June 4

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

ESSEX – On Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., plan to stroll through eight of the loveliest and most unusual private gardens in Essex. Some are in the heart of Essex Village while others are hidden along lanes most visitors never see.  While exploring, you will find both formal and informal settings, lovely sweeping lawns and panoramic views of the Connecticut River or its coves.  One garden you will visit is considered to be a ‘laboratory’ for cultivation of native plants. Master Gardeners will be available to point out specific features, offer gardening tips, and answer questions.

The garden tour is sponsored by the Friends of the Essex Library. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the Essex Library the day of the event.  Cash, checks, Visa or Master Card will be accepted. Tickets can be reserved by visiting the library or by completing the form included in flyers available at the library and throughout Essex beginning May 2.  Completed forms can be mailed to the library.  Confirmations will be sent to the email addresses on the completed forms.

Your ticket will be a booklet containing a brief description of each garden along with a map of the tour and designated parking. Tickets must be picked up at the library beginning at 9:45 a.m. the day of the event.

Richard Conroy, library director, has said, “The Essex Library receives only about half of its operating revenue from the Town. The financial assistance we receive each year from the Friends is critical.  It enables us to provide important resources such as Ancestry.com and museum passes, as well as practical improvements like the automatic front doors that were recently installed.  I urge you to help your Library by helping our Friends make this event a success!  Thank you for your support.”

The tour will take place rain or shine.  For more information, please call 860-767-1560. All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Essex Library.

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Eastern CT Ballet Presents Spring Showcase, May 28

ballet

DEEP RIVER – Eastern Connecticut Ballet presents its Spring Showcase on Saturday, May 28, at 1:30 and 7 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

The afternoon performance features company works by Artistic Director Gloria Govrin (classical ballet) and guest Broadway veteran and choreographer Stephen Reed (musical theater). Matinee audiences will also enjoy “Bon Voyage,” a lively around-the-world dance adventure featuring ECB’s youngest performers (ages 3-7).

The evening performance showcases company works and class pieces from ECB’s graded classical ballet program and modern program (ages 7-18).

Tickets may be purchased in advance (prior to May 20) at Eastern Connecticut Ballet (435 Boston Post Rd., East Lyme). Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for children (age 4 and up).  Children age three and under are free when seated on an adult’s lap.  Tickets are also available at the door: $22 for adults, $20 for children.  Call Eastern Connecticut Ballet at 860-739-7899 for further information.

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Friends of Essex Library Spring Book Sale, May 21

Peggy Tuttle is new sales coordinator for Essex Library book sales.

Peggy Tuttle is new sales coordinator for Essex Library book sales.

ESSEX – A face that has become very familiar around the Essex Library is that of Peggy Tuttle. Peggy is the recently appointed Sales Coordinator for the Friends of the Essex Library.  Though she has been a volunteer for the Friends for many years, including being named “Volunteer of the Year” for 2015, she stepped into the newly named position that was vacated when Dee Grover “retired.”  She has been working closely with Dee for months learning the ins and outs of conducting a successful book sale, and has put in many hours learning techniques and procedures.  She has recruited a small army of volunteers whose job is to sort through the literally thousands of donated books.  Each book is examined to determine age, condition, first edition or signed by author status.  Books suspected of having “special value” can then be scanned by the computer program recently donated by the Friends.

Peggy has brought many innovative ideas to the position.  Ongoing sales continue to provide quality books for sale all year.  New are “Focused Sales” where a particular era or topic is highlighted.  In February, American History and Valentine themed books were displayed for purchase at very attractive prices.  March was “Music Month” where shoppers browsed through an extensive collection donated CDs.  June will feature “Beach Read” books suitable for summer reading.  Other featured sales are planned throughout the year.

Peggy and her team of volunteers are preparing for this year’s Friends of Essex Library Spring Book Sale to be held Saturday, May 21, in the library at 33 West Ave. in Essex. The doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  From 3 to 4 p.m., books will sell for half price; “fill your bag for $10” will run from 4 to 5 p.m.  Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags for the latter event.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books, will be on the Essex Library’s website two weeks prior to the sale. Go to www.youressexlibrary.org, click on “Friends” and then the “Book Sale” page.

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities, as well as practical improvements to the building.

 

 

 

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Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Meeting, May 18

TTYS New Logo

REGION 4 – The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its last meeting of the 2015-16 school year at Tri-Town Youth Services in Deep River on Wednesday, May 18, at 9 a.m.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement, government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care to name a few.

The May meeting will sum up activities of this year.  For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  We coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org.

