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April 2020- Part 1
A Special Message From the Bridgeport Art Trail

Many of us are turning to social media, TV, video, music, dance, literature and art to keep us sane and work through this extraordinary time. The artists who create these opportunities for aesthetic respite and comfort need to be professionally compensated. They are part of the gig-economy. Artists cannot pay their bills on free exposure.

The arts are leveraged for economic development and placemaking. The arts are used for therapy, respite, to conceptualize new ideas and to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to share a cultural exchange whereby strengthening bonds and building community and nurturing cultural literacy; we learn to celebrate our differences and find our commonality. These creative laborers deserve to be compensated. They are small business owners, creative thinkers, visionaries, they are the spice of life that we all need to get up and fight another day.
Stay safe, be prudent, and kind to others and yourself. Stay in touch with us on the Bridgeport Art Trail Facebook Page where we post frequently. 
Americans for the Arts, Creative Capital and five other arts grants maker have just announced the creation of a new Artist Relief Fund—an initiative that includes immediate, unrestricted emergency funding of $5,000 for individual artists of all disciplines, and resources to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Go to to learn more and apply. VISIT FOR MORE INFORMATION
Americans for the Arts, Creative Capital and five other arts grants maker have just announced the creation of a new Artist Relief Fund—an initiative that includes immediate, unrestricted emergency funding of $5,000 for individual artists of all disciplines, and resources to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Go to to learn more and apply.

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the artist community, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. For as long as our Board of Directors determines it is necessary and prudent to do so, the Foundation will disburse one-time $1,500 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

The Recording Academy® and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares® have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The bottom has fallen out of the live music industry. Concerts, tours, and festivals have been canceled. Clubs, bars, and restaurants have closed. Our jazz and blues community is one of the earliest to be hit and one of the least equipped to endure such a disruption. The need is unprecedented but reminds us of JFA’s mission and purpose to provide emergency assistance in times of crisis.

This page has been assembled from several sources to list resources for artists and cultural organizations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Along with the artists who are keeping our spirits up, connecting us through stimulating aesthetic respite, City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail thanks our those essential workers and healthcare staff who are fighting the Covid-19 battle, comforting and caring for the sick and sustaining us with the necessities as we practice social distancing.
City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail board member Dr. Camelia Lawrence is a constant beacon of hope. She posts daily on Facebook words of inspiration, reflecting her personal life journey as a woman, mother, breast surgeon and active member in the CT community, supporting a range of organizations, like City Lights, the Discovery Museum, etc.

Here is some info from Dr Camelia Lawrence
Given the Covid-19 pandemic many have lost their jobs unexpectedly. Access Health CT has extended the Special Enrollment Period to sign up for health insurance until Friday, April 17.

Coverage is available for uninsured Connecticut residents who don’t otherwise receive insurance through their job or become unemployed.

***The only way to sign up for this Special Enrollment Period is by calling #(855) 365-2428***

When it comes to health, everyone wants reliable, up-to-date information. See the latest from for answers to questions you may have about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Here is a review featuring some of the artists who, like all of us have been affected by the social distancing protocol. They have lost income but they are still making art and living creative lives.
WE CAN MAKE IT by Dan Makara at City Lights
“WE WILL MAKE IT!” is the message in a piece of art by Dan Makara. The reassuring words are a neon beacon shining from the window of City Lights gallery in downtown Bridgeport at 265 Golden Hill St. The words of encouragement are part of a construction that melds retro science Fiction B movie aesthetic with the jarring reality of the COVID19 nightmare we are now living. A lenticular image of a healthcare worker in a hazmat suit walks through a twilight zone vortex of vibrating colors. Vintage 50’s faces of women applaud the effort. Viewers of a certain age may remember the lenticular images that came as prizes inside every box of Cracker Jack. 
Makara’s work frequently expresses irony, and dark humor, which may be just what we need to rappel us forward. It is a bizzarro time we are living, harkening back to the days of duck and cover-nuclear bomb safety training, as the public then and now relies on the government to provide the proper information about precautions and protocol. The ‘We” in this statement is critical, we are all required to pull together to be responsible for our actions, be proactive and to remain positive and kind, to others and ourselves.

