Tag Archives: Celebrate Westport

Remembering To Celebrate Westport

The question seemed reasonable. An “06880” reader working with a few non-profit groups wanted to know where she could find a calendar of events in Westport for October, and on through winter and spring.

For scheduling purposes — her own, and her organizations’ — she needed to see what the Downtown Merchants, Rotary clubs, Westport Arts Center, library, Wakeman Town Farm, Westport Woman’s Club and others had planned. And when.

I sent her to WestportNow.com. Every day — in between photos of sunsets and teardowns — the local site posts a comprehensive calendar of upcoming events.

No good, the “06880” reader said. It’s only for that day.

There’s a “Celebrate Westport” community calendar on the official town website. But that didn’t do it either.

“Everyone is slacking on putting in their events,” she said.

She’s right.

“There (sic) something going on almost every evening,” the Celebrate Westport site says.

But you wouldn’t know it. Entire weeks are empty.

The Westport Country Playhouse is unlisted. There are no library events. Not even — on the official town website — official town meetings.

A Westport Historical Society reception on October 5 — celebrating  “US Postage Stamps by Westport Artists” — is listed on the Celebrate Westport calendar.

The Celebrate Westport calendar is a great tool. You can be reminded of events by email, notified of changes, even forward info to friends.

But it’s all wasted if no one uses it. Or updates it.

I’ve done my job. I’ve posted a link to the Celebrate Westport calendar on the right side of my “06880” home page.

Now I just have to remember to use it.

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.”