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Dedication Day for Yellow Label Mill at Valley Railroad, May 15

YellowLabelBldg_EastFacade

The Birch Mill, today rechristened the Yellow Label Mill, was built by E.E. Dickinson, Sr. in 1915. Black Birch has the same chemistry as wintergreen and was chipped and distilled in the same manner as witch hazel until 1926. Today the mill is used to tell the story of witch hazel and to help preserve the Dickinson legacy in Essex.

ESSEX – The Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary celebration of the E.E. Dickinson Company legacy will come to a close on Sunday, May 15, when the non-profit organization, in partnership with the Valley Railroad Company, officially cuts the ribbon on the newly refurbished Yellow Label Mill, once used as a storefront for the sale of Dickinson Witch Hazel products.

Plans for the Yellow Label Mill Dedication Day, which takes place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Valley Railroad, include a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. to be followed by public tours of the Yellow Label Mill, the former Dickinson Bottling Plant and Witch Hazel Distillery. The free event is open to the public and will feature live music performed by the Occasional Jazz Ensemble, food and drinks. The Valley Railroad is located at 1 Railroad Avenue, off Middlesex Turnpike/Saybrook Road in Essex.

Just one year ago, May 15 was officially proclaimed “Yellow Label Day” in Essex as the two organizations announced plans for the renovation of the iconic 1915 building, originally a birch mill, that sits on the southern end of the railroad depot property on Plains Road. The Valley Railroad oversaw the replacement of the roof, windows and deteriorated structural elements as well as general cleaning and painting while the Essex Historical Society (EHS) was responsible for the refurbishment of Yellow Label signage and installation of Dickinson history exhibit panels in the newly repaired space.

“We are looking forward to a great day of activities that cap off and celebrate our milestone anniversary and our partnership with the Valley Railroad in honoring the Dickinson company’s history,” commented EHS President Sherry Clark, “We have enjoyed tremendous community interest and support at the various Dickinson programs held this past year, and we hope to see everyone come out for the big finale.”

For more information on the Dedication Day and other Essex Historical Society events or membership, go to www.essexhistory.org or call 860-767-0681. The Essex Historical Society is a non-profit, member organization.

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Explore the Artistry of Bosch at Essex Library, May 14

boschESSEX – This year marks the 500th anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death, which brings renewed interest in his extraordinary creativity.

Join Connecticut College Art History Professor Robert Baldwin on Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m. at the Essex Library for an entertaining examination of Bosch’s work.

Bosch revolutionized early Renaissance art by turning away from traditional Christian images such as Madonnas and saints. In the Garden of Earthly Delights, the Haywain and the Seven Deadly Sins, Bosch painted secular, encyclopedic scenes of everyday life (framed with moral allegory) and fantastic scenes of sexual fantasy and hellish punishment. Although seemingly poles apart, his naturalism and fantasy were both part of a secular, Renaissance aesthetic that understood artistic seeing as both empirical and playful, as a process rooted in the study of the natural world and in the display of visual interpretation and artistic mind.  In the Renaissance world of art, seeing was ultimately connected to artistic invention. Among the ironies, Bosch’s artistry allowed him to convert medieval sin and hellish punishment into visually appealing luxury objects for pleasure-loving aristocrats while bringing the artist fame and fortune.

The Essex Library program is free and open to the public. Please call the library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Madhatters’ “Beauty and the Beast” Opens in Chester, May 13

beauty_and_the_beast_logo_2_CHESTER – Madhatters Theatre Company presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Chester Meeting House, opening May 13.

The family-friendly production is a fundraiser for ‘Hailey Strong for a Paws.’ Hailey Giguere is a Windsor, CT teen in need of a service dog due to brain tumors she has suffered throughout her life.  Please help support this wonderful young lady. More about Hailey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/haileystrongforapaws.

Performances are Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 14 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.; Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 21 at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

To reserve tickets, please e-mail madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861.

The Chester Meeting House is at 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

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“Black Bears in Connecticut,” an Essex Library Program on May 11

blackbearESSEX – Black bear sightings are increasing every year, even in Connecticut’s shoreline towns, as their preferred habitat expands as farmlands revert to forest. Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn will present an illustrated talk on Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library.

This presentation will focus on the natural history of black bears in our stateand will provide an overview of black bear habitat, diet, behavior, and current research efforts.  Colburn will also provide recommendations for optimum coexistence with our black bear population.

Paul Colburn is a graduate of Master Wildlife Conservationist Program, is a Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) adult education program that trains participants in the fields of wildlife management, natural history and interpretation. The purpose of the program is to develop a volunteer corps capable of providing education, outreach and service for state agencies, environmental organizations, libraries, schools and the general public.

