Ridgefield happenings: Cardio classes, American Legion essay contest, 'Meet Your Legislators'

CT Cultural Fund grant supports Ridgefield Historical Society's work

The Connecticut Humanities Board of Directors awarded an $8,900 CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant for 2023 to the Ridgefield Historical Society. The grant aids the society’s mission to preserve, interpret, and foster public knowledge of Ridgefield’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage.

The Ridgefield Historical Society was one of 723 organizations in Connecticut receiving a CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant. Totaling more than $8.5M, these grants are part of a two-year, $30.7 million investment in arts, humanities, and cultural nonprofits by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont. 

The Ridgefield Historical Society is headquartered in the Scott House, a 1714 structure that formerly stood on Main Street and later Catoonah Street. Saved from demolition by the founders of the Ridgefield Historical Society, it was rebuilt at 4 Sunset Lane with a climate-controlled vault for its collection and opened in 2002. Materials being preserved range from archaeological artifacts from pre-colonial times to a collection focused on the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information about the Ridgefield Historical Society, visit www.ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org.

Cardio workout classes through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Cardio workout in person classes with certified instructors are available in Ridgefield Continuing Education.  Zoom options are available in some classes.

Cardio Combo, a new workout course, combines intervals of Zumba routines and toning exercises to improve your cardio and strength fitness! Appropriate for all fitness levels. Bring light weights, a water bottle and towel. Instructor Patti Larkin has been teaching Zumba and Cardio Combo in Westchester County for over 10 years. Class starts March 6 at 6 p.m. and will meet March 13, 20 and 27; April 3, 17 and 24; and May 1 at East Ridge Middle School. The cost is $100 per person.

Total Body Reset to tone and tighten is an all in one workout with Pat Anikewich that meets on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Her Full Body Strength and Cardio Workout meets on Thursdays at 6 p.m. These classes are hybrid and meet at Veterans Park School and on Zoom. Instructor Patricia Anikewich holds many group exercise certifications and teaches at many Westchester and Connecticut fitness centers.

Yoga, Stretch, and Tai Chi are also available. Advanced registration is required.  These classes meet 6 to 8 sessions. Tuition is $75 to $100; there is a discount for Ridgefield seniors age 62 and up. For more descriptions and details, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Journalism 101 course through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Take "Journalism 101," a five-session course offered by professional reporter Trevor Ballantyne, and learn what it means to be a journalist.  

In this Ridgefield Continuing Education course, participants will learn how to find the stories you end up reading and watching in the news. The class will cover topics including research and reporting strategies, how to find sources and conduct interviews, and basic excel and data journalism skills; all as a way to consolidate information and ideas into clear and effective written stories. Learn how to submit Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain public records. Students will have the opportunity to report and write stories individually or in groups with the goal of getting the work published in a local or regional publication.  

Instructor Trevor Ballantyne - most recently a professional reporter for Hearst Media CT with more than five years of experience producing news for local, regional, and international news outlets from greater Boston to Washington D.C. - holds a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University, where he worked as a research and teaching assistant.

This class meets on March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 6:30 to 8:30  p.m. at East Ridge Middle School. Cost is $124.  Advanced registration is required;  class size is limited.

Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more details and to register. 

Drawing classes through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Drawing classes start soon in Ridgefield Continuing Education.

"Life Drawing" is for beginners who want to learn the basics - creating the illusion of depth and complex shapes on a two-dimensional surface. Using several different types of pencils and paper, students will draw from still life and photographs (chiefly the human form), learning to observe the structure of what they are drawing rather than simply relying on just what they see on the surface.

Topics include composition, proportion, perspective, value and edge relationships, foreshortening and light/shade. Instructor, artist and writer Michael Canavan will provide all materials needed for which a supply fee of $25 will be collected at the first class. Class meets on March 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School. Cost is $154 plus materials.  

"Drawing and Painting Studio Art" is an open studio class for all levels. New students start on drawing basics, from contour through composition, using charcoal pencils. Instructor Laura McCormick is a long-term teacher and artist specializing in charcoal and pastel portraiture.  Classes are available on Tuesdays (March 7, 14, 21 and 28 and April 4 and 18) and Thursdays (March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and April 6). Class meets from 10 a.m. to noon at the Annex (left of Yanity Gym). Cost is $159. Materials list is available on the website.  

Discount for Ridgefield seniors, age 62 and older pay.  Advanced registration required; class size is limited. The materials list is on the web site.  

Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org/drawpaint.html or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Yoga classes through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Yoga classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education help participants develop core strength and flexibility, build bone density and strength and improve posture and balance. Each class involves a variety of postures (poses) each week with some variations and breath work and ends with relaxation. Classes meet in person and except where Zoom is noted. All instructors are Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT). 

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Emma Tenley combines Vinyasa flow with slow and meditative Yin yoga.  The Thursday class starts March 2 and is available both in person and on Zoom. The Monday in person class starts Feb. 27. New Yogis should attend in person. These seven-session classes meet from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. either night.

Morning Yoga Kickstart with Miriam Zernis, a 500-hour RYT, meets on Mondays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Annex; Zoom is also available. Her classical Sivananda style class, Gentle Morning Yoga for Body, Mind and Spirit meets on Wednesdays from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. on Zoom. 

Powerfully Gentle Yoga with Rona Levine, a 500-hour RYT (certified in Prana and Kundalini Yoga) meets in person on Tuesdays, starting on March 7. Class meets March 7 through May 16 (no class on April 11) for 10 sessions from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Cost is $88 for a seven-session class to $125 for a 10-session class). There is a Ridgefield senior discount available. Cardio, Stretch and Tai Chi are also available. Advanced registration is required.  

Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for detailed descriptions, what to wear and other information.

Ridgefield High School student awarded prestigious Congressional Award Gold Medal 

Ridgefield High School (RHS) senior Charlotte Bowler recently earned the 2023 Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest honor a member of the Unites States Senate or House of Representatives may bestow upon a youth civilian. The award is given annually to student leaders who have intentionally devoted their time to goal setting and community engagement. 

During the past three years, Charlotte has dedicated more than 1,700 hours across all four program areas including voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration to earn her Gold Medal. Charlotte started working towards her Congressional Award goals near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenge allowed her to stay active and connected in the community. 

“There are so many amazing local opportunities to help others, to work towards personal goals, 
and to push yourself to try new things outside your comfort zone” stated Bowler. “Volunteering for Woodcock Nature Center and Danbury Grassroots Academy, serving on the Ridgefield Youth Commission, working at Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, and playing on the RHS Varsity Tennis Team are just a few of the incredible experiences that helped push me towards my goals. I am so grateful for the many mentors and coaches that helped support me during this challenge.”

In addition to earning the Congressional Award, Charlotte has been serving the local community for over five years through the Ridgefield Lion’s Heart Service Group and has also been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service “Gold” Medal. She also is part of the RHS National Honor

Charlotte has been invited to a National Ceremony for Congressional Award Gold Medal recipients which will be held this June in Washington, D.C. Her award will be presented by the members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

American Legion hosts essay contest

The Ridgefield American Legion Post is sponsoring an essay contest to promote the principles of Americanism and the responsibilities of citizenship.

All Ridgefield High School (RHS) seniors are eligible to participate. Cash prizes of $1,500 each will be awarded to all finalists. Interested students may obtain information and entry forms from the RHS Guidance Counseling Office.

Deadline for submissions is March 20.

League of Women Voters of Ridgefield sponsors 'Meet Your Legislators Event'

The League of Women Voters of Ridgefield and the Ridgefield Library will sponsor a “Meet Your Legislators Event” with State Representatives Aimee Berger-Girvalo and Keith Denning and State Senators Julie Kushner and Ceci Maher on Feb. 25 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Program Room at the Ridgefield Library.

The Legislators will provide insight into the current CT State legislative session and discuss the bills before the session and where they stand on various issues important to both the League and their constituents. A question-and-answer session will follow.

This program is free and open to the public. All participants are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and treat all those present with respect, empathy, and fairness.

Please register using the Ridgefield Library Event’s calendar link,  www.ridgefieldlibrary.librarymarket.com/index.php/event/person-meet-your-legislators.

Art historian to talk about photographer Weegee at the Ridgefield Library

Mallory Mortillaro, educator, art historian and Curator of Collections for the Hartley Dodge Foundation in Madison, N.J., will give an online ARTalk at the Ridgefield Library via Zoom on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. about self-taught, mid-20th century photographer Weegee.

