For over a century, Westport has been known as an arts community.
While our focus is often on noted artists, art comes in many forms. So does “community.”
Two upcoming events honor art of different types — and the concept of community.
Those local organizations support adults with disabilities, teenage girls and young women in crisis, and homeless families — populations that may not seem to have time for art, but for whom it can be a life-changing form of expression.
The Westport Arts Center and Westport Historical Society will also be represented at the gala.
The event is the first-ever art show for the Drew Friedman Community Arts Center.
Senator Richard Blumenthal is scheduled to present 3 DFCAC scholarships at the gala, in partnership with the WAC and Westport Woman’s Club. Staples High School seniors Lilianna Giaume, Katelyn Loucas and Zoe Molina each earned a $5,000 award.
The evening also includes the introduction of the $1 million DFCAC Fund. Over the next 10 years, it will support art programs and scholarships for underserved artists of all ages.
Miggs Burroughs — a noted artist DFCAC board member — has matched local organizations with art instructors from the Westport Arts Collective. That jump-started the foundation’s mission: reaching budding artists who may otherwise not have access to supplies and education.
There will be music too, from the incomparable Suzanne Tanner — and of course food. Friedman and Nick Visconti — chair of the DFCAC, and Friedman’s longtime business partner — owned local restaurants.
CLASP Homes and Project Return are also beneficiaries of a portion of sales at 2 pop-up gallery shows. They’re set for 153 Post Road East — the building opposite Design Within Reach (old post office), between Westport Pizzeria and Finalmente/Jeera Thai.
Over 30 artists will be featured from May 10 to June 3. There are 2 receptions, with food and music: Saturday, May 12 (4 to 6 p.m.), and Sunday, May 27 (6 to 8 p.m.).
The pop-up shows are directed by artists Amy Kaplan and Trace Burroughs. Their goal is to “connect the community, and energize downtown Westport through art.”
The 1st (May 10-22) includes Kaplan and Burroughs, plus Kat Evans, Miggs Burroughs, Irene Penny, Nina Bentley and others.
The 2nd show (May 24-June 3) includes Noah Steinman, Dan Long, Katherine Ross, Charles Douthalt, Melissa Newman, Diane Pollack and more.
There’s plenty of art for Westport this month. After all these years, we are still very much an arts community.