Artist talks Portraits and Healing; Scarecrow contest, more

Rudy Shepherd is part of Ridgefield Library’s live ARTalk webinar series.

Rudy Shepherd is part of Ridgefield Library’s live ARTalk webinar series.

Contributed / The Ridgefield Library

Sculptor, painter

in ARTalk series

Ridgefield sculptor Meredith Bergmann, whose work on women’s rights heroes was dedicated recently in Central Park, and artist Rudy Shepherd, whose portraits of the victims of violence are currently showing at the Aldrich Museum on Main Street, will both be part of the Ridgefield Library’s live ARTalk webinar series.

The webinar with Rudy Shepherd, titled Portraits and Healing, will be Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. Shepherd, an associate professor of art at Penn State University, will discuss how evil and healing are portrayed in his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. He will discuss a body of work he calls his Portraits Series, which spans over a decade and includes hundreds of watercolor portraits depicting victims of violence such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. These watercolor paintings are often completed within days of the media’s news cycle, Sheperd says, and are meant to mourn and humanize tragic losses while shining a light on systemic racial inequities and injustices.

A selection of his watercolors from this series is currently on view in an exhibition entitled, Rudy Shepherd: Somebody’s Child, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Shepherd also will discuss how his sculptures provide a healing counterpoint for forces of negative energy.

Sculptor Bergmann will be featured on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. in the library’s ARTalk webinar in this series. Her talk is titled, Honoring Women’s Rights Pioneers with a Monument in Central Park. Bergmann’s sculpture celebrates the lives and work of Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. This is the only monument of historical women in Central Park.

The ARTalks series is dedicated to exploring the creative process through lectures, films and workshops that focus on art, architecture, and design. Both of these ARTalks are co-sponsored by the library and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists as well as the Aldrich.

To register, visit

Scarecrow contest is

run by Keeler Tavern

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC) is hosting its eighth annual scarecrow contest. Individuals, families, groups, and businesses are invited to create scarecrows to be displayed on Main Street during Fall in Love with Ridgefield Oct. 16-18.

Voting will take place on the KTM&HC Facebook page from Oct.16-31. The scarecrow with the most likes by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 will receive a prize. (Note that there will be no paper ballot voting this year following COVID-19 guidelines which caution against touching any surfaces).

Scarecrow frames are available now for $25 each and may be picked up at the Keeler Tavern Musuem’s Visitor Center, 152 Main Street, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. People interested in entering scarecrows in the contest may register at, then email to schedule a time to pick up a frame.

Finished scarecrows must be dropped off at the Keeler Tavern Visitor Center by Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. KTM&HC staff will take photos of each entry prior to installing them on Main Street. The public can then vote for their favorite by liking the museum’s Facebook page at, and inviting friends and family to “like” the entry. KTM&HC will create and upload the album with all scarecrow photos by Oct. 16.

Playhouse shows film:

I Am Not Your Negro

As part of the Ridgefield Playhouse Diversity Film Series, which features 10 films presented by different organizations around town, the Ridgefield Library will present I Am Not Your Negro on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m., at the Playhouse.

This award-winning documentary about James Baldwin and directed by Raoul Peck, will be followed by a screening of a bonus interview with veteran entertainment reporter Cheryl Washington and Emmy-winning talk show host Dick Cavett.

Tickets are free for the screening but must be reserved in advance at the Playhouse by calling 203-438-5795. The film also is available to stream for library cardholders through Hoopla and the interview will be available on the Playhouse YouTube channel following the screening.

This screening also kicks off the library’s scholarly series about James Baldwin taking place in the fall. For more information, visit

Writers conference

focuses on revision

The 2020 Ridgefield Writers Conference presents an evening of online instruction and discussion Friday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. on the theme of Revision as Opportunity, with teacher, editor, and writer Adele Annesi who also is co-author of, Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA.

Designed for writers of fiction, memoir, and personal narrative, this year’s conference also addresses publishing in an era of COVID. To maximize the time, attendees should select a writing project they plan to revise and prepare a list of questions for the moderated question and answer session after the seminar.

Sponsored by Word for Words, LLC, and hosted by the Ridgefield Library, this year’s virtual conference takes place via Zoom and is free, on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit, email, or contact Word for Words at 203-894-1908. Registration is at

Facebook, Twitter

are workshop topics

Ridgefield Continuing Education is offering Using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as a Zoom workshop on Friday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m.-noon. This class will explore what these sites offer, how to set up accounts, promote programs, and join groups and communities to network with other people.

The cost is $39. Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $31.

Introduction to LinkedIn, a more in depth course, will be held Friday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon, for $39.

Lance Whitney, who willl lead the classes, is a freelance writer for Time, AARP Magazine, PC Magazine, and other websites and publications. He’s written books on Windows 8 and LinkedIn. Previously, he was a system administrator and trainer with Ciba Specialty Chemicals. He’s taught a variety of courses through Ridgefield Continuing Education for several years.

Advance registration is required. Visit or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

Candidates featured

in League Zoom event

A virtual candidates forum is being sponsored by the Ridgefield League of Woman Voters and the Ridgefield Library via Zoom on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m.

