Westport In Focus is a long-lens oral history project that the Museum began in mid-March to document the town’s response to the coronavirus crisis through the images and words of residents, workers, first responders, politicians and others. The aim of the project is to create a primary resource about this historic era in perpetuity for the benefit of future researchers.
Funding for Connecticut nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations facing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19, funded by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Westport Country Playhouse will offer a comprehensive slate of education and community engagement activities alongside its 2021 production of the Tony Award-winning hit musical and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal. With music by Tom Kitt and book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey, this groundbreaking production looks at a family in crisis, pushing the boundaries of contemporary musical theater. The production will be directed by Marcos Santana, the director/choreographer of the Playhouse’s hit, In the Heights, and will be cast entirely with artists of color.
Funding will allow Westport Country Playhouse to offer several education and community engagement activities in conjunction with the production of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottages newest work MLIMAS TALE in fall 2019. This poignant play follows the spirit of Mlima, an African elephant killed for his tusks. With Mlima always present and embodied by a human actor, Nottage leads the audience through the shadowy and complicated world of the illicit international ivory trade. In collaboration with community partners, the Playhouse will offer several forums in which the audience can further explore the work on stage, its relationship to their own lives, and its impact on the larger world.
Ongoing programs to support and further understanding of the themes in our exhibit Remembered: The History of African Americans in Westport. Our goal is to present a roster of interactive as well as scholarly programs which allows visitors to extend their understanding of local African American heritage in a lasting and holistic way. Among the major components of the program include a re-enactment of several of the women in the exhibit by Kimberly Wilson that we hope to repeat a number of times.
Westport Country Playhouse will offer several education and community engagement activities in conjunction with their world premiere production of Matthew Greene’s Thousand Pines. The play deals with the disturbing trend of mass shootings by focusing on the lives of three intertwined families in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy. In collaboration with a number of community partners, the Playhouse will offer several forums in which the audience can further explore the work on stage, its relationship to attendees’ own lives, and its impact on the larger world.
This as yet untitled exhibit explores the African American history of Westport. It includes an interactive main exhibit, with a replica slave quarters found in a local home built in 1729, the town dock and other locales. On view May 11, 2018 to spring 2019.
Considering the 1818 Connecticut Constitution as an evolving document, this exhibit will examine social parallels between 1818 and 2018, and which elements of the document helped or hindered rights-progress for residents from diverse backgrounds via a lecture series relating to the African American experience in Westport. The exhibit and programming will be produced in collaboration with TEAM Westport (Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism).