Weathered Way is presenting “A Tree Just Wants To Be A Tree,” a solo exhibition of new furniture from Johnny A. Williams featuring coffee tables, benches, cabinetry, shelving, wooden art and one massive walnut slab dining table. Mr Williams is a sculptural furniture maker based in Newtown. Using traditional techniques and local lumber, he handcrafts durable furniture pieces with soulful flourishes. He honed his woodworking skills at the Center For Furniture Craftsmanship and the College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture program. The collection will remain on view until November 17.
Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is looking for new, original art that illustrates “Newtown Arts & Culture,” with the winning artist receiving $750 and the opportunity to see their work in myriad uses and locations. The winning image will be used to promote the 2014 Newtown Arts Festival and will appear in businesses and public spaces around Newtown and surrounding towns. The image will also be printed on T-shirts, posters, and other items that will be available for purchase at next year’s arts festival.
Flagpole Radio Café will continue its sixth season on Saturday, November 9, with special guest Michael Coppola. The show will begin at 7 pm at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street in Newtown. Michael Coppola was listed as a main entry in acclaimed jazz critic Scott Yanow’s 2013 book The Great Jazz Guitarists (The Ultimate Guide) alongside guitar legends such as Django Reinhardt and Wes Playing in a trio with master pianist John Mehegan inspired Mr Coppola to overstep the technical boundaries of the guitar. In an attempt to achieve the same tightly-voiced chords and pedaled legato phrases used by contemporary jazz keyboardists, he created the concept of the eight-string guitar. The original design, which Mr Coppola commissioned from luthier James DeCava, requires inner, rather than extra bass or treble side strings. In 2000, Mr Coppola expanded his own idea to incorporate a ninth sting.
Newtown Friends of Music will present Trio Con Brio Copenhagen in a concert performance on Sunday, October 27. The 3 pm concert will include special guest Ettore Causa, professor of viola at Yale University. The program for October 27 will include a Trio in C Major by Joseph Haydn, the Mendelssohn Piano Trio Opus 66, and Antonin Dvorák’s Piano Quartet, Opus 87; Mr Causa will join the trio on the Dvorák work.
Merryhill Child Care Center will be hosting a Harvest Festival at Reed Intermediate School on Saturday, November 16. It will run from 11 am until 3 pm. The festival will include more than 30 craft vendors, food vendors, a visit from Santa, games,performances, face painting, Billy Steers and Tractor Mac, and more. For a fee ranging from $1 to $2, children can visit Santa’s Workshop to make crafts they can keep or give as holiday gifts.
For the 28th year, the Newtown Savings Bank will present a holiday festival that will feature a Victorian Tea, gingerbread house contest, holiday craft boutique, festival of trees, performances of The Nutcracker Suite, and more. House tours have been put on hiatus this year, but trolley tours narrated by Town Historian Dan Cruson have been added in their place.The festival, to be conducted Sunday, December 1, from 11 am to 4 pm, is a fundraiser for Newtown Youth & Family Services.
The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN) will have Susan Tilton Pecora painting a watercolor landscape at its next meeting, on Wednesday, October 23, at 1:30 pm. The program will take place at Newtown Meeting House. The public is invited to attend. Admission is free.
Florida-based nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms will be offering “MOVE: Focus” on Saturday, November 2, from 9 am to 6:30 pm, at Newtown Congregational Church. “MOVE: Focus” is a one-day workshop led by professional counselors where attendees will explore issues that are rarely talked about, including depression, anxiety, and suicide. The discussion will cover what is behind these struggles, what drives them, what recovery looks like, and how students can make a difference. The workshop is open to all students in grades 8–12 in the area. MOVE will be taught by licensed mental health counselor Aaron Moore and registered mental health intern Denny Kolsch. “It’s a free conference that will tackle the issues of depression, anxiety, and suicide,” said NCC Youth Minister Allysa De Wolf, who also said the event is “not a religious event but is open to students from all backgrounds.”
Richard Huffman, a senior at Newtown High School, will perform at Music for Youth’s “Rising Stars” Benefit Concert on Sunday, November 3. The performance will begin at 5 pm at Trinity Church in Southport. The November 3 Benefit Concert will feature eight separate acts of talented young musicians from around the state discovered through the programs of Music for Youth, including violin, cello, piano, guitar, voice, and various ensembles. The program will be followed by a reception in the Trinity Church Fellowship Hall.
Newtown’s ska/reggae/punk band The Screw Ups, who got their start at The Teen Center in 2005 — and returned to that location to perform a show just a few months ago — will be the opening act for The English Beat at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Tuesday, October 22, at 8 pm. “We are really excited to be playing with ska legends. We love the two-tone style, and it has been a big influence on us,” said Screw Ups alto sax player Nico Bonvini. While the night will be memorable for The Screw Ups as musicians, Mr Bonvini is also eager to “put our sound out there and compliment one of the greats,” he said.