Visual Effects and Animation Talk

Creative Conversation Series With Alison Kellom

by Arts Alliance of Stratford

The Arts Alliance of Stratford will present a discussion on the history and future of Visual Effects and Animation via Zoom on Tuesday, February 16th from 7:00–8:00p.m Registration is required and a $10 donation is suggested.

Alison Kellom will discuss film fundamentals and how animation evolved to the entertainment we consume now. The basic production pipeline will be discussed to educate the different jobs it takes to create a movie. A question & answer will follow the talk.

Alison Kellom is a Master Drawer, classically trained artist in Old Master Technique at the Atelier School of Classical Realism in Oakland, California. Her training led to a career in feature films and video games, working with Disney, Warner Bros. and 2K Games. Alison is currently a Model Maker and Producer on the short film Crickets Would Sing.

Please complete the event registration. Upon submission, the Zoom meeting link will be emailed to you. To register please go to:

World War II Buffs Join Us for a look back at History!

WWII Navel Operations Set for Stratford Library Talk

Speaker Bill Preinitz Offers Two-Part Series February 21st & 28th “Sunday Afternoon Talks” at the Library

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming

“Overview of Atlantic Campaign, 1939-1945” and “Science vs. the U-boats: Blackett’s Circus” will take place on the Library’s Zoom platform. The talks are free and open to the public. The series, which is presented on consecutive Sundays, are organized and hosted by Charles Lautier and are from 2-3:30 pm. To register online and receive a Zoom invitation for the February 21st  program visit:

The two-part series both involve WWII Allied Naval Operations against Nazi Germany in the North Atlantic. “Overview of Atlantic Campaign, 1939-1945” examines the roots of the campaign which are the product of the events of World War I and the Inter War treaty system.

“Science vs. the U-boats: Blackett’s Circus” is based on the conduct of the Battle of the Atlantic. Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett entered Cambridge and graduated in 1921 with first class honors in Physics. In the mid-1930’s he was approached to consult on the organization and information flows of Britain’s Chain Home air defense radar system. He assembled a group of world class minds to study ways to defeat the U-boat forces in the North Atlantic.  Their influence and pivotal contributions in turning the tide of battle in the convoy lanes of the Atlantic War will be discussed at the Library program.

Guest speaker Bill Preinitz is a Chicago native currently residing in Weston.  He holds a B.A. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Finance, and an M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University. His career began with a brisk and transformative experience in the U.S. Army and he has, subsequently, held management roles in consumer banking and publishing in Chicago.  A job relocation to Manhattan led to an over 25-year long investment banking career. After retiring eight years ago, he immediately authored two books and has a special focus on the history of Rome, the American Civil War and World War II. Preinitz has also been a guest speaker at Weston Public Library on various international/military/security topics.

Mars Landing, a Dog Story, and a Grab and Go for Budding Scientists!

Stratford Library Offers Kids Events 2021

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming

The Stratford Library Children’s Department continues to offer stimulating programs for kids and their families. The Library is currently offering limited computer use for adults with reservations and contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, grab and go program kits, Reference Chat and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music.

DIY Storytimes
The Stratford Library posts DIY Storytimes on the website at every Saturday. Families can enjoy these online storytimes any time. Themes for February include Black Pride, Valentines, Pancakes, and Hats.

The Great Family Read
The Great Family Read, a monthly book program for children grades 3 to 6 and their families. Each month, the Library will choose a high-interest book that both kids and their grownups will enjoy. The title will be available via the Library’s Hoopla ebook multi-user platform, so each person in the family will be able to borrow their own digital copy of the book at the same time. February’s Great Family Read will be Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, award winning author. Because of Winn-Dixie starts off in the grocery store, where 10-year-old India Opal Buloni meets and adopts an adventurous dog, naming him Winn-Dixie after the grocery store. India’s new dog helps her acclimate to her new home in Naomi, Florida.

Register for this program at on the Events page, and the Library will provide you with discussion questions, information, and fun activities related to the book that families can use to create an engaging literacy experience.

School Support Tips
The Stratford Library posts School Support Tips every Monday to help families learn at home. Visit the website at to see new tips each Monday. Past tips have included “Books in Spanish” and “STEM Resources.”

