BY JIM MARPE
Westport has so many qualities that make it a distinct and welcoming community. It is a special town full of wonderful stores, restaurants, recreation facilities, high-performing public schools and a marvelous library as well as numerous theaters and arts organizations. It is home to some very special people who are dedicated, community-driven and open-hearted.
It is that history of welcoming and supporting the performing and visual arts and the individuals and organizations that provide creative talents and venues that make Westport particularly unique. The Westport Country Playhouse, the Levitt Pavilion with its architecturally stunning new venue, Westport Arts Center, Westport Historical Society and the Westport Library have all attracted widespread and, in many cases, international attention for their groundbreaking initiatives; but so have the Westport Community Theater, Beechwood Arts, Play With Your Food, Westport Cinema Initiative, Write Yourself Free, Westport Writers Workshop, Downtown Merchants Association-sponsored events and the many galleries, music and dance schools such as the Suzuki Music School, Music for Youth and Westport’s Academy of Dance, not to mention all the individual artistic efforts. This collective combination is likely unmatched in any other suburban community.
This year, Westport’s Art Advisory Committee launched its TEA (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) Talks series, conversations on innovative roles that the arts are playing in other arenas. In the fall, the first TEA Talk focused on the new relationships of technology and the arts. On Sunday, May 3, 2 p.m., in Westport Town Hall, the next TEA Talk will explore “Healing Through the Arts” as artists and professional art/music therapists discuss the impact of the arts on healing — another example of how Westport continues to innovate around and through its artistic and cultural heritage.
Please partake in Westport’s many diverse cultural activities as well as its exciting dining and shopping opportunities. And thank you to the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County for its help and efforts to bring attention and support to our arts and cultural activities throughout Fairfield County.
Jim Marpe is first selectman of the town of Westport, a member of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.