NEW CANAAN — A dozen nonprofits have banded together with the town in an effort to promote New Canaan’s culture and with hopes of enticing residents old and new to explore all it has to offer.
A “culture guide” spanning 28 pages and filled with information on New Canaan’s two national historic landmarks — Philip Johnson’s Glass House and the Rogers Studio — as well as on the town’s performance theatres, Grace Farms, New Canaan Museum and Historical Society and it’s eight museums, is being distributed to residents. It also includes the New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan Chamber Music, the New Canaan Land Trust and the YMCA.
The guide is one of the efforts overseen by the Tourism and Economic Development Advisory Committee to spotlight the town and help bolster the local economy.
The project was conceived by Administrative Officer and Chairman of TEDAC Tucker Murphy, along with New Canaan Museum and Historical Society Executive Director Nancy Geary. After Geary presented the idea to the committee, it approached the town and was granted $7,500 for the design of the publication.
Due to the town’s backing, the publication did not have to rely on advertising. “Our idea was to have no ads, no letters, so that there would be a timeless quality to this,” Geary said. “My hope is that we don’t have to do anything to update it for 10 years.”
Gina Federico designed the guide with information provided by cultural institutions. Geary said she worked with Federico to create a template so each entry would be uniform, all set with a large horizontal photo, a set of small pictures and a quote from a volunteer. The historical society paid $1,600 for printing it, which Geary hopes to be reimbursed by the town.
The organizations are listed in alphabetical order — from Carriage Barn Arts Center to Town Player of New Canaan — to ensure that there was no perceived favoritism, Geary said.
Some of the more notable sites included in the guide, like The Glass House, have dates and times listed for tours to the public. The Glass House, which has a 49-acre site with 14 structures and includes the home and work of Harvard Five architect Philip Johnson, will be open to the public between April 15 and Nov. 15.
The Silvermine Arts Center, another featured location, sits on a five-acre campus with an award-winning School of Art, a guild with over 300 professional artists and five galleries presenting exhibitions of emerging and established contemporary artists.
Grace Farms’ award-winning River building, which sits on 80 acres of meadows and ponds in town, is also open to the public. Established in 2015 it “has been internationally recognized for its outstanding design, architectural significance and work to advance good locally and globally,” the guide states.
The guide also details the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society’s main office and how it is located in the town’s original Town Hall built in 1825, as well as the Gores Pavilion, the history of the New Canaan library and even the 40-acre Nature Center.
Next, TEDAC will be working on a resource called the Business Development Guide, which will help new business owners navigate the necessary steps and town departments needed to open their doors. Currently, it is being reviewed by the appropriate departments for additional insights.