Where Westport Meets the World

Liberty To Set Down: Migrants and Immigrants in Westport thru July 31

Westport Historical Society’s (WHS) new exhibit “Liberty To Set Down: Migrants and Immigrants in Westport Connecticut” is produced in collaboration with The Westport Library. The exhibit explores the contributions of those who settled in Westport from its earliest days to the present. The exhibit title comes from the original land grant given to the Bankside Farmers in the 17th century in what is today Greens Farms. 


From its earliest settlement in 1648 in the parish of Greens Farms, the area that was to become Westport has been a crossroads of cultural expression. Westport Historical Society and The Westport Library explore how immigrants have long woven the fabric of the town in its exhibit Liberty To Set Down:  Migrants and Immigrants in Westport Connecticut.  Westport’s immigration story began with the first Europeans who wrested the land from Native People to the forced immigration of enslaved Africans to the later waves of Irish, German, Italian and Polish immigrants of the 19th century to a wide and varied immigration story of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Exhibit continues through July 31st, 2019.


WHS new hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 6 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; closed Sunday and Monday.


Free Young Persons Concert

Music for Youth and Pequot Library will be presenting a FREE YOUNG PERSONS CONCERT featuring cellist Yves YVES DHARAMRAJ and pianist PHILIP EDWARD FISHER at Pequot Library, (720 Pequot Ave Southport)  2 pm March 2nd, 2019 .

If you are a member of a string orchestra, a chamber musician and/or a lover of music, you are going to want to come to this Young Persons’ Concert featuring the versatile and dynamic cellist Yves Dharamraj and his talented accompanist Philip Edward Fisher.  This youth centric one-hour program will highlight works for cello and piano with a twist.  Adults attending without children are asked to make a goodwill donation that helps to sustain future music programs.  Doors will open at 1:40 pm.  For more information about the concert and musicians visit musicforyouth.net.  Registration is suggested but not required. A master class for advanced cellists will follow the performance.   Please call 203-254-0123 for more information. 

Westport Woman's Club Accepting Proposals for 2019 Ruegg Grant

The Ruegg Grant Committee of the Westport Woman's Club invites local non-profit organizations to apply by Friday, March 8, 2019, for up to $10,000 in one-time funding for a 2019 project. Submitted proposals should be high-profile initiatives that make a meaningful difference in the Westport community.

This grant, established in 1995 by an endowment left to the club by former member Lea Ruegg, considers an annual grant to a deserving organization’s project that enhances social services, health, safety, the arts or education.  Recent Ruegg Grant beneficiaries include the Westport Astronomical Society, Project Return, Earthplace and Wakeman Town Farm.

Visit the Westport Woman's Club website - http://www.westportwomansclub.org -to access the 2019 Ruegg Grant Application on the “Community Services”  page.

Community groups with impactful and meaningful projects for this year should submit their completed project proposals and relevant financial information by Friday, March 8, 2019 to the following address:  Westport Woman’s Club, c/o  Ruegg Grant Committee, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880

The Westport Woman’s Club, organized in 1907, is a non-profit philanthropic organization dedicated to volunteerism and the raising of funds in support of the educational, charitable, cultural and public health services in Westport and surrounding towns.  The WWC’s signature fundraisers are its year-round Curio Cottage thrift shop and annual Yankee Doodle Fair, held each June on the clubhouse grounds.

Other forms of the Westport Woman’s Club “here and near” philanthropy include local community service grants, need-based college scholarships for Staples High School seniors, food closet (in partnership with Westport Human Services), annual Canal Park luncheon, subsidized rent for CT Braille, Bedford Hall usage grants for nonprofits, and many hours of volunteer service.

To learn more about the Westport Woman’s Club or to join as a member in 2019, visit http://www.westportwomansclub.org or call the WWC office at 203-227-4240.

Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry’s “Low Tide” Tour Gets High Marks

"One of the finest pure musicians anywhere in folkdom,” is how the Boston Globe has described fiddle player, guitarist and singer, Tracy Grammer.  She gained renown through her musical partnership with widely covered songwriter Dave Carter. The two toured extensively and produced recordings on the Signature Sounds label until Carter’s untimely death in 2002.

And Jim Henry has a well established reputation as a terrific musician who can play just about anything with strings as well as sing lead, harmony, and write great songs and arrangements.

The pair collaborated on an EP, “The Verdant Mile.”  In addition, Henry accompanied Grammer on her well-received album, “Flowers of Avalon,” which featured nine previously unreleased Dave Carter songs, while Grammer played on Henry’s CD, “One Horse Town.”

They will be performing at Voices Café on Saturday, January 26 at 8:00pm.  Voices Café is located at The Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road.  Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online at voicescafe.org or by calling David Vita at 203.227.7205 x 14.

Grammer is currently on tour celebrating the release of “LOW TIDE”, her first album of original songs and co-produced with long-time touring partner Jim Henry.  "I've been a writer all my life, but it was never my intention to be a songwriter," she says. "However, the road has curves we can't see at the outset of the journey. At some point along the path, writing songs became the most effective medicine for the pains and unresolved questions of my life.

LOW TIDE” is an album of revelations, confessions, and ultimately, healing. I am proud of the writing and utterly thrilled with the sounds. I took risks. I tried new approaches. I told the truth, and delivered my multitudes. My eleventh album is the first one that really sounds like me."

LOW TIDE” was released January 19, 2018 on Grammer's own label, Tracy Grammer Music, and was met with immediate acclaim.

The album opener "Hole" was the #1 most-played song on the folk radio charts in February 2018, and LOW TIDE was in the top 5 for its first two months of airplay.