The forum is expected to include the candidates for the Connecticut Legislature’s 111th House District, Republican Robert Hebert and Democrat Aimee Berger-Girvalo, as well as 138th District’s Kenneth Gucker, a Democrat seeking re-election. (The Republican candidate in the 138th District, Emile Buzaid, declined to participate due to a prior commitment.) Also participating will be the two candidates for the State Senate’s 26th District, which includes Ridgefield, Democrat Will Haskell and Republican Kim Healy.

Members of the public who register in advance for the forum on the library’s website may submit questions for the candidates by emailing the League at from Sept. 26-30. Questions submitted must be brief, of general interest to the audience, directed to all candidates and cannot be about personal matters.

To watch the Candidates Forum online Oct. 4, go to the the library’s website to register at or call 203-438-2282.

Genealogy is topic

of three workshops

Germany Genealogy, Genealogy for Beginners, and French Genealogy are Zoom workshops being offered through Ridgefield Continuing Education.

German Genealogy will be taught by Francoise Lampe, who has experience doing genealogical research in the U.S. and abroad. It will be available Thursday, Oct. 1, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., live via Zoom. The cost is $31.

The workshop will focus on U.S. and German online resources available to locate German ancestors and on how to overcome the challenges unique to German genealogy. The course includes a discussion of German history and geography, historic migrations of ethnic Germans, church and civil records, given and family names, gothic script and the use maps and gazetteers to locate a German village of origin. Besides vital and census records, sources such as passenger lists, city directories and newspapers also are discussed.

Genealogy for Beginners will be held two Tuesdays, Oct. 20 and 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $49.

French Genealogy is Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $31.

Ridgefield senior discount is available. Advance registration is required. Information is available at or by calling Peggy Bruno, 203-431-2812.

Love Your Library

with ‘Battle of Books’

The Ridgefield Library’s fifth annual LYL (Love Your Library) weekend will be held virtually Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3.

The online fund-raising event kicks off at midnight Friday, Oct. 2, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 3, at midnight. Donations received during that time will be matched by Fairfield County Bank and will support the library’s annual operating fund.

The weekend will open with a virtual Battle of the Books at 7 p.m. Oct. 2, co-sponsored by Books on the Common. The presenters, Roz Chast, Mike Flynn, Patricia Marx, Stephen Schwartz, Judy Silver and Joel Third, will each champion a book they love. The audience will then vote on the most persuasive argument and the winning book will be decided. James Mustich, author of 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, will be the emcee.

Tickets, at $10, include a chance to win one of three “reader basket” door prizes.

Spooky songs will be

part of puppet show

The library also presents the virtual family program Spooky Sing-a-long with Nappy’s Shadow Puppets with puppeteer Jim Napolitano Saturday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. Families can sing Halloween songs and learn how to create and perform their own shadow theater. Registration is required.

To learn more about the library’s programs and services, visit

History, archaeology

are offered on Zoom

History classes ranging from the 19th Amendment to the Russian Revolution and a a class on local archaeology are being offered on Zoom through Ridgefield Continuing Education.

The history classes are led by Nancy Maxwell, a Cornell graduate and history teacher for over 30 years.

The Creation of Germany history course will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 1-2:30 p.m. via Zoom. Cost is $23.

Other history classes include: World War 1, Wednesdays, Oct. 14 and 21, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; $39; The Russian Revolution, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; $29; The Versailles Settlement, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; $29, and Suffragettes and the 19th Amendment, Thursday, Nov. 12, 1 to 2:30 p.m.; $29.

Archaeology, 10,000 Years of Life in Ridgefield, with Lynn-Marie Wieland meets Wednesdays, Oct. 7, 14 and 21, 10 a.m. to noon; The three-session course costs is $74.

Ridgefield senior discounts are available. Advance registration is required. To register or for information, visit or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Continuing Ed offers

photography courses

Photography: The Art of Composition meets Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. via Zoom. Cost is $31. This course introduces the artistic aspects of photography to participants of all skill levels, with all camera types.

Introduction to Photoshop Elements meets Tuesdays, Nov. 10, 17, and Dec. 1, 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. Cost is $ 119.

The instructors, Dan and Deborah Tual, are professional photographers.

Advance registration is required. Discount available to Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over. Visit or call Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information or to register.

ACT hosts musical:

The Last Five Years

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is reopening this fall with the musical, “The Last Five Years.” After being granted permission to livestream this production, ACT patrons will have the option to either attend in person or from their homes.

The Last Five Years chronicles the five-year relationship between two New Yorkers: Cathy, a struggling actress, played by Katie Diamond (Jersey Boys, The Pirate Queen), and Jamie, a budding novelist, played by Daniel C. Levine (Les Miz, The Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar).

The musical will be performed at ACT of Connecticut, 36 Old Quarry Road, from Oct. 28-Nov. 15, with both limited in-person seating and livestream tickets available. Performance dates and times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.

For tickets, call 475-215-5497, or email For more information, visit