Online, Live Storytimes
The Stratford Library offers winter storytimes via Zoom during the month of February. Toddler Time meets Mondays at 10:30 am for ages 1 to 2. Preschool Storytime meets Tuesdays at 10:30 am for ages 3 to 5. Baby Lapsit meets Thursdays at 10:00 am for ages 0 to 1. Storytime will not meet Feb. 15. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Phonics & Alphabet Parade
Stratford Library Grab ‘n’ go kits will be available throughout February for Phonics Parade (ages 5-8) and Alphabet Parade (ages 4-6) learning. Register online to reserve a kit then pick it up within two weeks. With Alphabet Parade, children will receive a simple craft relating to a letter of the alphabet and a writing practice sheet. With Phonics Parade, children can complete phonics practice and a game or activity that emphasizes sight words and letter sounds. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events

Homework Help
The Stratford Library offers Homework Help to children in grades Kindergarten to six on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm over Zoom. Children should bring homework and will work with teen tutors on assignments. This program is courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund and the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Coding Club
Stratford Library’s Coding Club meets online Monday, February 8 at 4 pm for children ages 7 to 12. Each class has two activities: a demonstration of a Scratch coding project that children can work on independently and a group activity involving secret codes, made-up languages, or hieroglyphics. Learn to think like a coder! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Tuesday Craft Nights
The Stratford Library Children’s Department offers online crafting with grab ‘n’ go kits on Tuesday nights this winter. Ages 7 to 12 meets February 9 at 7 pm on Zoom for a “Friendship Kit” craft. Ages 3 to 6 meets February 16 at 6:30 pm on Zoom to celebrate President’s Day with a “Finger Print Cherry Tree” craft and storytime. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events. March’s crafting projects will be listed on the Library’s Events calendar.

Book Scientists
Book Scientists is a new grab ‘n’ go learning experience offered by the Stratford Library Children’s Department. Each month, children ages 3 to 12 can sign up for different Book Scientists topics. Each kit will include Library books, a craft and/or an extension activity. Library books will be chosen by the child’s age. The Book Scientists kits for February are Art and World Stories, with a special focus on Black History Month. Children can sign up for one or both. Pick up Book Scientists kits with a Library card in the Children’s Department. When you are done, return the Library books by their due date and keep everything else! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events

Draw with Josie
The Stratford Library’s volunteers Josie, Maggie, and Natalie invite children ages 6 to 12 to an online drawing class. February’s class meets Wednesday, February 17 at 4 pm. Learn to draw Dory and Nemo from “Finding Nemo.” Children should bring a pencil, eraser, and paper to the Zoom. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Astronomy Club – Mars Rover Landing Watch Party
Spend the afternoon on Mars! Stratford Library’s Astronomy Club meets online on Thursday, February 18 at 3:30 pm for ages 7 to 12. We will be live watching NASA’s Mars Rover “Perseverance” plummet through the Mars atmosphere to land (we hope) safely on the red planet. To register for this thrilling moment in the United States’ space exploration, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Nutmeg Book Group
The Stratford Library’s Nutmeg Book Group will meet Monday, February 22 at 7 pm on Zoom to discuss I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted with children grades 4 to 6. This Nutmeg Award nominee is set in 1969 in the days before the Apollo astronauts’ moon landing. Ten-year-old Mamie chooses to write to astronaut Michael Collins for her school project, chronicling her increasing isolation and family problems. Registered participants will receive a grab ‘n’ go kit containing a free copy of the book and other materials, courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund. Children should read the book prior to the discussion. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit

Shop for Valentine Sweethearts

The Shakespeare Market

By Tom Dillon

The Shakespeare Market has burst at the seams! The outpouring of enthusiasm was so overwhelming at our debut performance, the only way to keep up with demand was to double the effort! The market will now run on the first and third Saturdays and Sundays through April 18th.

With turnout as high as it was the most reasonable way to reduce the crowds was not toextend hours but to double the days. The number of local small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to set up shop at the Market has now swollen to 125! By extending the market to Saturday and Sunday, nearly 30 more vendors have been asked to show off their talents and skills to the Stratford community.

Second time visitors to the Market will see some of the same faces who will be the Market’s food producing backbone. Eaglewood Farms, Daffodil Hill Growers, Why Not Farms, and Wave Hill Breads will be there almost every Saturday and Sunday to provide your core locally grown and harvested foods. Andy’s Microgreens will be there on Sundays going forward and Hydrofresh will be starting on Saturdays later this month.

