Fairfield County offers a rich and widely represented arts and culture scene that will be appreciated by anyone, whether you’re an artist, art enthusiast, or theatergoer. The county’s arts venues draw thousands of visitors annually, burnishing the area’s image as a cultural center.
The impact of art and culture on the county doesn’t only extend to improving the quality of life. It also has a proven economic benefit, supporting thousands of full-time jobs as well as generating millions in revenue to local, state and federal governments annually.
The various museums and art venues in Fairfield County showcase a diversity of art styles and exhibits for all types of audiences.
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is a world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen exhibitions that change annually.
- Franklin Street Works in Stamford is a contemporary art space that embraces innovative art and exhibition practices with a DIY attitude and a workshop approach.
- The Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport displays 18th, 19th and 20th-century art, as well as ethnographic objects from Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
- The New Canaan Historical Society invites you to explore its 6 historic buildings with 8 museums and a library housing modern archives and extensive collections; while The Glass House in New Canaan is a National Trust Historic Site encompassing 49 acres of pastoral landscape with fourteen structures, including the eponymous Glass House. It also has a permanent collection of 20th century painting and sculpture.
Fairfield County is home to numerous symphony orchestras that were founded as early as the 1930s and continue to thrive in the present.
- The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra has been a passionate group of musicians serving Norwalk and its neighboring towns for over 75 years, providing audiences with the opportunity to explore and discover the joys of orchestral music.
- The Greater Bridgeport Symphony was founded in 1945, and is now led by Music Director and Principal Conductor Eric Jacobsen, after the retirement of esteemed Maestro Gustav Meier and his amazing run of 41 years.
- The Greenwich Symphony Orchestra was originally known as the Greenwich Philharmonia when it was formed in 1958, and has now grown to 90 members who perform at the Dickerman Hollister Auditorium in Greenwich High School.
- And there’s the Stamford Symphony, an ensemble of professional musicians from the tri-state area and the resident orchestra at the Stamford Center for the Arts’ Palace Theatre in downtown Stamford.
Art & Cultural Events
There are plenty of art and culture-related events and festivals held in Fairfield County throughout the year. Among the notable ones include:
- The Barnum Festival in Bridgeport, a charity-raising event dedicated to legendary showman and former Bridgeport resident P.T. Barnum, with parades, marching bands, and fireworks.
- The annual Connecticut Film Festival, which is celebrating its 10th year by returning to Bethel
where it began as the Bethel Film Festival, featuring an international array of film selections as well as a number of features and shorts.
- The Gathering of the Vibes, honoring the music of the Grateful Dead in an annual four-day music, camping and arts festival that started back in 1996 and has been mostly held at Seaside Park in Bridgeport.
- Musicals at Richter – Connecticut’s longest-running outdoor theater that was founded in 1985 and has since then staged over 80 musicals, with performances at the Richter Arts Center in Danbury.