This talk is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended; please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

 

 

 

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Using Social Media – Free Program for Businesses, at Essex Library, May 10

ESSEX – The Essex Library is presenting a series of programs, “Building a Digital Roadmap for Your Business (or Nonprofit),” with Caitlin Monahan, Alyssa Puzzo and Austin Gray from Julia Balfour, LLC.

The series includes expert advice on website design and maintenance; social media and how to use it; e-mail marketing best practices; and the advantages of digital advertising.

The program on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m. will focus on learning the where, what, when, and how to best use social media for your business or nonprofit, including analyzing the return on investment on your various channels.

This program is free and open to all.

Please call the Essex Library for more information or to register at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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May Breakfast and Mother’s Day Gift Fair, May 7

ESSEX – On the day of the May Market in Essex Village, Saturday, May 7, the First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, is sponsoring a May Breakfast from 6:30 to 10 a.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex.

The breakfast is a tradition that dates back nearly one hundred years. A complete breakfast will be prepared and served by church members. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, coffee, tea, juice and homemade muffins. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door.

New this year is the Mother’s Day Gift Fair, held during and after the May Breakfast, from 6:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Choose from a selection of gifts priced from $10 to $40 that includes breakfast, Italian dinner and personal beauty gift baskets; handcrafts including jewelry, aprons, silk scarves and colorful handbags; fine chocolates and home-baked pies; exotic shells; and Sfera and Montouck fine linens. A silent auction will feature gift certificates to area merchants.

Proceeds from the breakfast and gift fair go to support the missions of the church. For more information, call the Church Office at 860-767-8097.

 

Cooking it up! Members of the First Congregational Church in Essex preparing for the Mother's Day Gift Fair and May Breakfast on May 7 are: (l to r) Lillian Mosa, Rick McGrath, Audrey Lyons and Judy Greene, all of Essex; and Joan Hill of Ivoryton. Photo courtesy of Delcie McGrath.

Members of the First Congregational Church in Essex preparing for the Mother’s Day Gift Fair and May Breakfast on May 7 are: (l to r) Lillian Mosa, Rick McGrath, Audrey Lyons and Judy Greene, all of Essex; and Joan Hill of Ivoryton. Photo courtesy of Delcie McGrath.

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Celebrate International Pilates Day, May 7, in Westbrook

pilates picWESTBROOK – Fitness on the Water, the shoreline’s newest state-of-the art Pilates studio owned by Essex Wellness Center, is now open at 1921 Boston Post Road (Trolley Square) in Westbrook. A grand opening, plus free classes will be offered on Saturday, May 7, International Pilates Day, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Pilates reformer and tower demos will occur throughout the morning as well.

The schedule is:

8 – 8:45 a.m.     Mat Pilates

9 – 9:45 a.m.     Barre (using the ballet barre)

10 – 10:45 a.m. Mat Pilates (using bands and foam rollers)

11 – 11:45 a.m. Barre (using the ballet barre)

Prizes from area businesses and Essex Wellness Center will be raffled off, with 100 percent of proceeds going to SARAH. Additional donations of any amount will also be accepted on May 7 for SARAH. SARAH serves Connecticut and the shoreline communities, providing early intervention, life skills, residential support and employment support for adults with intellectual and other disabilities.

Coffee and refreshments will be provided by Ashlawn Farm Coffee in Old Saybrook.

International Pilates Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of May throughout the world. Pilates is known to improve posture and balance, core strength and stability, flexibility, stamina and an overall feeling of wellness. Pilates provides a low-impact full-body workout and is suited for beginners as well as athletic cross training.

For more information, visit www.essexwellnessctr.com or www.fitnessonthewater.com or call (860) 767-7770 or (860) 391-8735.

 

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FloGris Offers Free Admission to All, Saturday, May 7

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7.

OLD LYME – The Florence Griswold Museum presents its annual Community Free Day on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event offers free admission to the museum’s 11-acre campus on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, and includes family activities as well as two performances by Master Storyteller Tom Lee.

A performer for all ages, Lee will present “Mysteries at the Museum: Stories That’ll Make You Think” at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. With training in classical theater, Lee has been performing in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art for over 15 years (www.tomleestoryteller.com). The museum will also offer a special family craft activity in the Hartman Education Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a scavenger hunt, and a “Can You Find Me” art hunt.

“Our Community Free Day is a great way for all ages to spend the day at the museum,” said David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach. “The fun and educational activities planned for this year are a wonderful introduction for the many first-time visitors we get on this annual day.”

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Florence Griswold in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

On view in the museum’s Krieble Gallery is “Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum.” The exhibition details the growth of the museum’s art collection over the past 40 years, including a range of American art from the Tonalist style of the late 1800s to today’s modern Abstraction.

