Bijou Theatre To Host Cultural Development Summit

News release:

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (CAFC), in partnership with the Kuchma Corporation and Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, is pleased to announce a one-day “Space Summit,” Creative Spaces for the Creative Economy, on Saturday, November 12th at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The summit is being held in response to calls for action by the cultural community of Fairfield County to bring unused space–or underused space–from throughout the region into more productive use for artists, cultural nonprofits and others in the community.

David Green, Director of Programs & Membership for CAFC, explained that this is a long-awaited opportunity to bring together the many parties that could creatively find ways to more effectively use the rich stock of real estate in our region to its full potential, helping to stimulate more economic growth for our towns and cities. David commented that “We firmly intend to build an action agenda out of this meeting to see how the many parties can work together to create better solutions for the use of space in our communities.”

Speakers throughout the day will share existing examples of positive, creative use of spaces, as well as address remaining challenges and possible solutions to the many unresolved space issues and needs within the arts and culture community. The guiding principles of the day will be those of creativity, affordability, and sustainability in the cultural community’s search for spaces in which to live, work, show, create and perform creative work. The range of speakers will include artists, developers, gallery directors, landlords, business owners, economic development officers, and representatives from government, foundations, nonprofits and corporations.

Panel session topics include:
Temporary Transformations of Commercial Space
From Spaces to Places – Connecting to Community
Sharing Spaces & Services
Incentives to Release Commercial Space for Cultural Use

Confirmed speakers to date include:
Fernando Luis Alvarez, Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, Stamford
Margaret Bodell, Southington Community Cultural Arts
Tod Bryant, Norwalk Preservation Trust, Norwalk
Anita Durst, Chashama, Bridgeport
Richard Epstein, Westport Arts Advisory & WPKN Board, Westport & Bridgeport
Marcella Kovac, Bananaland, Bridgeport
Phil Kuchma, Kuchma Corporation, Bridgeport
Jackie Lightfield, Norwalk 2.0 & Stamford Partnership, Norwalk & Stamford
Brechin Morgan, Artist, American Fabrics Arts Building, Bridgeport
Kim Morque, Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, Bridgeport & Norwalk
Dawn Reshen-Doty, Benay Enterprises, Danbury
Peter Propp and/or Barry Schwimmer, Stamford Innovation Center, Stamford
Richard Wenning, Be Foundation and SpreadMusicNow, Redding
Jahmane West, Artist, Norwalk
Erin Wilson, Dept. of Economic Development, CIty of Torrington

A special feature will be a demonstration of SpaceFinder, an online database developed by FracturedAtlas that brings those with space and those looking for space together. SpaceFinder Connecticut will be made available shortly through the generous support of the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

The Bijou Theatre, is located in the heart of downtown Bridgeport, at 275 Fairfield Ave. There is adequate garaged parking across the street. Morning coffee and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Trattoria ‘A Vucchella. There will be a post-summit reception at 5pm, at the renovated Harral Security Wheeler (HSW) Building, 1115 Main Street, Bridgeport, courtesy Bridgeport Historic Ventures, a Joint Venture of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners and Trefz Corp.

The Summit is free of charge.

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has close to 500 members, comprised of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, creative businesses, artists, libraries and municipalities.
The mission of the organization is to support its membership–and the cultural sector–by providing promotion, services and advocacy. CAFC maintains the region’s most comprehensive online event calendar for all things arts & culture, CAFC is also one of the State of Connecticut, Office of the Arts’s (COA), “Designated Regional Service Organizations,” which are directed to develop, convene, and sustain the arts industry, develop cross-sector relationships, and provide support for specific COA programs and services.


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