Featured Member: The Mighty Quinn Foundation

The Mighty Quinn Foundation is the 501c(3) behind the Stratford-based Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford, a summer theater program for college students; and the New Works Lab @ Stratford, a program to support playwrights and directors creating new writing. In 2016, it takes the reins for the town’s theater program, In the Spotlight, a 30-year-old, town-run theatre program for 7-12th graders. Wright operates the foundation with her husband, Chris Rooney, and their children.

Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford 2016 Mighty Quinn FoundationCAGCT: The foundation is named for your son Quinn, who died of a rare brain cancer in 2012. Tell us about why theatre.

SW: For most of Quinn’s life we lived in Stratford and Quinn grew up playing on the grounds of the Shakespeare theatre. He would mow the lawn when it was in disrepair. He loved theatre. He even wrote an impassioned letter to the people at the festival: why don’t you have more young people involved?

Because if you have young people involved, their parents will come to the show. It will sell more tickets. After he died, we wanted to create something to honor his spirit and joy.

CAGCT: Why did you choose Shakespeare?
SW: We approached two friends of Quinn’s who were recent college graduates. We had an idea of doing a theatre program on the festival grounds. They researched programs around the country and the world, and came up with the framework. It is filling a niche that had not been created elsewhere.

(The program is a six-week, educationally intensive workshop on the grounds of the former American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford. Students take daily classes in Shakespeare performance and contemporary ensemble theater- making and perform two Shakespeare plays in repertoire at the end of the program.)

CAGCT: You lease space from the town at “The White House” on the Shakespeare grounds for your academy. The building has had some improvements. How is the space?

It’s a work in progress but it is great to have the space. We would like to have the ability to do programming throughout the year. Workshops for high school students to learn how to audition. Offer weekend classes for adult actors, that sort of thing. We want to keep expanding theatre programming, but we want to be sure we do it well.

Urinetown by In the Spotlight Stratford Mighty Quinn Foundation

CAGCT: The foundation’s latest addition is the long-running town theatre program, “In the Spotlight,” which many Stratford-ites know well. How did that come about?

SW: The town did not have the funding to keep it. So they reached out to us. Tammy Trojanowski will be helping to transition it. Three of my four children performed through the program, including Quinn.

They do a musical production in the spring/summer every year for youth. The one we are doing this year is “Urinetown” (which is a really awful name for a terrific show, by the way).

Alumni from the program are doing an Indiegogo campaign. And because there is not a theater that has air conditioning in Stratford, we are going to be doing the performances at the Klein Theatre in Bridgeport.

Auditions were in May and the program runs June 13 through July 23. It overlaps with the Shakespeare Academy.

CAGCT: It sounds like you’ve hit the ground running with this program.

SW: We have tons of very dedicated “In the Spotlight” parents, alumni and advisory board members! They are helping us do different parts of the program, helping us to keep the program alive.

CAGCT: You mentioned that you have other family involved in the foundation as well.

SW: Joe lives in the city so he isn’t involved in the day-to-day. He is our treasurer. Our son, Brendan, is the residential life coordinator. Katie, who is a junior at Laurelton, she does babysitting for the Master Class teachers and does anything needed to help things run smoothly. She helps with taking photos. And of course [my husband] Chris [Rooney] is the Board Chairman.

CAGCT: That is one dedicated family! Thanks Sue!

Valentine’s Day show at the Winemaker’s Boutique

It was a bitterly cold and windy day, but that didn’t stop our loyal fans from coming out to support our Valentine’s Day show this past Saturday. February 13th. Thanks to all who braved the weather to come in and see our vendors wares.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Winemaker’s Boutique for our first show of the year. Here are some pictures from the Valentine’s Day show.

  • Valerie Riveras Rhodes at the Coastal Art Guild's Valentine's Day show 2016

Pequot Library Exploring Art – Call for Entries

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Calling all artists working in any style, subject, or medium!

Abstract or realistic, all subjects and styles are welcome!

Deadline to submit form and payment: Saturday, October 3, 2015

Click here for E-Z Entry Form

Call for Entries Brochure

Please fill out entry form and return it to the library, along with payment. Don’t forget to review the guidelines and details in the Call for Entries brochure!

Art drop off date: Saturday, October 10, 2015, from 10am – 4pm

Exploring the Landscape of Art  | Exploring the Art of Landscape
This year, Pequot Library is hosting its traditional, community Art Show, as well as a Plein Air competition, including two Quick Paints on the Great Lawn. Entry details & guidelines are included in the Call for Entries Brochure.

In celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, Pequot Library has expanded its traditional Art Show to include a week full of activities and events for people of all ages. There will be children’s workshops, a community art exhibition, and a gallery talk about the founder of Pequot Library’s Annual Art Shows, Enid Munroe. Local and regional artists will participate in a newly established week-long Plein Air (painting outdoors) competition and art sale – all wrapped up in one fabulous week of fun and fundraising.

That’s What Friends are FOUR

11155071_822819121101262_9106401486736199742_oThe time has come FOUR our annual FTS anniversary gathering.

FOUR years strong and its all thanks to our family and friends constantly pushing us FOURward. We are very FOURtunate to have the opportunity to continue making art and sharing it with the world.

This celebration is always worth waiting FOUR so book the date and come hang with StratFOURds finest degenerate family.

There will be complimentary food, beverages and hugs.

6PM at the Forest to Shore Gallery, 2415 Main St, 2nd floor, Stratford, CT 06615

Westport Downtown Merchants Association 42nd Fine Arts Festival

The Westport Fine Arts Festival remains a highlight on the calendars of art collectors from New England and Manhattan each year. Original, juried works in Painting, Watercolor, Photography, Sculpture, Drawing, Printmaking, Mixed Media, Glass, Ceramics, Fiber, Jewelry, Wood and Digital Art are displayed along the lovely Saugatuck River in beautiful downtown Westport, CT. Live music, special performances, and children’s activities make this a festival for everyone.

For more information visit our events page and www.westportfineartsfestival.com.

Elements of Nature Art Show Call for Artists

Joe Rizzo, a member of the Guild who is a wildlife artist himself, is sending out a wildlife Call for Artists who wish to participate in an upcoming show in February. The show will include demonstrations and artists can sell their work.  He says that this is a huge show that attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts.

If you’re interested, please read the attachments and contact Joe at evolutioninart@gmail.com.

 

“The Aesthete” at Firehouse Art Gallery

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Guild member and President Mark Hannon will have his pen & ink drawing “The Aesthete” in an exhibit at the Firehouse Art Gallery.

January 22, 2015- February 20, 2015, with an

Opening Reception:  Thursday, January 22, 2015,  from 6-8 pm

The Gallery will be closed: January 16, 17 and 18th.

For more information and directions see the events page.