"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






 "Imagining, without any doubt, an absorbing occupation." - artist Emile Galle

 Magic realism is a genre of narrative fiction that expresses the real world while adding magical elements. Robert Crawford, an illustrator and fine artist living in the beautiful northwest hills of Connecticut, practices magic in the visual world.

On Friday, September 29th, a solo exhibition of his works, entitled "Imaginings", opens at the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut's @287 Gallery, 287 Main Street, Danbury, with a free reception to the public from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The event will also feature live music, nibbles from Pour Me Cafe, and prints for sale. For reservations, go to or call 203-798-0760 The @287 Gallery is open 10:00am to 4:00pm Thursday and Friday, 11:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. The exhibition, made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Savings Bank of Danbury, will be on view through the end of the year. 

Robert Crawford's unique style is influenced by the regionalism of post World War Two artists like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Some highlights in his career include recent work for Celestial Seasonings and The New York State Lottery. He loves to see his work around New York City and on products in the supermarket. His work for Bank of America featured a gigantic mural on three sides of a building facing the Kennedy Expressway where upwards of a half million people a day pass by.

He has been on the cover of major magazines such as FortuneBusiness WeekThe Atlantic, U.S. News and World ReportNewsweek and Rolling Stone. Robert recently finished his fifth children’s book, about Carl Sandburg, the American poet. A previous book, The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain, reached #1 on the regional bestseller list.

Robert's work has won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphics and Print. He was also honored by a commission to do six paintings for a book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the German car maker, Volkswagen.

Major support for the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is provided by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The Cultural Alliance depends largely on community support for its programs and services. For information, to volunteer or to donate, call (203) 798 0760 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Published in ArtsWestern News
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 17:15

Kristen Terrana

Kristen Terrana is a freelance artist and graphic designer.  Born and raised in Queens, NY, she recently relocated to Redding, CT with her husband and two rowdy cats.  She has a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. She loves painting in different mediums, and playing with color. With a pinch of cute and a dash of dark, Kristen explores diverse themes in her work. Her inspiration comes from her intense love of art history, nature, world travels, riding on the subway, and rock and roll music. Kristen’s work has been published in magazines and books, and she exhibits her personal paintings in galleries around the city.



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

Tel 203.798.0760


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