Community Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920; the Rafal Landscape Center; as well as the museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. For additional information contact the museum at 860-434-5542 or visit  www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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Visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum.

Visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum.

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Essex May Market Set for May 7, Rain or Shine

Essex Garden Club members prepare for the annual May Market

Essex Garden Club members prepare for the annual May Market

ESSEX – Mark your calendars for the Essex May Market, Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, in the town park on Main Street in Essex Village.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, there will be herbs and herbal gift creations as well as the Garden Club’s famous garlic salt, made from a closely guarded secret recipe since 1953.

Always the star of Essex May Market are the ever-popular Members’ Plants.  People have been coming to Essex on May Market day for years from all over New England to take advantage of the healthy plants dug and nurtured by the Garden Club members.  These plants include perennials, groundcovers, grasses and shrubs dug and potted by club members.  An early sell-out in the Members’ Plants area each year are the many varieties of tomato plants grown from seed.  There will be 300 tomato plants, including many heirloom varieties guaranteed to grow in our climate. There will also be a colorful assortment of annuals and hanging baskets for sale.  Knowledgeable Garden Club members will be available to help with any questions on caring for the plants.  Back by popular demand this year is the all-natural compost available for sale.

The “Treasures” section is a great place to find gently used pieces of jewelry, garden pieces, planters, books, children’s items, gardening tools and a mix of odds and ends. The Silent Auction will have an incredible array of goods and services donated from many generous merchants. Local CT breads and honey will be for sale.

The May Market Café offers donuts and coffee starting in the morning and light lunch fare at midday.

May Market is the Garden Club’s only annual fundraising event.  Proceeds support civic improvement projects, such as beautifying town parks and traffic islands in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  Plantings are also purchased for the Essex Town Hall, Town Park and for public schools serving Essex students.  Funds also provide scholarships for high school seniors and college students, summer camperships for young students, and educational programs for Essex Elementary School and John Winthrop Middle School.

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Gallery Openings & Receptions at May Daze Night, May 6

CHESTER – On Friday evening, May 6, when Chester Center celebrates its annual May Daze Night, two of Chester’s well-known art galleries will be hosting opening receptions from 5 to 8 p.m.

Leif Nilsson will have a reception for his exhibit of his new gouache paintings done in the United Kingdom this spring. Gouache is a new medium for him to explore, Leif said, adding, “Especially for traveling, it dries so quickly and is easy to move around with.” The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery is at One Spring Street. More information at http://www.nilssonstudio.com

"Spring in Chewstoke, England" - gouache, 7 x 11 inches by Leif Nilsson 2016 ©

“Spring in Chewstoke, England” – gouache, 7 x 11 inches by Leif Nilsson 2016 ©

Chester Gallery, at 76 Main Street, opens “Housing for the Birds,” with bird houses by Hans Lohse, works on paper by Elizabeth Gourlay, and etching and engraving by Richard Ziemann. Meet the artists at the reception till 8 p.m. This show will remain up through the summer.

Photo by Tracey Kroll

Photo by Tracey Kroll

Chester’s May Daze Night also includes store events and refreshments throughout the Center. At 8 p.m., stay for some street dancing to music by DJ Gary Torello, in celebration of the almost done Main Street Bridge reconstruction. Watch for more information at Facebook.com/visitchesterct or Finditinchesterct.wordpress.com.

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May 6 May Daze in Chester Brings Art, Music, Food, Dancing, Fun for All Ages!

ircle of Friends Montessori at 25 West Main Street will be hosting an open house during May Daze Night, from 5 to 8 p.m. The "Earth Day, Every Day" evening will include a wildflower planting activity and an opportunity for children to make Mother's Day gifts using recycled materials. Shown here are Jess Stone, from Cold Spring Farm in East Haddam, helping Adam Schmelzer with his plants.

Circle of Friends Montessori at 25 West Main Street will be hosting an open house during Chester’s May Daze Night, from 5 to 8 p.m. The “Earth Day, Every Day” evening will include a wildflower planting activity and an opportunity for children to make Mother’s Day gifts using recycled materials. Shown here are Jess Stone, from Cold Spring Farm in East Haddam, helping Adam Schmelzer with his plants.

 

CHESTER – May Daze Night. That’s been the name for the first Friday evening of May in Chester Center for several decades, thanks to the Chester Merchants. No one seems to know the reason for the name, but they know one thing – it’s always a great evening for people to convene in Chester Center to meet friends, see new art exhibits, find sales and gift drawings at the shops, hear good music, and enjoy savory treats and wines as they browse.

