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Monday, May 23, 2011

Families Unplug and Reconnect at Family Fun Day

Families Unplug and Reconnect at Family Fun Day:
Fairfield Arts Center and Troy Fine Art team up to offer arts projects
(for Fairfield Citizen News)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – It was family time the way family time was meant to be – interactive, communicative and creative – without all the mind-numbing beeping and buzzing of electronic devices and games sounding off.

Hosted mid-afternoon Sunday at Fairfield Arts Center (FAC), 70 Sanford Street, and sponsored by Troy Fine Art Services of Southport, Family Fun Day offered children and their parents and grandparents the opportunity to unplug and reconnect through an engaging arts-based creative project. The event was the first in the series, to be held every third Sunday going forward. The session was free for FAC Family Members; $10 per child for non-members. Led by Fairfield art teacher and artist Diana Garigliano, participants decorated wooden birdhouses using paint, stickers and other materials.

“Troy Fine Art and the gallery’s principal, Denise DiGrigoli Amuso, are on the Arts Center advisory board, which is the connection between the two organizations,” said Kristin Fox, Executive Director of FAC, providing some background about the event. “Our Center is a municipal charter of the Town of Fairfield with a mission to integrate the creative process into the daily lives of Fairfield’s 60,000 constituents by providing access to arts through education, outreach and opportunity,” she said. “This program serves that mission, tapping into the family segment of the community. Otherwise we’re just a gallery with pretty artwork. It’s important to expose children to art at an early age.”

Randy Weis, the chairman of the FAC’s Board, said programs like these are an investment in the future. “These address an important segment of our outreach effort – the youth of Fairfield,” he said. “These same kids 20 years from now will hopefully drive the arts movement in town as adults. It’s important to focus on them at this stage to sustain the arts in our community.”

Troy Art’s Amuso was glad to see the program launch. “I’ve always wanted to bring family fun events to the Arts Center,” she said. “We talked about a spring-appropriate craft and a birdhouse project seemed to be a good fit. It ties in with the season and you don’t need a big skill set to decorate it.”

Fairfield parent Amy Murray, whose children Finn, 3, and Meghan, 6, were participating, was also happy for such a program. “I was real excited that the Arts Center was reaching out to the younger kids and decided to check it out and support them,” she said. “The kids love art, painting, clay. This is ideal for them and a fun activity on a Sunday.”

Another Fairfield mom, Amy McQuaid, onsite with daughter Ella, 5, said, “We wanted to support the Arts Center and Ella loves art and to paint. And her two-year-old brother loves birds – I’m sure this will be a great home for one.”

Parent of three girls and fellow Fairfielder April Clyne said the program is a great weekend diversion. “I’m always looking on Sundays for things to do with the kids, other than sports,” she said. “We play it low-key and this fits with that gameplan. This is something they really like to do.”

Nothing could be more true according to Chloe DeBona, 8, who was busy with her birdhouse. “I like to paint and I like art, so this is fun for me to do,” she said. “I’m going to put my birdhouse outside my bedroom window. I’ve got to make sure to keep it away from our cats. Hopefully a nice bird will move in.”

For more information about Family Fun Day, visit

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