Mortillaro will discuss how the Ukrainian-born photographer, whose given name was Arthur Felig, started out as a freelance news photographer and centered his practice around New York City crime scenes. In 1938, he obtained permission to install a police radio in his car.  This allowed him to take the first and most sensational photographs of news events which he sold to publications such as the Herald Tribune, Daily News, Post, and the Sun among others.

From his years trailing the city’s emergency service teams and documenting crime scenes, fires and day-to-day events, his instinct to turn the camera away from the main attraction and onto the gathering crowds resulted in some of the most visceral images of the day. During the 1940s Weegee’s photographs appeared outside of the mainstream press and met success with the fine arts community. New York’s Photo League held an exhibition of his work in 1941 and the Museum of Modern Art began collecting his work in 1943. He later moved to Hollywood and devoted most of his energy and time to lecturing and writing about photography. 

This ARTalk will explore the mythology behind the photographer and demonstrate how he went on to become one of New York City’s most important artists. Co-sponsored by the Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, ARTalks explore the creative process through lectures, films and workshops that focus on art, architecture and design.

Please visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.org to register or call 203-438-2282 for more information.

Ridgefield Folk Concert Series continues with “Too Blue” at the Ridgefield Library

On Feb. 19 at 2 p.m., the Ridgefield Library will welcome Too Blue, a quartet whose members hail from CT & NY state. They have been performing in the area for over 20 years. As individual musicians, they've won numerous instrumental awards, and as a group are noted for being one of the top bluegrass bands in the area. Banjo, mandolin, guitar and upright bass are all acoustic, and the band sparkles with drive and energy.

Too Blue will entertain you with a unique blend of bluegrass old & new, flavored with country & swing, sizzling with hot instrumentals and sweet harmonies. Their vocal and instrumental repertoire ranges from country-flavored Patsy Cline, to traditional bluegrass Bill Monroe, to jazz standards, as well as their own originals. 

This program is made possible thanks to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library's generous support of the Ridgefield Folk Concert Series.
To register, please visit our calendar at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center hosts Cannonball Gala on May 13

Mark your calendars for Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s (KTM&HC) upcoming Cannonball Gala, to be held on our beautiful grounds on May 13.

The Gala is KTM&HC’s biggest fundraising event of the year. This spring, our Gala will honor longtime museum supporters Nick and Anita Donofrio. 

Attendees will enjoy cocktails and dinner in the museum’s historic walled garden and Garden House, with catering by Michael Bick. The evening will feature live and silent auctions, a paddle raise, and a raffle. There are a variety of advertising and sponsorship options available, starting at $300. Online sales of tickets and sponsorships start mid-March.

KTM&HC supports humanities engagement for audiences of all ages, building strong community relationships and driving economic growth. All proceeds from the Gala will benefit the museum, allowing KTM&HC to continue to deliver on its mission to preserve and share its collections and stories.  

Save the date and show your support for KTM&HC! More details and online ticketing, including sponsorship options, will be available on our website in early March.

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, located on Main Street in Ridgefield, tells the town’s—and nation’s—history through the stories of its past residents. The four-acre historic site features museum and outdoor tour options, rotating exhibits, and access to the scenic grounds and gardens.

Additional information, including updates about on-site and virtual programming and events, as well as rental availability of the Garden House, can be found at www.keelertavernmuseum.org, @KeelerTavernMuseum on Facebook and Instagram, or by emailing info@keelertavernmuseum.org. For inquiries about school programs and digital learning experiences, please email education@keelertavernmuseum.org.

Ridgefield Parks & Recreation hosts Adult Ballroom Lessons, "Good Citizens" classes for puppies and dogs

Enjoy a night out together with a significant other or maybe get ready for wedding season with Ridgefield Parks & Recreation’s Adult Ballroom Lessons. This five-week program starts March 9 and ends April 27. Beginner/Advanced Beginner level students will learn the basics of the most popular social and club style dances. They will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. If you are ready to go to the next level, sign up for Intermediate classes that will meet from 8 to 9 p.m.  You may register even if you do not have a partner. 

We can all use some etiquette tips, even your dog. Join Sally Bovino for our “Good Citizen” classes for puppies and dogs that will have your four-legged best friend well behaved and ready for the world. Dog Obedience classes start March 20 and run until May 8. Beginners meet from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Puppy Kindergarten (for dogs ages three to five months old) meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Classes are held inside the Recreation Center or outdoors, weather permitting.

For more details, please visit www.ridgefieldparksandrec.org or call 203-431-2755.