Artwork created by five students at Newtown High School is featured in the 2014 Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards show, on display at the Tilpe Gallery, at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School in West Hartford. The works by Rebecca Ainley, Hannah Godbout, Katherine Jennings, Abigail Kohler and Isabella Saraceni will remain on view until January 29. The show is the largest juried student art exhibition in the state. According to NHS art teacher Carol Pelligra the pieces were juried from over 1,200 entries from throughout the state. Ms Pelligra said each of the students who have work featured in the show are “remarkable kids, and they all worked so hard.”
What a permanent memorial to 12/14 will eventually be is the challenge given to the newly formed Permanent Memorial Commission in Newtown. Many suggestions catalogued by the organization involve greenery, from trees with benches to donated evergreens to park spaces. The creation of memorial parks at Fairfield Hills or at Sandy Hook Elementary School with Feng Shui elements are among the ideas, as is the suggestion for a park, a landscaped walkway for exercise and meditation, a memorial bridge, a street naming, a memorial horse barn, an art museum or gallery, a children’s museum, or a memorial carousel. It will be a daunting task for members of the commission, some of whom lost loved ones that day, to sift through the suggestions that have been offered by people across the nation, and perhaps solicit additional ideas, in search for one formal memorial to the victims of 12/14.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Martin Sexton is very interested in discussing the future, and even what he is up to currently. Just don’t ask him to talk about his youth or the earlier part of his musical career. Both his publicist and the artist himself indicated that any questions about his background would not be welcome during a brief chat with The Newtown Bee ahead of his scheduled January 18 show at The Ridgefield Playhouse. So those who want to know more about Sexton’s history can tap bio information available on his Facebook page, or on sites like Wikipedia. During his interview with The Bee, Sexton talked about his latest writing phase, plans for his next project, his friendship with Connecticut's own John Mayer, and what he's planning for fans coming out to see him in Ridgefield.
Newtown resident and “Live At Edmond Town Hall” series promoter Hayden Bates is excited about the updates at the iconic Main Street building. Due in large part to the diverse music concerts that Mr Bates has organized over the past year and a half, in an effort to modernize the nearly 85-year old building, the support of the members of the Board of Managers of ETH, and the renewed interest by members of the community, enough funds have been generated to cover the cost of installing a new power system, new LED lighting, and a state of the art sound system. Grammy-nominated jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch will utilize all of those updates when he performs in the town hall's theater on Sunday, February 9.
“It’s all coming together in February,” said Mary Fellows, a member of the Board of Managers at Edmond Town Hall, referring to the upgrades to the infrastructure of Edmond Town Hall. The cornerstone of the historic building at 45 Main Street was laid in 1929. The building, formerly used as the central location for the town's officials and departments, needed to be repurposed once most of the town employees relocated to Newtown Municipal Center in 2009. Recent upgrades to the building's lighting and sound system, the third floor ballroom and infrastructure continue to make the 85-year old building a more desirable venue to attract quality performers to Newtown.
For several days before the somber anniversary of 12/14, First Selectman Pat Llodra led a panel of community leaders through a half-dozen press conferences that were attended by state, regional, and national media. It was her hope that media outlets would have enough material to report on Newtown without needing to be in town on or around December 14. At the same time, the first selectman used her national platform to request that people across the nation and around the globe honor the fallen teachers and students of Sandy Hook School by performing acts of kindness in their own communities. In the weeks since those press conferences, Mrs Llodra’s office has received numerous correspondence from around the country from groups and individuals who responded to her humble request.