On April 9, the Middletown Commission on the Arts celebrates Arts Advocacy Day
by presenting awards to an individual and an organization that has significantly
contributed to the city’s cultural and artistic enrichment and shown extraordinary
support and initiative for the arts.
This year, the MCA honors the work of director, teacher and playwright Carolyn
Kirsch plus the great contributions of the Community Foundation of Middlesex
National Arts Advocacy Day this year takes place in Washington, D.C., on April 8-9.
Now in its 16th year, The Middlesex County Community Foundation has worked to
ensure the region is a vibrant, thriving area that supports a broad range of services,
including the arts.
“Staff and volunteers of the Community Foundation work very hard to support
arts programs and arts organizations,” says Cynthia H. Clegg, president and CEO,
“especially during these hard economic times. The arts promote innovation and
collaboration and positively impact local economies, student learning and cultural
“Best of all, the arts inspire and can transform neighborhoods, communities, minds,
hearts and lives,” Clegg says.
Kirsch appeared in 15 Broadway musicals over a 21-year period. During that
time, she worked extensively for director/choreographers Michael Bennett and
Bob Fosse. As a member of the Original Company of “A Chorus Line” she was the
recipient of a Theatre World Award.
She is the Musical Theatre Department Chair of the Center for Creative Youth at
Wesleyan, and is on the faculty of The Grater Harford Academy of the Arts.
She serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Dance Allegiance and
studied acting with the legendary Uta Hagen and continues to study with Austin
Pendleton, both of HB Studio, New York City. She has written a play based on the life
and artistic times of Camille Claudel, the French sculptress.
Mayor Dan Drew will congratulate awardees and the arts commission will dedicate
its display case in city hall to former arts commissioner and city design review and
preservation board member Patricia Evans for her lifelong support of the MCA.
Last year, The Buttonwood Tree and Greater Middletown Concert Association were
recognized, and in 2011, composer and Wesleyan music professor Neely Bruce and
the Mayor’s Ball committees were distinguished.
Awards will be presented April 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the lobby of city hall. Light
refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend and take a self-guided
tour of the commission’s Public Art Collection throughout city hall.