Ridgefield happenings: Archaeology, bookkeeping, civility talk

Western art history

A Look at Western Art History, part of a series of classes available through Ridgefield Continuing Education, starts in February. The courses will focus on artists’ accomplishments, the significance of their inventions and discoveries, and how these new ways of seeing pushed Western art forward.

Instructor Michael Serao has been employed in art and photography and teaching for more than 20 years. The class meets on Tuesdays, Feb. 21 and 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Venus Building (old high school). Cost is $49. Advance registration is required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for information.

An evening of poetry honoring black history

Art in Common will host Expressions, an evening of poetry, at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. The program, honoring the spirit of Black History Month, will be led by historian Hampton Carey.

Art in Common Inc. is a community outreach charitable organization whose mission is to promote creativity and increase community awareness around important social issues. “We work with resettled refugees and at-risk youth to engender an inclusive spirit of creativity and connection across diverse populations,” said Aimee Jette, Art in Common’s founder.

Among the poets are Akbal Radjab and Aaron Fagan.

Radjab moved to Bridgeport from Tanzania in late 2015, composes in both his native Swahili and English, and has worked in mentoring at Fairfield University.

Fagan is the author of two books of poetry, Garage and Echo Train. His latest manuscript was a finalist for the National Poetry series.

For information on upcoming events and ways to get involved, visit artincommon.org

Bookkeeping classes

Basic Bookkeeping/Accounting will begin soon at Ridgefield Continuing Education.  No accounting knowledge is required. The course covers double entry, accounts receivable, payables, journal entries, expenses, revenues, chart of accounts, and key accounting terms. Participants learn how to retrieve financial information like cash balance, sales for the month, and paid bills.  

Instructor Laura Jonassen has a bachelor of business administration degree and 12 years’ experience in accounting in both the public and corporate sectors. Class meets on Wednesdays, March 1, 8, and 15, from 10 to noon at the Venus Building. Cost is $71 (Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $53), plus a workbook fee of $7 to $9. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

Women voters league to host talk on civility

Civility in Politics, a program hosted by the League of Women Voters of Ridgefield, is planned for Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. It is co-sponsored by the Ridgefield Library and the Being Human, Being Kind group.

Journalist and TV and film producer Todd Brewster will lead the discussion. Panelists include former RHS Assistant Principal and current Region 9 Superintendent of Schools Tom McMorran, First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra, Connecticut Republican Party chairman JR Romano, and No Labels chief strategist Ryan Clancy. No Labels is a nonprofit organization composed of Republicans, Democrats, and independents.

Dating secrets for older adults

Author and dating coach Ronnie Ann Ryan will be at the Ridgefield Library on Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. to talk about her seven secrets to finding love over 40.

Ryan will share the best places to find singles, how to strike up a conversation, how to spice up your appeal, gender dating roles today, and first date dos and don’ts. She will also discuss her fifth book, Is He the One? Find Mr. Right by Spotting Mr. Wrong.

To register and for more information, visit ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Evensong at St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will present a Choral Evensong on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m. Evensong, the centuries-old tradition of sung evening prayer, includes hymns, anthems, and Anglican chant. 

The canticles will be the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Musical selections will also include the anthem Holy Is the True Light and the Blackburn Cathedral responses.

“Evensong is a beautiful and meditative experience,” said Scott Toperzer, minister of music at St. Stephen’s. The service is free but donations will be accepted. A wine-and-cheese reception will follow.

Legal and financial advice for elders

A trio of legal, financial and elder care professionals will lead a seminar, Must-Have Documents, on Friday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. at Founders Hall. Medical social worker Leslie Tewes will discuss advance health care directives, including living wills, health care proxies and DNRs (do not resuscitate orders). Tewes has an aging and disability care management, education and advocacy business. Attorney Pam Banks will review estate management, including powers-of-attorney and basic trusts. Banks has more than 23 years of legal experience counseling both individuals and businesses. Investment adviser Chris Ceponis will tell how some 2016 changes to Social Security can help people optimize retirement income. Ceponis specializes in retirement and estate planning as well as investment planning.

