Podcast: Downtown New Canaan Arts Festival



This week, on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Hilary Wittmann, executive director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center, about the organization’s Downtown New Canaan Canaan Arts Festival. To be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the festival is a kickoff to the Carriage Barn’s 15th annual Art in the Windows exhibit, presented in partnership with the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Police Commission Approves Use of Former ‘Pop Up Park’ for June 4 ‘Art in the Windows’ Kickoff

The appointed municipal body that oversees road closures in New Canaan this month voted unanimously to approve use of the former “Pop Up Park” area at Elm Street and South Avenue for an all-day art celebration in June. The Police Commission voted 3-0 to approve use of the Pop Up Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 as a kickoff for the annual Art in the Windows event (rain date June 11). Presented by the Carriage Barn Arts Center and organized in partnership with the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, the annual exhibit sees dozens of pieces of art work displayed in the windows of downtown stores. 

“It’s just a fabulous event for the town,” Commissioner Shekaiba Bennett said at the group’s March 16 meeting, held via videoconference. 

Bennett, Commission Chair Paul Foley and Secretary Jim McLaughlin voted in favor of the road closure. The event will run through 4 p.m., and will require about one hour for cleanup, according to the organization’s executive director, Hilary Wittmann. Art in the Windows is the Carriage Barn Arts Center’s one big event that’s not at the organization’s headquarters in Waveny “that we do downtown,” Wittmann said.

Local Organizations and COVID-19: Carriage Barn Arts Center

For today’s Q&A with a local nonprofit organization, we hear from Hilary Wittmann, executive director of Carriage Barn Arts Center. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: Many of our local nonprofit organizations have missed out on major spring fundraisers due to the health-related restrictions that followed COVID-19 virus. How is Carriage Barn Arts Center faring and what sort of impact is the public health emergency having on the organization? Hilary Wittmann: It’s been incredibly disappointing that the gallery has been closed this spring and so many exhibits, special events and concerts couldn’t take place. There have been some silver linings though, as we transitioned to sharing our exhibits virtually.

Q&A: Carriage Barn Arts Center Plans ‘Art for Animals’ Exhibit

The Carriage Barn Arts Center this summer is planning a community-wide exhibit of artwork and poetry celebrating the bonds between people and animals. “Art for Animals,” showcasing pieces that reflect people’s love for animals, will run June 2 to 14. Those seeking to exhibit animal-themed paintings, drawings, photography, digital art, sculpture or poetry may register here, for a $20 participation fee. All funds raised through the exhibit will go toward supporting the New Canaan Police Department’s K-9 program. (Sponsors already on board include Bankwell, PRAI Beauty, Stephanie Conti Photography, WAG Magazine, Boyd Law Group and Janaco.)

The exhibit is presented in partnership with Spencer’s Run, and representatives form the dog park will join the Carriage Barn Arts Center in hosting a kickoff event in Waveny from 2 to 4 p.m. on  June 2, with an online auction for a number of animal-themed artwork, items and experiences. 

We caught up with Carriage Barn Arts Center Executive Director Hilary Wittmann to get some more information on Art for Animals.