Chester has inspired artists for many years. Here is “Chester: A Collage” by Kathy DeMeo of Wallingford, an artist at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art. The gallery will serve wine and cookies as you enjoy the Spring Exhibit of over 200 new paintings by 46 established artists. In addition, there is a special show in the Stone Gallery of the paintings by the late Don Bement of Haddam Neck.

Chester has inspired artists for many years. Here is “Chester: A Collage” by Kathy DeMeo of Wallingford, an artist at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art. The gallery will serve wine and cookies as you enjoy the Spring Exhibit of over 200 new paintings by 46 established artists. In addition, there is a special show in the Stone Gallery of the paintings by the late Don Bement of Haddam Neck.

This year, as the Main Street Bridge reconstruction nears its completion, the Merchants have added another element – a Main Street Swing Dance on May Daze Night, Friday, May 6. May is “Swinging Chester” month, so what could be better than a Swing Dance?

Chester Rotarian and DJ Gary Torello will be playing music in the center of Main Street near the bridge barricades from 8 to 10 p.m., and Suzie Woodward of Lark has lined up swing dancers to show off some of their steps and moves. Come on down and dance in the street with us!

May Daze Night – that’s Friday, May 6 – begins at 5 p.m. Parking is available in several public parking lots, on Water Street and on Maple Street.

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WWII Veteran and Author Speaks in Deep River, May 6

Dave-at-RI-Authors-signing-600x392

DEEP RIVER – To commemorate Memorial Day 2016, the Adult Fellowship of the Deep River Congregational Church welcomes an American hero, Dave Mann, on Friday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Now age 90, Dave Mann has written a book, “What I Fought For,” about his experiences in World War II.

He went to war just days after his 18th birthday, not fully understanding what he was getting into. He was young, green, inexperienced. He didn’t even shave. When he came back three years later, he had seen horrendous battle, lost countless buddies, and cheated death more than once. He did shave now, but very carefully…around the scars. David Mann won a Purple Heart, survived the attack on D-Day, fought the Battle of the Bulge, and still gets a lump in his throat each time he sees our flag.

Today, this former radio personality and much sought-after national speaker speaks out about the war, about peace, about the American flag, and about what it means to love your country so much you would do it all over again. His book will be available for purchase that evening.

To attend, please call the church office at 860-526-5045. The Deep River Congregational Church is in the center of Deep River, on Rte. 154.

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“Getting Ready for Change” Program, May 5

REGION 4 – Patricia Cournoyer runs her “Getting Ready for Change” program for fourth and fifth grade girls and their female caregivers on Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School library. This program costs $25 and admission is limited to 12 families.  Please call Tri-Town Youth Services at 526-3600 to register.

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Public Lectures at Chester Village West Continue on May 5

civil war book
CHESTER –
Regardless of the formal education we’ve received over our lifetimes, continuous learning is what keeps us young, enthusiastic and engaged in retirement.

Chester Village West, a senior living community, in partnership with the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Middlesex Hospital, is offering a series of lectures and informative presentations by biographers, historians and medical experts in April, May and June.

All lectures, which begin at 4 p.m. in the community’s event room, are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Each lecture will be limited to 40 participants on a first-come, first served basis; early registration is encouraged. To register, call (860) 333-8992 or visit the website at http://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/lifelong-learning-program.

The upcoming Chester Village West Lifelong Learning Program schedule of lectures is as follows:

Thursday, May 5, 4 p.m. – Diabetes: A Delicate Balance
Dr. Christine Signore, an endocrinologist with Middlesex Hospital’s MultiSpecialty Group, will talk about how a diabetes diagnosis is made and how to improve control of diabetes through lifestyle modifications and goals of treatment. Register for May 5 program here.

Monday, May 9, 4 p.m. – Pete Seeger and the Politics of Participation
Pete Seeger, the preeminent American folk singer and political activist, was a persistent, positive presence in social movements from the 1940s onward. Professor Rob Rosenthal, the John E. Andreas Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University, became personally familiar with Seeger when writing two books, Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements (2011) and Pete Seeger: In His Own Words (2012). In his talk, Rosenthal will discuss Seeger’s life and legacy in 20th-century folk music, and his influence on today’s social justice and environmental movements. Register here.

Thursday, June 2, 4 p.m. – It’s Worth a Shot
Alina Filozov, D.O., an infectious disease physician specialist at Middlesex Hospital, will review current recommendations on routine and travel-related immunizations. She will discuss who is appropriate to receive various vaccines recommended for seniors, including those for shingles, pneumonia and whooping cough. Pre-travel vaccine advice will also be discussed. Register here.

Tuesday, June 28, 4 p.m. – Is It More than Just the Blues?
Robert A. Grillo, Jr., M.D., a specialist in geriatric psychiatry at Middlesex Hospital, will review the symptoms, diagnosis and epidemiology of depression in the elderly. He will also discuss specific risk factors of developing depression for older persons, treatment options and prevention. Register here.

Editor’s note: Located at 317 West Main St. (Rte. 148) in historic Chester, CT, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the independent seniors community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well being. Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

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Screen-Free Family Fun with Tri-Town Youth Services, May 4 & 5

screen freeREGION 4 – To celebrate National Screen-Free Week, Tri-Town Youth Services is partnering with two local libraries to offer Screen-Free Family Fun.

Young children and their parents are invited to the Ivoryton Public Library for free vision screenings and art activities inspired by Andy Warhol on Wednesday, May 4, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  The Essex Lions Club will conduct vision screenings with a sophisticated camera that can detect seven major eye deficiencies.

Tri-Town Youth Services invites all kids ages five and up for crafting and storytelling with projects from the book, Show Me a Story, by Emily Neuburger.  Gather at the Essex Public Library after school on Thursday, May 5, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. to make “story stones” and learn the art of bookbinding.  The afternoon will wrap up with some collaborative storytelling fun.

Both of these screen-free programs are free and open to the public.  Call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600 for more information.

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“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” Opens in Ivoryton, May 4

dancing close upIVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and heading to the Gulf Coast beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida. “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a touching and human comedy about a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, who hires an unusually difficult dance instructor with an acerbic personality, Michael Minetti, to give her private dance lessons — one per week for six weeks — in her Gulf-front condo.

What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion.

A poignant comedy with music and dance, the play also addresses the serious issues of ageism and intolerance.

Written by Yale grad Richard Alfieri, “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” premiered in Los Angeles and opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater in 2003. The play has since been translated into 14 languages and has traversed the globe with productions in 24 countries. The play has established itself as an international hit and one of the most produced plays in the world.

A film was also made of the play starring Gena Rowlands and Cheyenne Jackson.

Featuring seasoned actors and Actors Equity members Michael Ianucci and Valerie Stack Dodge, the play is directed by Sasha Bratt and choreographed by Apollo Smile, with set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 4 and runs through May 22. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $44 for adults, $39 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

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Sinfonia and String Ensemble in Free Concert, May 3

Community Music School's String Ensemble in concert

Community Music School’s String Ensemble in concert

DEEP RIVER – On Tuesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert. Ranging in age from eight to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, as well as popular movie music, fiddle tunes and pop, all under the direction of Martha Herrle. The concert is free and open to the public.

Sinfonia and String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance. Compared to String Ensemble’s modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all-inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.  It also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.

For more information, go to www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026. The Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

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Vista Accepting Applications for Summer Program until May 2

Vista is accepting applications for its summer program.

Vista is now accepting applications for its two-week summer program.

AREAWIDE – Individuals with disabilities 17 and older are invited to experience life at Vista Life Innovations for two weeks during the Exploring Independence summer program.

Exploring Independence is designed to provide prospective students with an introduction to Vista and the independence of adulthood in a supported learning environment. Participants will experience living away from home in a dorm-style setting and take part in a variety of interactive activities. The program combines hands-on learning in the areas of social skills, life skills and team building with fun activities, such as off-site day trips, arts projects and community immersion.

Participation in the Exploring Independence summer program is the first step in the admissions process for many Vista students and members. Among them is Vista student Tim Maloney, who participated in the 2015 summer program.

“I learned that you can be yourself and have a nice time away from home,” Tim said of his experience in the summer program. “My favorite part was making friends and doing activities.”

This year’s Exploring Independence program will run August 1-12. Applications are being accepted through May 2. Space is limited. For more information or to apply, contact Esther Vallas, admissions manager, at evallas@vistalifeinnovations.org or 860-399-8080 ext. 136.

With campuses in Westbrook, Madison and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is a nationally accredited community-based education program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries, intellectual disabilities and ADHD.

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Architecture after the Holocaust: A Books & Bagels Program, May 1

architectureCHESTER – How did the Holocaust shape the works of modern architects? Historian Gavriel Rosenfeld, author of Building After Auschwitz, answers that question and more at a free Books & Bagels program open to the public at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, May 1, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester – a building that’s featured in his book.

Since the end of World War II, Jewish architects have risen to unprecedented international prominence. Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Louis I. Kahn, Daniel Libeskind, Richard Meier, Moshe Safdie, Robert A.M. Stern and Stanley Tigerman have made pivotal contributions. They have also decisively shaped Jewish architectural history, as many of their designs are influenced by Jewish themes, ideas and imagery. Building After Auschwitz is the first major study to examine the origins of this “new Jewish architecture.”

