Expressions, an Evening of Poetry at Ridgefield Library

Art in Common, Inc. is a community outreach charitable organization whose mission is to promote creativity and increase community awareness around important social issues. We work with resettled refugees and at-risk-youth to engender an inclusive spirit of creativity and connection across diverse populations. Aimee Jette, Art in Common’s founder, explains that the resettlement process can be arduous and isolating. “Our goal is to break some of that isolation and create opportunities for connection; it doesn’t hurt to make the events it cool, fun and unforgettable!” On Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7pm, Art in Common will host “Expressions,” an evening of poetry at the Ridgefield Library. Poets of all ages and walks of life will come together to give voice to their dreams and fears through verse in a program honoring the spirit of Black History month and led by local historian, Dr. Hampton Carey. Art In Common believes that the Arts should be accessible to everyone and that creativity fuels life and enriches a community. This event will bring to life those principles and provide an evening of entertainment and provocative thought.

Among those reading on February 16th will be Akbal Radjab who moved to Bridgeport, CT, from Tanzania in late 2105. He is a dedicated poet, who composes in both his native Swahili and increasingly in English. Since being in the US, he has worked closely with Fairfield University in various mentoring programs and was a special guest and poet on WSHU. Mr. Radjab has participated in several Art in Common events, including the Freedom and Unity Mural at the Trailer Box Gallery in Danbury, CT.

In early December, 2016, Art in Common organized and funded the Freedom and Unity Mural. Graffiti Artists for a Positive Cause of NYC donated their time and expertise to collaborate with children new to the US. The result is a 100-foot wide, 10-foot high, exceedingly vibrant mural featuring images from the children’s countries of origin: Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite the cold weather, the fire was blazing, and the music was pumping. Mary Hayes Phelps, realtor at William Pitt Sotheby’s, Ridgefield and Art in Common board member, remarked, “At one point I looked over, and about eight kids are sitting around the fire staying warm talking, listening to each other. They were all from different cultures and backgrounds. I was struck by how natural it was for them to be together.” Mark Krantz, owner of Mark Krantz Productions and chairman of Art in Common, recalls, “What impressed me most about the day was how everyone felt at ease. The kids were anxious to paint; everyone was proud to be there. It was like a party. There wasn’t any kind of prejudice or fear.”

The enthusiasm for the mural continues.  Dana Walker of the Trailer Box Project explains how she has been “deeply affected” by the “powerful work” and how it has reinforced her core belief that “art is a medium for change in our troubled world.” She invites people to come view the mural for themselves at 15 Great Pasture Road in Danbury.  

And we invite you to come to Ridgefield Library on February 16th for our newest event, “Expressions, ” an evening of poetry sharing from 7 to 8:30pm. The Nobel prize winning Chilian poet Pablo Neruda said, “Poetry is an act of peace.” In these heightened, divisive times, we offer an evening of heartfelt exchange from poets of every walk of life. Join us.

For information on upcoming events and ways to get involved, visit: http://www.artincommon.org or on Facebook at @ArtinCommonNonprofit

Art in Common, Inc.
P.O. Box 839
Ridgefield, CT. 06877