Fairfield Museum expands beyond its walls
FAIRFIELD — An effort to bring a new dynamic to the Town Hall Green area will include a Broadway musical, jazz concerts and an interactive performance centered on the 1779 Burning of Fairfield.
Michael Jehle, director of the Fairfield Museum and History Center, said the museum has been working with the town on the historic campus that includes not only municipal buildings, but also the recently restored Sun Tavern.
“Now we’re moving forward with an exciting vision,” Jehle said, to make the campus a “dynamic hub” and a thriving cultural destination. In a report to the Board of Selectmen, Jehle said they worked with a group of graduate students from Sacred Heart University to look at the economic impact. “It was their estimate that the museum generates $2.2 million to $2.5 million,” he said.
In addition to its traditional summer camps, the museum will offer new activities, including an outdoor performance of “The Music Man” June 28 and 30. The show will be performed by members of Fairfield Center Stage, a new group whose goal is to present an annual “musical in concert” in the downtown area.
The audience is encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for the performance, and local food trucks will be on hand.
“I’m looking forward to seeing ‘The Music Man,’ ” Selectman Chris Tymniak said. “I’m a real fan of the outdoor arts.”
The historical buildings on the property, like Sun Tavern, the Old Academy and the Victorian Cottage, have recently opened for the summer season, Jehle said, and there is a new junior docent program underway.
“They will be giving tours and leading some of our fantastic family programs,” he said.
“The difference between when I was a kid and what it looks like now is unbelievable,” Tymniak said. “This entire Town Hall property looks fantastic.”
Other events include a twist on the museum’s annual Burning of Fairfield walking tour. Fairfield native Allison Benko has organized an interactive performance giving the perspective from both sides.
The Gustave Whitehead “fly-in” will take place Aug. 11, marking when many in the state believe to be the true first flight, and free jazz Fridays behind the museum will feature area musicians such as Brian Torff.
“This is just a taste and the highlights of the many exciting events,” Jehle said. “The museum is really proud of our work with the community.”