These early September days have achieved that rare temperate equilibrium where neither air conditioners nor furnaces have anything to offer comfort aficionados like our cats. Thermometer readouts oscillate ever-so-slightly from high 60s to low 70s in the lulls between weather fronts, and we throw open windows on all sides of the house so it may breathe deeply with every shifting breeze. The cats lie on the sills leaning into the screens, nodding their noses around in the feral air to awaken their dozing hunter appetites. And we humans follow the dog outside onto the terrace to lie out in it… just for a moment before afternoon chores... just while we digest lunch.
So, it was in such a perfect supine moment of tracking my eye-floaters around the clear blue sky that a Monarch butterfly crossed the field of view and disappeared behind the peak of the house in a matter of seconds. It was the only Monarch I have seen all year. Was it really just a muted orange fritillary, which have been few and far between, but present nonetheless in the gardens this year? No, the black and orange stained-glass markings were clear even in my passing glimpse of the butterfly.
The third annual Newtown Arts Festival began on September 5, when Town Players presented its opening night performance of "The Artificial Jungle." Arts Festival events have continued since, and will continue to do so until September 21, but the signature event of Newtown Cultural Arts Commission’s festival will return to Fairfield Hills this weekend. The 2014 Newtown Arts Festival — Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, from 10 am until 6 pm both days — will again offer guests of all ages two days of non-stop performances, workshops, exhibitions, music and over 85 artists and craftspeople offering their works for sale. Admission is $5 per person.
Art lovers perused more than a dozen demonstrations, exhibits and pop-up galleries while music lovers braved sizzling temperatures to enjoy a Beatles tribute band Saturday, September 6, as the 2014 Newtown Arts Festival sprang to life with overlapping events sponsored by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity. While Art In Residence Galley operators Rosemary and Rob Rau welcomed visitors to their pop-up gallery at 100 Church Hill Road (Suite 104, the former SHACK location), others put their final touches on temporary exhibitions at a number of nearby locations. Meanwhile, about 100 families and fans gathered alongside the Pootatuck River to hear Ticket To Ride play two sets of popular tunes spanning the history of the Beatles. The concert was the penultimate of the inaugural Choose Love Concert Series.
Combining the talents of Nuala Kennedy, John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary, The Alt focuses on songs, as opposed to instrumental dance tunes, from the Irish, Scottish, English, and American roots traditions. The trio debuted its new self-titled CD in August at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Festival and is now touring the country. On Monday, September 15, at 7:30 pm, the Fairfield County-based Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society will bring The Alt to Newtown Meeting House.
Ridgefield Theatre Barn is presenting Diana Son’s "Stop Kiss" in its fall lineup. The play, under the capable direction of Marla Manning, provides an intimate story of how we choose who we love and how those choices are adjusted by the world around us. This is not only the story of a possible hate crime. It is a love story about two people who connect and despite the obstacles, come to care for each other above all else. It is a tender journey threatened by needless violence. It also shows that in our darkest hour, our greatest strength is revealed.
Friday, September 12, would have been Benjamin Wheeler’s eighth birthday. Friends are joining members of the Wheeler family to remember Ben and the other children and educators lost at Sandy Hook School with light. Ben loved lighthouses. To share the light of Ben’s spirit, all are invited to place a candle safely in a window, doorway, or porch on Friday evening.
Weaving, painting, coloring, and hugging therapy dogs were all part of the Second Annual Children’s Art Party held September 7 at NYA Sports & Fitness. The event was an early Newtown Arts Festival event, just one part of the “ridiculous abundance of enriching throughout September all around town” that been promised by festival organizers. The outdoor event on September 7 offered three hours of creative fun and performances for families and children. Young residents mingled, enjoyed arts and crafts, and could not keep their small and curious hands away from the therapy dogs.