The seminar is free. More information: founders-hall.org

Have a Heart fair Sunday at church

The Have a Heart for Mission fair will be Sunday, Feb. 12, at the First Congregational Church in support of the church’s wider mission partners.

This year’s fair features a walk-through of designated rooms in the church’s program building, categorized as food and beverage, home and auto, travel and leisure, arts and media, kids and family fun, fashion and pampering, fitness and sports, and entertainment. A silent auction, featuring a variety of items ranging from local Ridgefield goods and services to weeklong vacation getaways, opens to the public at 11:30 and culminates at 1 p.m.

The fair follows the church’s morning worship services. For more information, call 203-438-8077 or visit firstcongregational.com

Broadcaster Cohen to talk Mets baseball

The Ridgefield Library will host a conversation with New York Mets baseball broadcaster Gary Cohen on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 2:30. Cohen will take questions from the audience and talk about his broadcasting career and the upcoming Major League Baseball season.

Tickets, $25 adults, $12.50 children, are available online at ridgefieldlibrary.org or at the Ridgefield Library.

There will also be bidding on four field-level tickets to a 2017 Mets game at Citi Field that include on-field passes for batting practice and a visit to the Ralph Kiner broadcast booth. Bids may be made in person at the library through Feb. 12, with the winning bid announced at the talk. The library will also hold raffles for Mets memorabilia at the talk.

The event is a fund-raiser to benefit the library.

Film discussion series continues at library

The Learn Through Film series will continue at the Ridgefield Library on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. with a screening of Joachim Trier’s film ‘Oslo, August 31st,’ followed by a discussion about recovering addicts’ choices as they are released from rehabilitation facilities. First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Western Connecticut State University professors George and Marilyn Kain will focus on how community programs can assist recovering addicts in getting back to life. Warning signals for mental illness, which is often seen as the harbinger of drug addiction, will also be addressed.

The series is in its third year. The final film in the series, The Anonymous People, will be screened on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m.

To register or for more information, visit ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Line dance classes

Line Dance for Fun and Exercise classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education start Feb. 4.  Instructor Ellen Russow says, “We’ll start with the basics and build from there. If you’ve been to this course before, come on back — we have new dances lined up.” Russow and fellow instructor Steve Parker have been line dancing for more than 20 years and have taught for eight.  

The class meets Wednesdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Farmingville School and costs $62. Students should bring a water bottle and wear leather, suede, or soft-soled shoes to class. Advance registration required. Zumba and other cardio classes are available as well. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Mesoamerican archaeology class

The Rise of Civilization in Mesoamerica part 1 starts a new series in Ridgefield Continuing Education.

Instructor Lynn-Marie Wieland is a lithic archaeologist specializing in southern New England prehistory with an emphasis on the Indians of Ridgefield. She has just finished excavating a site in Ridgefield that covered at least 9,000 years of occupation. Her specialty is the study of the manufacturing and use of stone tools. She has also studied the archaeology of Mesoamerica.  

The class meets Wednesdays, March 8, 15 and 22, from 10 to noon at the Venus Building (old high school). Cost is $71 (Ridgefield seniors pay $53). A follow-up course, The Rise of Civilization in Mesoamerica part 2 (Wednesdays May 3, 10, and 17, 10 to noon) will follow the people of Teotihuacan, the Mayans, the Toltec, and the Aztecs. Advance registration required. Visit ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Music program for young children

Amy Rogel’s Musical Miles, an interactive music program for children ages 5 and younger, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11:30 to 12:15 in the library’s main program room on the lower level. In addition to her concerts, Rogel conducts workshops on creative movement and music, and has produced a series of music CDs.

Sponsored by the Ridgefield Library’s Concerts for Young Families series, the event is free and no registration is required. For more information, go to amyrogell.com or call children’s services at 203-438-2282, ext. 12002.

Sports ethics topic of talk

Ridgefielder Dr. Arthur Leonard Caplan will be at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. to discuss his latest book, The Ethics of Sports.

Caplan is a professor of bioethics and director of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has written on topics in the area of sports, medicine and ethics.

To register and for more information, visit ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.