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Scholarships & Grants

Annually, the Commission awards scholarships to Newtown graduating seniors who will be majoring in the arts. We also award two grants to Newtown artists, one to an individual artist and one to an organization, group, or club that shares the arts in Newtown.

Congratulations to 2023 Newtown Arts Commission Scholarship and Grant Recipients!


Caroline Kordik
Northeastern University 
"For my future career, I want to be a part of the next generation  of architects that work in harmony with the earth and build for a better future."
Caroline Kordik
Northeastern University
"For my future career, I want to be a part of the next generation  of architects that work in harmony with the earth and build for a better future."
El Glassman
El Glassman
Emerson College
Media Arts Production
"I plan to keep writing for as long as I can and have now combined it with my passion for digital media to pursue a career in screenwriting."
Giselle Martinez
Giselle Martinez
Ithaca College
Documentary Film and Production Studies
"I want to be able to do that. To have the creative mindset to show the audience  what I'm thinking and feeling through the lens of a camera."
Malcolm Zimmerman
Malcolm Zimmerman
SUNY New Paltz
Studio Art & World History
"What I particularly love about being an artist is how I can illustrate and create visual work to support my other academic studies and research and better communicate with my audience."



Mark Sadowski
University of Connecticut
Major: Acting


Evan Keckley
Western Connecticut State University
Major: Psychology & Music Performance


Michael Spanedda
University of Hartford
Major: Music


Artwork of Maia Labbe
University of Florida
Major: Journalism


2023 Grant Recipients

Jane & Peggy Townsend

Jane Sharpe was awarded a grant to place a bronze plaque on the artwork at the traffic island at Glove and Queen Street identifying Newtown native Ethan Currier as the sculptor.  She and Peggy Townsend worked on the project.

Artist Paula Brinkman

Paula Brinkman, pictured, was awarded a grant to replace the coroplast signs at the four Doors of Fairfield Hills  with 4 new metal signs. The grant includes materials needed  for upkeep. Paula was the driving force to decorate the doors in 2020. (Check our "other projects" for more info on the doors.)


Everwonder Children's Museum was awarded a grant to create uniform signage at its new home at 11 Mill Hill Road. Grant was written by Meredith Christos, museum director, pictured.

2022 Grant Recipients


Julia Sikes Provey

Through a grant from the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, Julia Sikes Provey will be returning to the Newtown Arts Festival to lead Festival attendees in creating an interactive mural that will feature a diverse cast of people in celebration. Festival goers are welcome to collaborate with Julia in the creation of the mural. All that is required is imagination and the desire to paint. Once completed, the mural will be hung at the Community Center for everyone to enjoy.


The Friends of the Newtown Community Centerr will be welcoming a showcase at the Center. A grant from the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission will enable the Newtown Community Center to feature a showcase to display artwork created in their youth and adult art programs. Drawing, painting and pottery classes are offered throughout the year. The showcase will also give all community artists an opportunity to display their work.

2021 Grant Recipients


NCAC awarded EverWonder Children’s Museum a grant of $1250 for a moveable art installation that will create a “Downtown Newtown” look in the young explorers area.

EverWonder Children’s Museum strives to cultivate a lifelong love-of-learning in children by encouraging them to think, inquire, and wonder about the world around them. They offer hands-on exhibits and programming to spark imagination in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

ben's lighthouse

NCAC awarded Ben’s Lighthouse a grant of $1250 to fund the Ben’s Lighthouse Community Fundraising Concert with Red Grammer on November 10, 2019, 3:00pm, at Reed Intermediate School. All proceeds will directly support Ben’s Lighthouse community programming.

Ben’s Lighthouse establishes programs that empower young people to develop the self-awareness, empathy and social connections they need to find and share their own light. They strive to create safe and supportive, trauma-informed youth-centered spaces for developing empathy and empowering it into action. Their programs empower kids to become actively engaged in their community and beyond. Involvement in service through the arts and volunteering helps build compassion, self-awareness and social connection – the building blocks for healthy social and emotional growth.

