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'Where ART Thou?' Fairfield County

Host Ray Hardman heads to South Norwalk to The Norwalk Art Space, where he meets Erika Wesley, the Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. Erika is a poet, author and longtime Fairfield County resident. She shares a bit about the rich diversity of arts and artist organizations in the area, including the role The Norwalk Art Space has played since its opening in 2021 to expand opportunities and equity in the local art community.

While we’re there, we meet with one of The Norwalk Art Space’s 2023-24 resident artists, Alejandra Gonzalez Zertuche. She is an oil painter and educator originally from Coahuila, Mexico. Her paintings focus on the stories and memories of the people around her and her identity as a Mexican person now living in the United States.

On our way to Trumbull, Ray stops at The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport. The museum is currently closed to the public due to renovations, but before they go deeper into the next phase of preservation and construction, Executive Director Kathy Maher shares some of the classic pieces of Barnum's history. An immersive, 21st-century Barnum Museum is on the horizon.

Our final stop in Fairfield County is the home of visual poet and author, Monica Ong. She uses art and poetry to invite people to talk about uncomfortable issues or explore hidden histories.

In 2015, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo selected her book, Silent Anatomies, as the winner of the Kore Press First Book Award in poetry. Ray has the opportunity to see the various ways Monica alchemizes words and visual mediums to create a unique experience for those who come in contact with her art.

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