"Culture can become a 'secret weapon' that makes extraordinary things happen." -author Jon Katzenbach, Booz & Co.

The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is pleased to announce its new networking series, CULTURENettopic-focused events to gather together like-minded people who revolve in the expansive arenas of art, history, and culture. “Art, history, and culture are invariably linked, constantly pushing and pulling the advancement of one another," says Lisa Scails, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut. "Our desire is to link together the fabrics of our community to inspire and inform.”

The first event in the series, "The Connecticut Book Awards: Calling Connecticut Authors & Illustrators," will welcome guest Lisa Comstock, Director of the Connecticut Center for the Book, to share an overview of the prestigious annual awards. The event, which will provide plenty of opportunity to network with those who share a common thread, will take place on Thursday, February 22nd, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, at @287 Gallery, 287 Main Street, Danbury, CT. Robert H. Patton and Karen Fortunati, both 2017 CT Book Award winners, will also be on hand to network, mingle, and provide insight. BYO snacks and beverage is encouraged. CULTURENet events are free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP at

The Connecticut Center for the Book at Connecticut Humanities (CTH), a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities  is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Connecticut Book Awards. These awards will recognize the best books published in 2017 by authors and illustrators who reside in Connecticut. Categories include Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Young Readers. Award winners, to be announced in September 2018, will receive exposure in Connecticut media outlets and through personal appearances in Connecticut locations. Through competitive grant making, its website, and social media channels, Connecticut Humanities highlights cultural and educational events and is an advocate for the humanities. For more information, visit

Lisa Comstock joined Connecticut Humanities (CTH) in 1990 and has had the opportunity to wear many different hats within the organization overthe years. In 2015, she became the Director of the Connecticut Center for the Book. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and in English from the University of Tampa and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University.

Robert H. Patton's winning entry was for Cajun Waltz, published by Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press. A resident of Darien, his book captures the cadence of the Louisiana bayou during the Depression and beyond. Robert holds degrees in literature and journalism from Brown University and Northwestern University. He has worked as a Capitol Hill reporter, a commercial fisherman, and a real estate developer before publishing his family memoir, The Pattons, to wide acclaim in 1994.

Karen Fortunati was awarded for The Weight of Zero, published by Delacorte Press, a story of loss, grief, and hope that affects a young woman in her struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.  Fortunati is a former attorney whose experiences on the job with children and teens and personal experiences witnessing the impact of depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide inspired her to write the story of hope for those who struggle with mental illness.

Programs of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut are made possible, in part, with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Cultural Alliance's programs and events, to volunteer or to donate, call (203) 798 0760 or visit


Saturday, 05 August 2017 15:21





 "Doing Good is a simple and universal vision. A vision to which each and every one of us can connect and contribute to its realization." - businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison 

Each year, the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut recognizes outstanding philanthropic giving and volunteerism that support arts and culture, and each year, the Cultural Alliance requests that the public be involved in nominating outstanding business leaders and volunteers who have made a significant impact on their communities. Seeking nominations, the Cultural Alliance reaches out to its ten-town region: Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Ridgefield, Redding, and Sherman. "We're blessed with cultural diversity and the region's investment in that uniqueness," says Lisa Scails, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance. "The awards were established to highlight a synergism between the arts, business markets, and their communities that reflects not only the purpose of the Cultural Alliance but the region's health and well-being."

This year, awards will be presented at the Cultural Alliance's 11th Annual "Business Supports the Arts" awards breakfast on Thursday, October 12th at The Amber Room Colonnade. A highly anticipated event each year, the "Business Supports the Arts" awards breakfast brings in substantial support of the Cultural Alliance's mission: To market the region; to develop livable communities; and to provide opportunities and resources to the creative community it serves. 

Nominations can include a corporate, entrepreneurial, or your own business; a colleague or community partner; a volunteer; or someone who does Good for the community and deserves recognition. Four awards are given: "Business Supports the Arts" (BSA) Award, Arts In the Community Award, Heart of the Arts Award, and the Art Impacts Life Award. 

The most prestigious award, the BSA award, is  presented to mid-sized to large businesses for their exemplary giving practices. It recognizes the broad impact made and significant philanthropic contributions to support art, history and culture within the Cultural Alliance's 10-town region. Last year's recipient was Ridgefield's Doyle Coffin Architecture (BSA Award).

The Arts in the Community award highlights, promotes, and honors local business leaders who have encouraged and supported innovative approaches to using the arts to build and sustain vibrant, healthy, and creative communities that focus on economic development. This award is usually presented to a local business or business leader. The Bethel Economic Development Office received the honor at last year's breakfast.

The Heart of the Arts award recognizes the outstanding volunteer efforts of an individual and their contributions made to encourage and nurture arts and culture in their community, and significantly increasing our region's quality of life. Last year's honoree was Howard Lasser of Brookfield.

The Art Impacts Life Award, which was established in 2016 and awarded to Hancock Hall in Danbury, addresses the quite tangible results that come from including art, cultural activities, and creative expression in everyday life.    

Nomination information and forms can be obtained by visiting  The deadline for receipt of all nomination forms is Friday, August 4th. Sponsorship opportunities are available now by calling the offices of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut at (203) 798 0760.

The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, with offices at 287 Main Street, Danbury, CT, is a leader in supporting a vibrant arts and culture community in Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties. The Cultural Alliance promotes and advocates for arts, history, and culture as a primary driver of the economy and as an enriching influence for communities and people. The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, a 501c-3, is the largest and only regional service organization working to ensure better access to arts and culture for all residents and visitors in Greater Danbury. Major funding is received from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and the Cultural Alliance is also supported by public and private funding, corporate sponsors, and by its 290 members including more than 55 arts, history, and cultural organizations. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:00

Networking in the 21st Century part I

What is Networking?

Networking is connecting and sharing information and resources with others to help each of you reach specific goals. Your personal network might include personal friends and family in addition to corporate and not-for-profit executives. When you help others through your network you will inevitably help yourself as well.

Published in ARTSWESTERN Blog



Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut
287 Main Street
Danbury, CT 06810

Tel 203.798.0760


Be Part of the Arts!