This is just one example of how artists are using their to work offer comfort and support during a difficult time. City Lights is grateful to Dan Makara for sharing his art and his vision once again with Bridgeport. In 1981 Makara and a small group of artists and musicians started Bridgeport’s first City Lights coffee house on Fairfield Ave in the downtown. This was pre-coffee shop chains. The gathering place was prompted by the need of an arts social venue for the artists and patrons of The Elm St artists at 170 Elm Street.
Along with Makara’s art, “We Will Make It”, here are some images from Bridgeport art scene in the 1980’s. We are looking back because April marks the 16th anniversary of City Lights. The City Lights crew is working on its online anniversary exhibit, “Only Sixteen.”
Coming soon! 
Walking With The Wild Woman Archetype
City Lights Gallery
City Lights is committed to presenting the broad spectrum of visual expression through exhibits like “Walking With The Wild Woman Archetype” when we can present the work of artists of diverse backgrounds, trainings, experiences, motivations and disciplines all in the same exhibit.

The commonality of this exhibit is to celebrate the authentic female nature/persona of nurturer, warrior, sorcerer, the feminine ability to create something from nothing or nearly nothing), the caregiver, life sustainer, the burden bearer, the homemaker and protectress. The inspiration of the exhibit and the title comes from a book that explores the power women have and can acquire by reclaiming her authentic self which accepts the dualistic nature of the ability to be good/bad, hard/soft, beautiful/ugly, whimsical/practical and tapping into the metaphysical power that supports us, and find the community that enables us to thrive.

About the Wildwoman Archetype from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jungian analyst and the author of Women Who Run With The Wolves: 

“The wild woman archetype is about claiming and reclaiming power, authenticity, voice, and action in daily life. The wild woman uses intuition and inner knowing as guides throughout the cycles of life.”

Exhibitng artists: Susan Clinard, Nicloe Cyr, Marissa Ferrao, Kateleen Foy, Caitlin Iannucci, Robin Jopp Suzanne Kachmar, Abbe Miller, PJ McCreanor, Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli, Jean Sanchez, Amanda Walker.

Welcome to City Lights first online exhibit. Click here to see the art and listen to the artists talk about their work and practice

