The Easton Arts Council has received two CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants from Connecticut Humanities. The grants assist organizations as they continue to recover from the pandemic and maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public. 

The first grant will support the EAC’s efforts to serve the community by helping to fund a long-needed improvement to the lighting systems in the Easton Public Library’s community room and its small gallery/conference room.

The EAC has been sponsoring art shows in the two rooms for over 20 years. When the library was built over 25 years ago, no one realized how important a venue these two display rooms would be for local artists. EAC member Dolly Curtis alone curates over eight shows a year in the small gallery and the EAC curates at least three shows a year in the community room. 

Artists have long been concerned about the less-than-optimal lighting in these rooms and it has been on the EAC’s ‘to do’ list for about four years, said EAC President Joanne Kant. 

“We knew that the expense was most likely prohibitive to our small non-profit’s budget but even before the pandemic a committee was organized to look into it. Then the pandemic hit and there were no in-library exhibits for several years,” said Kant.

Kant learned of the Connecticut Humanities grants from David Green, chair of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. She applied and was awarded the grant for $5,300. Dara Ghavami, a local architect and EAC member, researched companies to install the lighting.

“Once the estimates came in, we realized that even with our grant, this was more money than we could afford. So, we approached the Library Board to see if they would help as well. They saw the importance of how this lighting improvement could enhance the artistic experience, bring more artists in for shows and enhance our outreach to the artistic community. So together we agreed to move forward,” said Kant.

Unfortunately, the lighting was not completed in time for the artist’s reception for the current hanging show, which is the EAC Member’s Show curated by Elizabeth Katz. 

The lightning will be up for the next show, which is an annual Juried Art in the Country Show on Saturday, March 25. The EAC is currently receiving art for the show. The lighting will also be ready for the upcoming Easton Arts Council 25-year Celebration scheduled to take place in the community room on Saturday, May 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. It is open to the public free of charge.

“We appreciate our relationship with the library in that they allow us to use their space for our art shows,” said Kant. “We are happy to be able to give back to the library and the community with the implementation of this new lighting system.”

The second CT Humanities Grant was just awarded in 2023 and is for $5,100. EAC will be exploring ways to spend this grant to enhance their outreach to the community, including perhaps a website update and improvements to the sound system in the Community Room, which would enhance the community’s experience such as the Library Film Series and the annual theatre and music performances co-sponsored by the EAC.

For more information, please visit the Easton Arts Council’s website.

The CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant is funded by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development’s Connecticut Office of the Arts.

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