A rolling roster of food and crafts will be available throughout the season. Each weekend and each day will have new vendors and events so keep a close eye out! You will have to keep an eye on the schedule for fresh new faces and the vendors that come to seem like old family friends.

A bevy of bakers and confectioners will be there for the last market before Valentine’s Day. Stratford’s own Royal Confections will be there alongside our neighbors from Oronoque Farms! Who is already drooling over the idea of cider donuts? Muggers Marrow and Dave’s Angry Sauce will be there on Sundays and Wanke’s Yankee Hot Sauce is available on Saturdays.

This is the best outdoor Valentine’s Day shopping location in Stratford ever! Check the schedule for a host of options for that special someone. Several vendors will have a wide variety of jewelry in both style and price. It is not just jewelry either! There is something for everyone, so come and see what catches your eye!

There will be a massive increase in the hot food options. Paradise Island, Betzy’s Latin Flavors, Calandrelli Kettle Corn, The Melting Truck will all be there! And Riehl Cool Craft and Confections will have hot chocolate, tea, and cookies. Rita’s Pita’s, The Grateful Dog, and a few more will be attending later in the season as well!

The food trucks will all be moved into the small parking lot at the top of the hill to increase the number of parking spaces and give people more room to spread out as they queue up for their treat of choice! Social distancing is the most important aspect of the next markets. Everyone should have each other’s safety and personal space on the top of their mind. Eating and drinking is only permitted outside of the vendor Pedestrian Area. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times in the Pedestrian Area.

If you are fortunate to live within a 20-minute walk of the property you should thank your lucky stars! There is no better way to get to the market than to walk. With the amount of interest that was demonstrated on January 17 th , parking will continue to be a challenge. The good news is that the Town has stepped up and will be providing two police officers to direct traffic on Elm Street as well as members of the Police Explorers who will be managing the parking lots. Cars entering off Elm Street will be directed into the parking lot and, if there are no spots available, they will be routed out the back of the property onto Shore Road. No vehicle traffic will be allowed in the road around the field where the theater once stood.

And while vendors are great, The Shakespeare Market wants to be more than that. The YMCA, Sterling House and The Dolly Parton Imagination Library will all be attending on dates throughout the season. Clear Captions is a service for the hard of hearing that makes communicating with loved ones easy again! Later in the month several other charitable organizations will be coming out to share their work as well! And that is not even the half of it! The only way to see it all is to come out this weekend….twice! A different market both days, each with its own roster of incredible entrepreneurs willing to come out and stand in the cold to provide us all with a place to go and something to do!

Let’s just make sure that we do our best to do this safely! Mask up, come on down and social distance with us this Saturday AND Sunday at The Shakespeare Market!!

Dance, Dance, Dance: Fusion Dance Talk

Part of the Creative Conversation Series

by the Arts Alliance of Stratford

Anna Mayta, Instructor of Creative Family Fusion Groove Dance & Fusion Groove Movement, will lead the Tuesday, February 9 th Arts Alliance of Stratford Creative Conversation Series. The Fusion Dance Talk will be via Zoom from 7:00 – 8:00pm Eastern Time, and 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time. Registration is required, and there is a suggested donation of $10.

We will look at Flamenco (Spain), Bharatanatyam (India), West African, modern (USA), Chilean and Caribbean dances. Get an understanding, learn the differences, similarities, history and cultural aspects, of each dance style. Leave with love, inspiration, understanding and excitement to learn more about cultures and dances from around the world. In addition to the conversation, there will be a video, and Question & Answer.

Anna Mayta grew up in Chile and is a dance improviser, choreographer, and instructor. She graduated from Empire State College in June 2001 with a BA in Dance in Education. In November 2008, she received a certificate to teach yoga from Svyasa Swami Vivekananda Yoga University in Bangalore, India. In 2006, she was awarded a dissemination award from the Dutchess County Arts Council in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Ms. Mayta was accepted to Bethany Arts Community Center residency program in October 2020 where she choreographed a new piece called “The world of Humanity has two wings.” She has been teaching, performing, and choreographing for over 15 years, and developed two programs throughout this time period: one is teaching the Spanish language through movement, and the other is fusion dance, which centers on the incorporation of African, Classical Indian, Flamenco, Modern and Latin dance styles.

