Ridgefield Arts Watch: Here are the events to look forward to in June

From left; Chris Arnone, of Newtown, Malin Carta, of Glastonbury, and Austin Iesu, of Newtown, perform with the Bach To Rock Faculty Band during Make Music Day at Ballard Park in Ridgefield, Conn. on Monday, June 21, 2021. This year’s Make Music Day is one event to look forward to in June.

From left; Chris Arnone, of Newtown, Malin Carta, of Glastonbury, and Austin Iesu, of Newtown, perform with the Bach To Rock Faculty Band during Make Music Day at Ballard Park in Ridgefield, Conn. on Monday, June 21, 2021. This year’s Make Music Day is one event to look forward to in June.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

The Ridgefield Arts Council presents this monthly column on a roundup of the month’s key arts and culture events in town to celebrate the numerous arts organizations that make Ridgefield’s vibrant and thriving art scene possible and to promote Ridgefield as Connecticut’s first cultural district.

What a cornucopia of arts events this month! Music lovers, especially, are in for a treat as CHIRP kicks off its annual summer Concert Happenings in Ridgefield Parks series on June 7. Do check out their exciting roster of artists in a wide range of musical genres from the Afro-Latino rock music of Making Movies, blues grass by the smashing Sue Foley who is on tour to promote her latest album, Pinky’s Blues, the party music of Marcia Ball, jazz in different forms vocal, acoustic, brass band, and soul performed by accomplished and prize-winning artists and bands. Underwritten by the town’s Parks & Recreation Department and the Ridgefield Press, concerts are in Ballard Park in the heart of downtown on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and begin at 7 p.m. sharp. So gather your friends, grab a blanket, a picnic basket, and join the fun for a true community event.

As the summer solstice draws near, we at the Ridgefield Arts Council are excited for Make Music Day, our premier musical event of the year. Preparations are in full gear spearheaded by RAC member Jennifer Dineen who has been hard at work for many months now in collaboration with other committee members, arts organizations, and local restaurants to put together a music-filled June 21. Inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is part of a global celebration of music. Ridgefield joins over a thousand cities across the world who bring musicians and the community together through a plethora of events in a day-long event. Part of Ridgefield’s “Summer of, Art, Culture, and Music,” Make Music Day brings together musicians, both professional and amateur, of every genre to perform for your musical entertainment in collaboration with the town’s premier arts organizations. Art exhibits, restaurants with musical entertainment, the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Ridgefield Guild of Artist’s Art Walk, the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s “Music at the Museum” in collaboration with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, all come together to make for a spectacular event that spills over beyond June 21 for a glorious summer. Some highlights of the line up in Ballard Park alone are School of Rock, Brian Butler Quartet, 3PO, Scott Robert Trio and Tony & the Westsiders.

In theater, catch Theatre Barn’s Peter and the Starcatcher on June 7. In keeping with the Theatre Barn’s ensemble and improvisational ethos, this five-time Tony award-winning play features 13 brilliant actors who play more than 100 unforgettable characters using their enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination to bring you a grownup prequel to Peter Pan. If you haven’t caught ACT’s Rent, there are additional performances in June for you to catch till June 19.

As always, there is lots to mull over regarding compelling social justice and diversity issues through art and culture events in town this month whether it be through the Playhouse’s Diversity Film series which this month screens “Dear White People” (2014) and “Cured” (2020) on June 19 and the 20 respectively. While “Dear White People” is a satirical dark comedy-drama film focused on escalating racial tensions at a fictitious, prestigious Ivy League college in a a modern “post-racial” society, “Cured” is a documentary depicting the campaign leading to a pivotal yet largely unknown moment in the struggle for LGBT equality: the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. If you wish to learn more, and support PRIDE related events, the Playhouse will also feature Issac Mizrahi’s cabaret show of music and witty talk on everything from social media, politics, sex and his latest Instagram obsessions. Orchestrated by Ridgefield CT Pride, the event is but one of a series of town wide events geared toward celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, to educate, promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance, including their kick off Pride Parade on June 4.

Continuing in the same vein, The Aldrich Museum’s 52 Artists exhibition explores works of art that champion non-confirming gender roles and challenge binary stereotypes across a wide range of media in the first exhibition to encompass the Aldrich’s entire new Museum building inaugurated in 2004. The exhibit will showcase work by the artists included in the original 1971 exhibition, alongside a new roster of 26 female identifying or nonbinary emerging artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades.

These are just a select few of the art events in town. For more information on these, and other events check out the websites of all these organizations.

Raje Kaur is a member of the Ridgefield Arts Council.