Celebrate The Calendar

Kids complain there’s nothing to do in Westport.  Parents complain there’s too much to keep track of.

CelebrateWestport.com hopes to help both groups.

Nestled within the town’s official website, the Celebrate Westport Community Calendar is the go-to spot for information on upcoming meetings, lectures, fundraisers, concerts, films, exhibitions, and kids and family events.

The aim, the site says, is to help Westporters “gather together, renew old acquaintances and share in the delight of all our community has to offer.”  But its real value is offering so much calendar information, in so many forms.

Users can click on any event for detailed information, including directions. They can create personalized calendars; forward listings to friends, and request email or text reminders or notifications of changes.

Users can also submit their own events.

Many of the listings — library events, synagogue book fairs, Positive Directions parent training — offer links to the sponsoring organization.

According to Nancy Diamond of the Arts Advisory Council, CelebrateWestport.com is the only townwide calendar without editorial filtering; the only one that accepts press releases; a place where not-for-profits can post dates for future galas (avoiding conflicts with different organizations), and a place where community-minded businesses like Barnes & Noble can promote free events like author talks.

Out-of-town events (like fundraisers) are fine, so long as they are sponsored by a Westport not-for-profit.  So are non-sectarian events (like a knitting circle) at churches and synagogues, though religious services are not listed.

The Celebrate Westport Community Calendar has been around since October.  It’s grown slowly but steadily under the direction of Megan Donaher.  The 24-year-old native Westporter was hired part-time by the town’s Arts Advisory Council, which manages the site.

Megan is expanding the depth and breadth of listings.  It’s not just about the Westport Arts Center and other well-known organizations; the goal is to include smaller groups that have less opportunity to publicize their events.

And, of course, to make the Community Calendar as much a part of every Westporter’s day as morning coffee and “06880.”

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