Town Approves Arts Festival Planned for Oct. 1 in Waveny


The Board of Selectmen this week approved use of Waveny Park for an arts festival operated by one of New Canaan’s best-established nonprofit organizations.

The Carraige Barn Arts Center has proposed use of the area immediately outside its own building and the nearby Powerhouse Theatre for a one-time event to be held on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Hilary Wittmann, the Carriage Barn’s executive director, said the festival will be free and open to the public and will coincide with her organization’s 45 Annual Member Show, featuring “artists, demonstrations, performances and workshops and in addition to the sale of painting, sculpture, jewelry and ceramics.”

“Approximately 35 artists would exhibit in 10-by-10 display spaces or tents in the park,” Wittmann told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held Tuesday in Town Hall and via videoconference. “In the parking area and courtyard area of the Carriage Barn and Powerhouse Theatre, that sort of section of the park.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the use of Waveny.

The festival will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 1, with a backup date of Oct. 8.

Wittmann said the Carriage Barn is expecting about 75 volunteers, artists and staff to be on site throughout the festival, as well as about 100 guests per hour.

The Carriage Barn Arts Center will curate and jury the works submitted by participating artists, who would pay a fee to the organization while selling in the park.

“All of the participants would be covered through an insurance waiver that they would sign with us, we would file an event permit with the town, provide an insurance rider to the town of New Canaan, produce all the directional signage, restrooms would be available in the Carriage Barn and we have our dumpster for any garbage or anything like that,” she said.

The Parks & Recreation Commission already voted unanimously in favor of the festival at its May 10 meeting.

“Sounds great,” Corbet said.

Williams asked whether the one-time event could become an annual arts festival in the future, and Wittmann said yes.

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