Writers' Workshop with Shanna Melton sponsored by City Lights
Event Date: April 11
Event Time: 2-4 PM
The Writer’s Group with Shanna Tanika Melton, sponsored by City Lights will be held virtually on Saturday, April 11, 2020 from 2-4 pm. MORE INFORMATION
A video tour of Bridgeport, Connecticut, through the Century from vintage photographs and postcards. VIEW HERE
The HMA has received a significant gift of works by the following artists: Walter Iooss, Peter Turnley, Sally Gall, Kristin Capp, and Ralph Gibson, to name a few. We are looking forward to hosting an exhibition featuring many of these new photographs when we reopen!
PechaKucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) is the world’s fastest-growing storytelling platform, used by millions around the globe.  20 slides. 20 seconds of commentary per slide. That’s it. Simple. Engaging. Spurring authentic connections. View PechaKucha presentations from past Bridgeport storytellers! VISIT
VIRTUAL CONCERT: John Torres of Colorfields
John:" I've been listening to a lot of Radiohead lately. I don't know if it's because more than anyone else, their music has made the most indelible impression on me, or if it's because it seems like we're living inside a Yorke-ian fever dream. I think more than anything though, it's because no matter how bleak, paranoid, or societally-pessimistic the lyrics can be, there is something so uplifting about their music that overtakes the paranoia and depression with waves of joy, exuberance, and optimism. This is I think why I feel their music to be so apropos during this crisis. And so, I thought it would be fun to go through their album OK Computer in order and a song at a time.
Here's the first track, Airbag. Hope you enjoy!"
Catch him on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. performing live on Fairfield Theatre Company’s Facebook page!
VIRTUAL CONCERT: Cosmic Jibaros Performing La Cadena At The Acoustic in Black Rock, Bridgeport, CT
Featuring: Rick Reyes on Lead Vocals/Acoustic Guitar, Chris Stanley on Drums, Juan Carlos Vega on Bass, Obanilu Ire Allende on Congas/Barril and Vocals, Tony Cintron on Percussion, Jesse Gibbon on Rhodes/Hammond, Nathan Perez on Trombone, Brendan Muldowney on Electric Guitar.
View the Performance
VIRTUAL CONCERT: Chris Cavaliere
Christopher Cavaliere is a Musician Singer/Songwriter from Bridgeport, CT. His work is based upon creating musical collages composed of a wide range of styles. As a performer Chris has shared the stage with national touring acts Marc RibotKaki KingThe StepkidsAntoine DufourDrums and TubaConsider the Source and Perhaps. Chris has been a featured artist for the Ovation VXT guitar as well as being endorsed by B&K guitars. As a recording artist his 2010 album release entitled Monrovia Suite has been featured in national (AlARM PressGuitar Player Magazine) and local  press (Fairfield County Weekly’s Best Instrumentalist). Cavaliere’s current music projects include band Symphonic Bodega and multi-media group DaDA Mr
Visit The Chris Cavaliere YouTube Channel
Q&A with Fuzz Sangiovanni
View the Live Performance
Q. Tell me about yourself as a performer, musician, or visual artist
 My name is James “Fuzz” Sangiovanni but you can just call me Fuzz. I was born in NYC, grew up in NY but have been living in Bridgeport, CT for the past 20 years. I am a guitarist, vocalist, percussionist, songwriter, arranger and record producer as well as an educator, teaching privately and occasionally in the classroom and in college lecture halls. I’ve been a professional, international recording & touring artist for nearly thirty years and some of the acts I founded and/or toured with include Deep banana Blackout, Caravan of Thieves, The Tom Tom Club, Big Fuzz, Rolla as well as a few other side projects, all covering many musical genres such as rock, blues, funk, jazz, RnB, folk, swing, reggae, classical and everything in between. I have been fortunate enough to have shared the stage with artists such as The Allman Brothers, John Scofield, Keb Mo, Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck and many others.
Q. How have you been impacted by COVID-19/closures due to social-distancing restrictions?
For the most part, it’s been very limiting and my much of business has come to a halt. All live performances have been cancelled or postponed although I have done several live streams and some generous people have donated to my "virtual tip jar" in the form of Venmo and PayPal payments. I have been able to do some recording sessions remotely as well as teach remotely but half of my private students are on hold due to their uncertain financial situation. Any of my on campus teaching gigs have been cancelled or postponed till fall. I remain in contact with a lot of my colleagues and partners but its challenging to work together right now. Still feeling this out.

Q. What challenges do you currently face as an artist? 
A. As mentioned above, the impact on my financial situation has been a challenge. In addition, just making music and collaborating with other people, performing for a live audience and being able to develop new projects and ideas are all severely limited. The artistic outlet in that respect is suffering.
Q. What motivates or inspires you during this time?
A few positives to come from this have been the increase in friends, family and colleagues reaching out more than ever before to stay connected. Virtual meetings bringing people together, even across the country and beyond has been inspiring to see and be a part of. Also having extra time to myself is bringing the opportunity to develop new projects, new skills, new music and just take a step back and gain perspective on where I am in my life currently and where I’d like to see it going in the decades ahead.
Q. Have you experienced any positive or interesting creative developments during this time? 
As mentioned above, inspired by people staying connected and working together remotely, I have been developing an educational and business program to encourage collaboration, in music and beyond. I’ve also been writing new songs and have had material on the back burner to make a new album so I am planning to go through it all and bring that to fruition in the coming months.

Q. What are you hopes for “what’s next”? 
My hopes are that everyone stays safe, well and positive though this, does the right thing by following protocol on containing this virus and that we can begin the return to our lives by late spring. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight and most likely will be another 6 months to a year before things really start getting back to “normal”, whatever that is. If there’s anything we will have hopefully learned from this experience is that “normal” is an illusion and the smartest approach for any of us is to utilize our greatest human strength, which is adaptability. But for me personally, I’m just going to keep creating, learning, working, exercising, finding a quiet place in nature and enjoying the sun, fresh air and life as best as I can.
Deep Banana Blackout

Caravan of Thieves Web and Social Media Links:
Read the Guide Here
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