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Collinsville Congregational to Present Spring Events

The Sebastians Contributed Photo

The Sebastians
Contributed Photo

Submitted Release 

Collinsville Congregational Church, 7 South St., is hosting a number of events this spring, starting with this weekend.  With most of them being FREE admission.  For further information, you may visit www.collinsvillecongregational.org/bulletinboard/ or call 860-993-7866.

April 10, 2016 – The Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Funds presents:  “The Sebastians – Over The Alps” at 4:00 p.m.

April 16,2016 – The way of the Master; Seek and save the lost the way Jesus did. 8:00 am Cost $15.00

May 1, 2016 – THE CALL!  Living on the Point!  Featuring Rev. Chuck Schleich 4:00 p.m.

May 5, 2016 – National Day of Prayer. Pray for our Nation, the government, education, the churches, families, business, the media, arts and entertainment, and Military, Police and the Fire/Ems Department.  7:00 p.m.

Roaring Brook Nature Center Continues to Provide an Intimate Listening Room

By John Fitts

When Roaring Brook Nature Center began producing concerts some three dozen years ago, it was one of just a few area stops on the folk circuit.

Today there are more options, including newer venues with larger stages, more sophisticated equipment, stiff drinks and full dinner choices.

But what Roaring Brook might lack in amenities it more than makes up for in character. Renowned performers still come to play among the natural wooden walls that Eric Anderson once famously likened to “playing inside a Martin guitar.”

“It’s a very intimate, all wooden room and a friendly, small venue,” said Stan Sullivan, volunteer booking agent and concert manager for the series. “You’re in close proximity to the artist. You’re almost part of the band.” … Continue Reading

Additional Benches, Bike Fix-It Station Coming to Collinsville Trail

These 8-foot benches were recently installed along the Farmington River Trail in Collinsville. Photo by John Fitts, via instagram

These 8-foot benches were recently installed along the Farmington River Trail in Collinsville.
Photo by John Fitts, via instagram

By John Fitts 

The recent installation of two eight-foot benches along the Farmington River Trail in downtown Collinsville signify just part of what is to come to the area.

The two galvanized steel benches, installed along the trail in front of the Crown and Hammer Pub and Restaurant, were crafted by New London artist Jesse Maxwell Good.

Good also crafted four additional four-foot benches that were also recently delivered to the town. Those are due to be placed along the trail near the information kiosk but weren’t immediately installed because of the sideways slope to the trail. Good is now investigating ways to level the benches without sacrificing their structural integrity.

The benches were part of the first phase of Streetscape improvements for downtown Collinsville. Most of that work was done last year at an approximate cost of $500,000, from which $387,000 was from a Connecticut Main Street grant.  … Continue Reading

Collinsville Film Festival Continues Saturday and Sunday

Following a performance by local singer-songwriter Krista Johnson and a short film, Collinsville Film Festival officially opened Friday Night with “Thank You for Your Service,” a poignant documentary about the alarming numbers of suicides and other emotional issues facing veterans – and the lack of support they receive from the military.

Approximately 50 people came out to see the film, which also featured a question and answer session by Director Tom Donahue and producer Matt Tyson.

“We brought another great film to Collinsville and the community really came out and supported it,” said Collinsville Film Festival founder Jonathan Napolitano. “You want to see people come out, enjoy it and get something from it.”

Children have their own free program of short films starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 2.  The three films – Aria for a Cow, My Stuffed Granny and Treeples – will charm and enlighten children of all ages. From the bovine diva who demands respect beyond milk and cheese to the band of girls who rid the woods of monsters to the ever-hungry granny – the genius of independent filmmakers is vivid and fresh.

Adults have their own free program of five short films starting at 12 PM on Saturday and repeated at 11 a.m. Sunday. These films explore personal identity, aging, autism and romance in locations as far away as Tokyo and as close as Massachusetts.

Following the adult short block, the Collinsville Film Festival offers two feature films – “Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi,” starting at 3 p.m, and Saturday night’s film “A Dog Named Gucci,” starting at 7 p.m. Director of “A Dog Named Gucci,” Gorman Bechard, will also be present for the screening and will take part in a Q+A following the film’s completion.

Sunday opens with a repeat of the Saturday short block at 11 AM, a second performance of “A Dog Named Gucci” at 1:45 p.m. and the  festival’s closing night film at 4 p.m.“Janey Makes A Play.”

Films are shown in the auditorium of Canton Town Hall, 4 Market St., Collinsville.

Ticket prices for the feature films range from $5-$7 and are available at the door. An all-festival pass, sold at $50, includes access to the Saturday night after party at nearby Gallery 526 (Some of the photos above show the Friday night after party).

Ten percent of the proceeds benefit the Canton Historical Museum.

See more at http://www.collinsvillefilmfestival.com.

Theatre Guild Presents ‘The Dining Room’

Theatre Guild of Simsbury presents The Dining Room over the next two weeekends.

Actors in the production play varying roles and characters of varying ages, in different time periods – all set in an upper, middle-class dining room.

With the complex story lines and parallel interactions, it was a challenging production to piece together in just six weeks time, said director Rosemarie Beskind.

“It was hard for the actors to get used to that because you don’t normally perform that way, so that part was kind of fun,” she said. “I think for the actors playing different ages was kind of cool.”

Beskind said the cast was also a fun group to work.

“This is a good cast – good group of people,” she said. “I’ve worked with a lot of them before and they’re wonderful.”

Performances take place at 8 p.m. on April 2, 8 and 9 and at 2 p.m. on April 3 and April 10 at Simsbury United Methodist Church, 799 Hopmeadow St. (Route 10). Tickets range from $16 to $20. See more at http://www.theatreguildsimsbury.org

 

Portraits of Canton: Krista Johnson Finds Her Voice

By John Fitts

Krista Johnson is convinced her love of music came “whilst in the womb” but it’s only recently that she’s truly found her voice.

Growing up, music was always around, emanating from albums, her mother’s lips and father’s piano playing.

“Everything about music speaks to me,” said Johnson, who is 29. “I’m always humming; the breathing when I’m singing calms me down. It’s my life force.”  … Continue Reading

Collinsville Film Festival Offers Thought-Provoking Titles, Fun Features and Personal Interaction

K00A0464By John Fitts 

For Collinsville Film Festival founder Jonathan Napolitano, the village is the perfect place to showcase a series of thought-provoking flicks that are filled with heartfelt emotion, a few sobering thoughts, plenty of fun, a bit of elation — and a few characters.

“What better town than Collinsville?” said Napolitano, the event’s founder and executive director. “There’s an energy in this town and the festival feeds off that. It’s a very artsy and character-based town. It’s great because there’s a little something of everything and that’s what we try to offer with the film festival.”

Set to take place in the Canton Town Hall Auditorium (4 Market St., Collinsville) from Friday April 1 to Sunday, April 3, 2016, the third Collinsville Film Festival features 14 independent features and shorts with subjects that include the mental health crisis facing young veterans, a 90-year-old who writes and directs socially impactful community theater productions, a professor who rescues an animal and is compelled to champion legislative change, and the devastating effects a wrongful accusation can have in the age of social media.

And just for good measure, films deal with topics such as autism, the various facets of love, identity and culture.

“We try to offer a vast majority of perspectives,” Napolitano said. “I think everyone will find something they love in each and every film.” … Continue Reading

Portraits of Canton: Shelby York Barnhart – Blacksmith, Welder, Business Owner

By John Fitts 

Shelby York Barnhart is a fine artist but don’t expect a priceless piece to hang on the wall.

But if you need a fireplace screen, handrail, boot butter or a badass way to hold and display your wine vessels, she can deliver.

“I’ve always been more into functional art,” said Barnhart, who runs Arc and Hammer and Fat Maverick from her Canton home. “I just loved that you can make something pretty that didn’t just have to be something you stare at – that actually had a purpose.”

… Continue Reading

Collinsville String Band to Play Back-to-Back Shows This Weekend

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE — The Collinsville String Band does play outside of the village but band members have no problem with the fact that many of their shows, including two this coming weekend, take place right here.

“If you’re going to build up a fan base, Collinsville is a great place to do it,” said Steve English, a guitarist and vocalist in the band.

On Friday night, the band returns to the Crown and Hammer. The following night comes its debut at Bridge Street Live, for which the group will share the stage with Switch Factory, a string band from Litchfield County.

“We look forward to playing a venue that has a good sound system and the crowd listens and watches,” said English, a Canton resident. “We hope to make an impression on them that allows us back to open for national acts in the Bluegrass/country/roots music genre.”

In addition to English, Collinsville String Band members include John Turner on bass and vocals, Seth Hagymasi on vocals, guitar and mandolin and Aaron Shaw, on vocals, mandolin and guitar.

The band has also announced that banjo player Dave Connelly, a long-time collaborator with Shaw, will play this weekend’s shows.

… Continue Reading

Canton Resident Wins 5 Arts Connecticut Youth Logo Design Contest

Edgar and Cie Peterson from 5 Arts Connecticut.

Edgar and Cie Peterson from 5 Arts Connecticut.

Submitted Release 

Edgar Schafer, a freshman at CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and a Canton resident, recently won the 5 Arts Connecticut Youth Logo Design Contest. His winning design will become the 5 Arts Connecticut official logo and will be prominently featured in promotional materials.

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Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
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