Music Matters Review called the album, “A bold new sound, attitude and personal viewpoint…. engaging songs beautifully sung and arranged.” 

Seating at Voices is at tables, cabaret-style. Snacks and beverages can be brought; coffee and desserts are for sale at intermission.  Table reservations (minimum 4 people) are accepted by contacting David Vita, david@uuwestport.org or calling 203.227.7205 x14.  Walk-up tickets are $30 and the doors open at 7:30. 

Curio Cottage Thrift Shop Hosts "Sweetheart of a Sale" - February 11-16, 2019

The Curio Cottage Thrift Shop, operated by The Westport Woman’s Club, will be offering a 50% off storewide sale from February 11-16, 2019.  Do you need a fresh idea for your favorite Valentine?  Why not buy a pitcher with character and fill it with fresh roses?  Or a unique bowl to fill with chocolates?  Or wine glasses, then add champagne?  Heartfelt possibilities for the thrifty abound at the Curio Cottage Thrift Shop’s half-price, storewide "Sweetheart of a Sale."   

The Curio Cottage Thrift Shop offers an ever-changing array of donated glassware, tableware, vases, platters, frames, jewelry, kitchen items and more, and is open weekly on Monday from 1-4pm, Wednesday/Thursday/Friday from 10am-3pm, and Saturday from 11am-2pm (closed Tuesday and Sunday).   It is located adjacent to the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT.

The Curio Cottage, opened in 1999, operates year-round and has contributed over $500,000 in support of the philanthropic mission of the Westport Woman’s Club, which includes direct grants and services to non-profit organizations and charities throughout Fairfield County.  All of the shop merchandise is donated, and tax receipts are available for your welcomed donations. 


The Westport Woman’s Club, organized in 1907, is a non-profit philanthropic organization dedicated to volunteerism and the raising of funds in support of the educational, charitable, cultural and public health services in Westport and surrounding towns.  You do not have to be a Westport resident to join the Westport Woman’s Club (www.westportwomansclub.org).  To become a member, please call the office at 203-227-4240. 

Deadline for Mensa Foundation Scholarship applications

The date didn't get posted to my earlier post, so here it is on your calendar

Scholarship opportunity ends January 15, 2019

If anyone is working on an accredited degree program, college, graduate school, medical, vet, etc., please consider applying for a Mensa Foundation scholarship.  It is so easy to apply, and no, you don't have to be a Mensa.  There are NO requirements for grades, transcripts,  letters of recommendation, financial information or need.  All you have to do is fill out the form and write a 1 page essay about your degree goals.  That's it.  Thousands and thousands of dollars are awarded every year.  There are general award categories, as well as special awards for various fields of study, including journalism, STEM, liberal arts, fine arts, sciences, students returning after many years out of school, veterans, and many more.  Before our students get wrapped up in spring semester, encourage them to go to www.mensafoundation.org and apply.  High school students going to college in the fall, current college students, grad school and beyond are all qualified.  

The deadline for applications is January 15, so don't wait!

Pie & Politics

Do you have a question about the state's goals for the coming year? Join us, along with your local Democratic and Republican officials, at our annual Pie & Politics event! We'll buy the pizza, you ask the questions. There will be a cash bar. At 8:00 pm, we'll draw the winners of our restaurant gift card raffle. Event is free and open to the public. Rizzuto's Oyster Bar & Restaurant, 540 Riverside Avenue, Westport CT

Research in Neuroscience: Chemical Dependence and Psychiatric Comorbidities in Affluent Adolescents

    In a time of despair, parents experiencing one of their greatest nightmares desperately search for all possible sources to come to the rescue. Mental illness and substance abuse have become more and more prevalent in today's society. In efforts to help develop a greater knowledge in the field of psychology and neuroscience, I have kick-started scientific research looking into chemical dependence and psychiatric comorbidities in affluent adolescents. If you have some time, please go to the link at the bottom of this entry to take a short questionnaire to help us, researchers, better understand this minimized problem. 


     This study is being conducted by Michael Vallerie at Wheaton College, Norton, MA. as independent research. There are no repercussions if you decide to participate in this research study. There are no costs for participating in the study. The information you provide will help develop a greater knowledge of chemical dependence and psychiatric comorbidities in affluent adolescents. The questionnaire will take approximately 4 minutes to complete. The information collected may not benefit you directly, but the information learned in this study should provide more general benefits.

Chemical Dependence and Psychiatric Comorbidities in Affluent Adolescents: Questionnaire

First Light Festival New Year’s Eve at WHS

Join Westport Historical Society from 4 to 9 pm for a night of family fun on New Year’s Eve for events here at WHS and other locations to be announced. The festival is to celebrate the dawning of a New Year, and will include many of the beloved activities that Westporters and visitors have enjoyed in years past including:

  • Face painting
  • Digital Caricaturist
  • Crafts
  • Performances
  • Henna artist
  • Food Trucks
  • Additional events to be announced!

“Westport has long enjoyed a reputation as a family-friendly town with plenty to do for kids of all ages – especially on New Year’s Eve.  WHS is proud to offer Westporters and the many visitors who come to our beautiful town lots to do on this special evening,” said WHS Executive Director Ramin Ganeshram. “Creating a fun family event for New Year’s Eve is something Westporters want – and we’re delighted to give it to them.”

Events will be held at Westport Historical Society at 25 Avery Place, TD BANK on Main Street, and additional locations to be announced after Christmas.  TD Bank, Westport, is sponsoring the event.

Tickets can be purchased at WHS or online at www.westporthistory.org.  Buttons are $10 online or $15 at the door. No charge for children 2 years old and under. Please pick-up buttons at WHS.