She has traveled for her work to Bangalore, Pune, Lucknow, and Bombay in India. Additionally, she has taught for The National Ballet of Zimbabwe in Africa, in England, and in the greater Boston Area. She is currently working in the Mid-Hudson Valley and directing her dance company called Mayta fusion dance based in Poughkeepsie NY. Join us to be inspired, and learn about different cultures through dance! To register please go to our website for the form:

“Songs of Freedom and Struggle”

Stratford Library Sets Monthly Music Series Beginning Sunday

Author/Percussionist Craig Harris Begins February 7th

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming

The Stratford Library will present a three-part music series on Sundays with author/percussionist Craig Harris beginning Sunday, February 7th from 2-3 p.m. The afternoon sessions will utilize archival audio and video, storytelling, history and music beginning with “Songs of Freedom and Struggle”, an exciting multimedia and
participatory adult program.

The series, to be presented on the Zoom platform, is free and open to the public. To register for the Zoom presentation of “Songs of Freedom and Struggle” and receive an invitation link, visit:

“Songs of Freedom and Struggle” examines music’s role in reflecting and shaping American society from “La Marseilles” to protest songs and Civil Rights anthems. The program is special for “Black History Month. Driven by a passion for music, Craig Harris, author of The New Folk Music, The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music, and Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, has covered the roots music scene for newspapers, magazines and music-oriented websites for more than four decades.

A skilled hand drummer, he’s appeared in concert and/or on recordings with Rod MacDonald and C.J. Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Zydeco Band and is currently a member of the Standing Bear Jam Band and the Gaea Star Band. Possessing a Master’s in education, Harris taught music in public and charter schools for a quarter of a century before launching his multicultural, participatory programs.

It will be followed by “Rock & Roll” on March 7, which relives the days of rockabilly and sweet doo-wop harmonies and conclude on April 11, with “Laugh!” exploring the rib- tickling world of musical humor.

For further information call the library at: 203.385-4162 or visit

Who Dat in the Stacks?

Library Ladies Mask Up

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming

Stratford Library Circulation Department staffers (l-r) Linda LiDestri, Lisa Wargo and Joyce Aguirre model the Library’s 125th anniversary face mask currently on sale as a fundraiser for the agency.

The masks, part of the Library Board’s fundraising efforts for the 125th anniversary, are currently available for purchase, along with matching tote bags, at the Stratford Library Check-Out Desk for $10 each.

Masks are adult sized with a protective particle-resistant outer layer and polyester fiber middle layer for particle filtration. It is made of a soft, breathable cotton inner layer and has a pocket for additional filters. It also features adjustable ear loops, a flexible nose clip and 3D chin design.

Stratford Library hours are: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays: 10 am- 5 pm and Tuesdays/Wednesdays: 1-8 pm.

Food Banks, Food Pantry, and Lord’s Table Meals’

Drive-Thru Food Pantry

Holy Name of Jesus Church
1950 Barnum Avenue, Stratford CT
Tuesday, February 9, 3:00 – 4:00 PM

To encourage social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Stratford Health Department, CT Food Bank, and Holy Name of Jesus Church have partnered to offer a drive-thru food pantry. We ask for all those attending the drive-thru pantry to adhere to the following directions:

  • Stay in your car at all times
  • Pop your trunk (if possible)
  • A pre-selected bag of food will be placed in your car
  • One bag per car

Food Assistance Programs for Older Adults

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing difficulty accessing food during the COVID-19 health pandemic, please contact Stratford Senior Services at (203) 385-4050 for a phone screening to determine what food assistance programs are available to
assist you.

COVID-19 Testing Site – Stratford

Do School Systems Have Implied Biais?

Unequal Educational Disparities Feb 4th Discussion

by Stratford Citizens Addressing Racial Equity (CARE)

How can we come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all? Join CARE for a series of Zoom conversations led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. Learn from thought- provoking videos, articles and podcasts how racism has shaped our environment. Then work in small groups to discuss ways we can unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference…right here at home.

As a town-sponsored citizen coalition, we work to make Stratford stronger and more inclusive by fostering racial equity in education, leadership and policing. For over 10 years, our CARE Action Teams have partnered to build relationships, identify opportunities and bring people together for open dialogue.

Learn More and Register: