The town of Fairfield's 375th anniversary celebration gets underway in 2014 and the Fairfield Museum and History Center is gearing up. The museum has planned a lineup of special exhibits and events to mark the anniversary, and is kicking off the year with "Fairfield's Rockin' Top Ten," an exhibit celebrating some of America's most renowned musicians who have called Fairfield and surrounding communities home.
"Fairfield's Rockin' Top Ten" will feature rare photographs, music videos and iconic artifacts from a diverse list of artists, including: Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, The Remains, Leonard Bernstein, David Brubeck, Jose Feliciano, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, Richard Rodgers, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Keith Richards and Donna Summer. Many of the 10 musicians featured in the exhibit have created some of their best work here. The exhibition is guest-curated by musician and music historian Chris Frantz, drummer for Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club. A variety of musical performances, lectures, intimate artist evenings, films and other events are planned to complement the exhibit.
At the core of the museum's year-long anniversary celebration will be the long-term, interactive exhibition, "Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past," inviting visitors to see, hear, touch, and truly experience what life was like in this area from the 1600s on, as they walk through six chronologically organized sections, participate in interactive, hands-on exhibits and view rare artifacts.
Other programs planned this winter in conjunction with the music exhibit, and the "Creating Community" exhibit are:
Museum After Dark:
On Thursday, Jan. 16, the museum will host an opening for the exhibit "Fairfield's Rockin' Top Ten" from 6 to 8 p.m. The evening will start with cocktails and hors d'œuvres, followed by a panel discussion hosted by Chris Frantz and local musicians who will share their stories (and the sounds) of the entertainment industry. There is a $10 suggested donation. Space is limited. RSVP before Jan. 14 by calling 203-259-1598.
Connecticut State Troubadour Kristin Graves
A free family program will be held Monday, Jan. 20 at 2 p. m. with Kristen Graves. Graves is a singer/songwriter and activist from Fairfield, and the state troubadour who performs over 100 shows a year throughout the country. Her program includes sing-alongs, catchy songs and funny stories. The program is free with museum admission.
Chris and Tina's All Stars: A Concert and Wine Tasting
A concert and wine tasting hosted by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and featuring performances by Caravan of Thieves, Mystic Bowie and The Zambonis will be offered on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne, 70 Sanford St. Tickets for the event, a benefit for the Fairfield Museum and History Center and the Fairfield Theatre Company, are $95 per person. Go online to http://fairfieldtheatre.org/shows/chris-and-tinas-all-stars for tickets.
A Friendship in Music
Pianist and Fairfield University professor Orin Grossman will trace the influential friendship between Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, with live accompaniment of their early collaborations, on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. The cost of the performance and lecture is $10; $5 for museum members.
Family Focus: The
Genius of Love!
A family craft session with the accompaniment music and songs of love from "Fairfield's Rockin' Top Ten" will be held on Valentine's Day, Friday, Feb. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. The program is free with museum admission.
Adult Lecture Series: Bridgeport's Ritz Ballroom
From the roaring twenties to the rockin' sixties, the Ritz was one of New England's foremost dance palaces. Jeffrey Williams, author of "Home of Happy Dancers, -The Story of Bridgeport, CT's Ritz Ballroom," will sign books and tell stories of the famous ballroom on Sunday, February 23 at 2:30 p.m. Suggested donation for the program is $5; members are free.
School of Rock at
The Fairfield Museum
Music education workshops for adults and youth 10 to 16 years old will be held on March 1 and, 15; and on April 5 and 26 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
This "Professional Minds of Music" series leads participants in workshops on the foundations of music with an industry professional. Advanced reservations are required by calling 203-259-1598. The cost is $15 per session, and $10 per session for museum members and members of School of Rock.
An Evening with
An intimate evening at the museum with Grammy award winning performer Jose Feliciano, followed by champagne and dessert, is planned for Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m. The cost is $75 per person; Tickets go on sale Feb 1 at Fairfieldhistory.org.
The Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Members of the museum and children under 5 are free. For more information on any of the events, visit www.fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.