2020 Grant Recipients


$1,000 presented to the Clay Dates Potters; including Karen Pinto, Ros Liljengren and Roberta Ahuja, in order to purchase a display case for three dimensional artwork. The case will be permanently located at the Municipal Center Gallery. The potters plan on displaying their work a few times a year and want to encourage other artists such as sculptors, jewelers, weavers, woodworkers and school groups to do the same.

The Clay Dates Potters formed under the auspices of “Healing Newtown Through the Arts”. Their goal was to offer a therapeutic activity to the community that would help relieve stress after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Individually, the three women continue to offer classes in pottery making and encourage people to pursue other activities that promote stress reduction.


$1000 presented to Friends of Newtown Seniors. FONS, along with help from Joanne and Bruce Hunter of The Art Spot, Danbury, CT, designed and created the ceramic tile mural, Newtown, One Town. Thanks to the grant writing expertise of John Boccuzzi Sr., funding for mural development was procured through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Office of the Arts and was administered by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut. The Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is awarding a $1000 grant to Friends of Newtown Seniors for the intergenerational installation of the mural at the new senior center.

Previous Grant Recipients

virginia zimmerman

Virginian Zimmerman presented with $900 grant for individual artist. An art teacher in Fairfield, CT, Virginia is an experienced printmaker. With her grant she will be creating a new series of printmaking that will combine collage and landscape in a new way.

Stray Kats Theatre Company

Stray Kats Theater Company led by Kate Katcher presented with $900 grant for an Arts Organization centered in Newtown Arts Organization. Founded in 2010, Stray Kats Theater Company was the only professional acting group in Newtown. After a hiatus, the troop is back with “site specific theater” teaming up with Third Eye Productions to present “Doubt,” a Tony and Pulitzer award-winning play by John Patrick Shanley.

Previous Scholarship Recipients


Danielle Wassmer awarded $1250 Scholarship
Central Connecticut State University
Major: Graphic Design

Jacob C MP18714

Jacob Clements awarded $1250 Scholarship
Oberlin Conservator
Major: Jazz Composition and Music Production


Thomas Hasselberger awarded $1250 Scholarship
Berklee College of Music
Major: Music Education and Performance


Thomas Jensen awarded $1000 Scholarship
University of Connecticut
Major: Music Composition and Music Education

harrison hoffert

Harrison Hoffert awarded $1000 Scholarship
University of Michigan
Major: Theatrical Design and Production


Jenna Visca awarded $1000 Scholarship
Western Connecticut State University
Major: Communications
Minor: Illustration


Teressa Forlenzo awarded $1000 Scholarship
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Major: Graphic Design
Minor: Illustration

max galassi

Max Galassi presented with $500 grant for individual artist. An accomplished filmmaker while still in high school, Max plans to create short films that he can submit to film festivals to “involve members and locations in the Newtown community as in my past films.”

kai hedin

Kai Hedin awarded $1000 scholarship.
Kai is an accomplished violinist. He performed with the Greater Bridgeport’s Principal Youth Orchestra and volunteered with the Newtown High School Elementary Music Mentoring Association (HEMMA) teaching violin. He was a member of the pit orchestra, sang with the XY Chromosomes a cappella group, and played with Chamber Music Central and the Western Regional Orchestra. Kai also founded a quartet with other advanced music students that performed at community events. The sharing of his talent and love of music with the community exemplifies the spirit that the Newtown Cultural Commission hopes to foster and is what has earned Kai this award. He will be majoring in music education at Ithaca College.


Daniel Spillane awarded $1000 scholarship.
An accomplished bass violinist, Daniel played in the Newtown High School Symphony Orchestra, The Wind Ensemble, the Gold Jazz Band and the Winter Percussion. He was a member of the “Outstanding Student Orchestra” for Sweeney Todd, participated in numerous Jazz Band competitions and invented two devices that helped the Marching Band Program. Dan organized the first St. Rose of Lima Student Orchestra and performed at the Christmas mass. The sharing of his talents and love of music with the community exemplifies the spirit that the Newtown Cultural Commission hopes to foster and is what has earned Dan this award. He will be majoring in mechanical engineering and music at Penn State University.