Speaking on behalf of CBSRZ, Tracy Kleinberg, says, “I’ve known Gavriel a long time and when I became program chair two years ago, I knew I wanted to have him come speak about his book.  I thought about the fact that our building, designed by Sol LeWitt, is a prominent piece of modern Jewish architecture and the topic would be of interest to our congregation.  The cool part is that our building is discussed on page 320.”

Rosenfeld, a professor at Fairfield University, describes this cultural development as the result of important shifts in Jewish memory and identity since the Holocaust, and cites the rise of postmodernism, multiculturalism and Holocaust consciousness as a catalyst. In showing how Jewish architects responded to the Nazi genocide in their work, Rosenfeld’s study sheds new light on the evolution of Holocaust memory.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. As always for the Books & Bagels programs, there is no charge for the event and it is open to the public. No reservations are necessary. For more information, visit cbsrz.org or call the CBSRZ office 860-526-8920.

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Arts Festival to Honor Adam Haut, May 1

all things artsy posterDEEP RIVER – An Arts Festival, called “All Things Artsy,” will be held to honor the life of Adam Haut on Sunday, May 1, from 11:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Deep River Congregational Church on Main Street in Deep River.

Photographers, painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, carvers, ceramic, glass, mixed media, poets, sewers, knitters, quilters, etc. are asked to submit a favorite piece of artwork to display or sell. The theme is “Animals, Nature, Love!”  All proceeds will be donated to Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc. in honor of Adam, who died Aug. 28, 2015.

Contact Sybil Higgins (christianed.drcc@snet.net or 860-526-5045) for more details.

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Egyptologist to Present Lecture in Old Lyme, May 1

Kent Weeks (photo from www.ancient.co.uk)

Kent Weeks (photo from www.ancient.co.uk)

OLD LYME – On Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m., Dr. Kent R. Weeks, a world-famous Egyptologist, will be giving a lecture at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Dr. Weeks, a part-time Old Lyme resident and the subject of the cover article in the February 2016 edition of INK magazine, is known for his discovery of the Tomb of Ramses II in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt.

His Old Lyme lecture will focus on recent developments in archaeology in the Valley of the Kings. He will also discuss his groundbreaking success in the creation and development of a local library for Luxor residents. Initially established as an information center for visiting archaeologists and conservationists, the library has expanded to become a unique local cultural center attracting a wide audience of Egyptian mothers, children and young students. A man of many talents, Dr. Kent Weeks is an energetic and engaging speaker.

The event is free, but a suggested donation of $10 per person will be gratefully accepted.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School is located at 69, Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

 

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Jazz Musician Ronny Whyte in Centerbrook, April 30

Ronny Whyte_208_rtchIVORYTON – World-renowned jazz musician Ronny Whyte will be performing a benefit concert for the Ivoryton Players on Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at Centerbrook Meeting House in Centerbrook. Mr. Whyte will perform an evening of songs from “The Great American Songbook,” including works by Gershwin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Ronny Whyte is not only considered a premier interpreter of classic American popular song, he is also an outstanding jazz pianist and an award-winning songwriter. He has been featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR and his lyric “Forget the Woman” was recorded by Tony Bennett. He produces and hosts “Midtown Jazz at Midday” in St. Peter’s in Manhattan and was inducted into the Cabaret Jazz Hall of Fame.

Whitney Balliett wrote in the New Yorker: “Whyte (handsome, dapper, easygoing) is a first class cabaret singer. His diction sparkles…his songs ring and float and shine.”

Ronny Whyte will be accompanied by bassist Boots Maleson. There will be a special guest appearance by Deborah Mott. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 860-767-7318 or can be purchased at the door (seating is limited). A reception will follow the performance.

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Old Saybrook’s 4th Annual Green Up Day, April 30

People and truckOLD SAYBROOK – In 2013 Old Saybrook resident and runner Bill Casertano noticed the mounting litter along the roadside. He decided to do something about it and started the annual event, Old Saybrook Green Up Day.

Join Casertano in this effort on Saturday, April 30, for the Fourth Annual Green Up Day, kicking off at 8 a.m. The rain date is Sunday, May 1.

Community members will once again head out to all parts of town throughout the day to clean up the litter found everywhere from school grounds and parking lots to marshes and parks.

Busy day? Take a bag to the park, Little League Opening Day, the Park and Recreation’s fishing derby, or wherever else your day takes you, fill it up, and throw it away at one of the event’s convenient locations. It’s a great example to set for kids, to show everyone working together to keep their favorite places, and the roads to them, clean.

