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SHACK Announces New Workshops & Classes For All Ages; Special Program On March 8

The Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids (SHACK) is an arts center working to bringing healing through the arts to the children of Sandy Hook and Newtown through art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, and other creative mediums such as music, art, theater, dance, and more.

The SHACK is at 100 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook, in Suite 104 — the tan building that formerly housed the Life’s a Peach boutique.

Upcoming workshops and special events include the following:

*Free Pop-In Art Sessions: Children of Sandy Hook and Newtown are invited to The SHACK to paint canvases for a “Visions of Tomorrow” art show and sale on Sunday, April 28. Stop by on Mondays and Fridays from 4 to 5:30 pm each week in March and April in the weeks leading up to the exhibit and paint two canvases; one to be donated and one to take home.

(Please note there will be a special program on Friday, March 8, to honor 12/14 victim Dylan Hockley on what would have been his seventh birthday. To honor him and his memory, The SHACK will host a special program from 4 to 5:30 pm where visitors to the art studio will be invited to paint butterflies in his favorite color to honor his life and memory. See related story, “Purple Butterflies For Dylan.”)

*A St Patrick’s Day black light puppet show and craft party will be held Saturday, March 16. Two sessions will be available to accommodate more families, from 2 to 4 pm and 4:40 to 6:30 pm. Children will make a take-home “Shamrock Shaker” percussion instrument, watch a black light puppet show, sample Irish soda bread, and enjoy face painting before heading home with a bag full of goodies.

Fee for this event is $7 per person, or $25 for a family, and reservations are strongly suggested due to the limited space. Send e-mail to SandyHookArtsCenter@gmail.com with name, the number of people attending, and which session the reservations are for, and a SHACK volunteer will send a return e-mail with confirmation.

*Healing Drum Circle, Sunday, March 24, at 3 and 4 pm. Lydia Smith will lead 45-minute programs with her drums, percussion instruments, and her smiles, for all ages. Fee is $7 per person, $25 per family, and reservations are requested; SandyHookArtsCenter@gmail.com.

*The SHACK’s Awesome 80s Prom is a fundraising event being planned for Saturday, April 20, at The Ethan Allen Inn in Danbury. Tickets are $125 and include open bar, 90-minute cocktail hour, passed hors d’oeuvres, dinner (chicken francaise or pasta primavera), dancing, music including DJ Joe Miller (Genesis Events, NYC) and live entertainment (TBA), and photography for 80s prom shots.

The evening, which will run from 6 to 11 pm, will also include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, Madonna Look-a-Like Contest, Michael Jackson Look-a-Like Contest, Moon Walk Contest, and Ugliest Prom Dress & Tux Contest. Styles from the 80s are strongly suggested — break our the Aqua Net, gold lamé, teal taffeta dresses, and checkered Vans.

Special offers for hair and makeup the day of the event and prom dresses and tuxedos (though April 20) are being offered. Contact The SHACK for details.

*“Visions of Tomorrow,” a children’s art show and auction, will take place Sunday, April 28, from 3 to 7 pm, at The SHACK. In partnership with Bear Givers, The SHACK will present this show that symbolizes a new beginning for Sandy Hook. Through their artwork, local children will share their hopes and dreams for the future.

Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on children’s artwork, enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music, and help empower local children to give back to their community through their art.

The mission of The SHACK is to provide a safe haven for the children of the Sandy Hook/Newtown community to come to heal, create, and explore various art forms while expressing themselves artistically in a nurturing environment. The SHACK was founded by Wendy (Leahy) Mitchell, and fellow Newtown High School alumni.

For additional information call 203-304-9555 or visit www.sandyhookartscenter.org.

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