Volunteers may collect trash individually in their own neighborhoods or meet up with others at the Green Up Meet Up on the green, at 8 a.m. before heading out.

Free garbage bags are available at the Town Hall Parking Lot, Town Park on Schoolhouse Road and the Town Beach Parking Lot. Full bags may be returned to these locations as well.

Take this critical step to prevent roadside litter from becoming not only a blight on the town, but also a threat to inland waterways and Long Island Sound. By simply walking your neighborhood, you could have a significant impact on the heath of the area’s beaches, rivers and estuaries.

To volunteer or for more information about how and where you can help “green up” Old Saybrook, visit www.osgreenup.weebly.com, www.facebook.com/OldSaybrookGreenUpDay, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

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Musical Masterworks Celebrates Conclusion of 25th Season, April 30

Chee-Yun

Chee-Yun

OLD LYME – Musical Masterworks’ 25th Anniversary Season will end with a burst of excitement with eight extraordinary musicians performing works of Richard Strauss, Bartók, Mendelssohn and contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima. The last concerts of this season will be held Saturday, April 30 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m.  The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free 25th anniversary party after the final concert on May 1, to which all ticket buyers are invited.

“Our special 25th Anniversary Season will culminate on April 30 and May 1 with Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet for Strings, led by Musical Masterworks’ beloved veteran violinist, Chee-Yun,” said Artistic Director Edward Arron.  “I feel extraordinarily privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the wondrous beauty of the Congregational Church, the sublime art of chamber music, the superb artistry of my colleagues and the warmth of our devoted audience.”

To learn more about Musical Masterworks, visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.

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Old Saybrook High School Hosts 4th Annual Electronics Drive, April 30

CaptureOld Saybrook High School Ecology Club will host its 4th Annual Electronics Drive on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School.

Help support the environment as well as local organizations that support young mothers and fathers within the shoreline by donating your old/used electronics and metal recyclables. All donated items will be recycled and redeemed for diapers, formula and other baby needs to help support local single mothers and fathers in the area.

The following items will be accepted:

1.  Electronics of any kind including computers, laptops/desktops, tablets, all computer-related gear, old/outdated household appliances (big & small), cell phones, etc.

2. Wires, cables, cords of any kind (i.e.,cell phone chargers, extension cords, computer cables, etc.)

3. Non-working lawnmowers & motors of any kind (i.e., blowers, scooters, generators, saws, vacuums, etc.)

4. Lead batteries of any kind (car, truck, boat, power-wheels)

5.  Appliances of any kind (washer, dryer, microwave, stove, AC units, humidifiers)

6. Odds & ends of metal items (chairs, aluminum, copper, iron, file cabinets–all bulk metal)

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Juniper Foster Art Exhibit on Show at CBSRZ Through April 30

Emerging Worlds I, 2016, 36x36" (Photo: Nazim Khan)

Emerging Worlds I, 2016, 36×36″ (Photo: Nazim Khan)

AREAWIDE – “Juniper Foster has evolved to a place in the artistic community where she and her work can no longer be ignored. There are many paintings and many artists but rarely do paintings arise with such strength of purpose and overwhelming originality.” – Harry Folsom

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., for one of this year’s most exciting artistic events at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s Main Street Gallery.

New York artist Juniper Foster’s dynamic, unencumbered palette forms a conversation with the canvas, effortlessly draws the viewer into her world, and brings each painting to life, transforming the spectator into a participant whose perspective is free to shift with time and mood.

Her 37 works range in size from 4×4″ to 58×84” and will be on display through April 30.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East King’s Highway in Chester. For more information, visit cbsrz.org or call 860-526-8920.

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“August: Osage County” Opens at Chester Meeting House, April 29

The cast of "August: Osage County" at Chester Meeting House

The cast of “August: Osage County” at Chester Meeting House

CHESTER – The Meeting House Players will present Tracy Letts’ 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play August: Osage County at the Chester Meeting House.  The production opens on Friday, April 29, and continues on April 30 and May 6 and 7.

A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a whirlwind of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. This dark comedy unflinchingly and uproariously exposes the dark side of a Midwestern American family.  August: Osage County is being directed by Lenore Grunko and features a 13-member ensemble of talented area actors who bring these unique characters to life.

Evening performances start at 8 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m.  Tickets prices are $20 for preferred seating tickets and $15 for open seating tickets.  Reservation requests for both preferred and open seating are available by e-mail at   TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com or at 860-526-3684.  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

Please note that this play contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The Chester Meeting House is located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester. The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit, all volunteer community theater organization pursuing the theater arts with the talents and interests of individuals throughout Connecticut.

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