Past PIC DARIEN Winner Captures Nuances of Life, 2019 Photo Contest Open until Feb 14

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The Darien Arts Center encourages smartphone photographers of all ages and abilities, locally, or anywhere in the world, to enter its fourth annual Smartphone Photo Contest, Pic Darien through Feb. 14 at — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

“With the world increasingly using their phones as cameras, we are seeing an explosion of incredible photos taken every day. We love the idea of gathering what people consider their best smartphone photos and are amazed by the submissions every year,” said DAC Executive director, Amy Allen. “Although the contest is a fundraiser for the DAC, it is largely about fun, creativity and celebrating artistic expression at the Award and Reveal Reception where all entries are showcased and winners are announced.”

Darien resident Lee Smith a three-time winner in last year’s contest, entered several photos into the competition at the encouragement of his wife.

Auditions for kids A Wrinkle in Time Darien Arts Center

Casting Call: Darien Arts Center Wants 6th, 7th, 8th Graders for Short Version of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

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Casting call for 6th, 7th and 8th graders: the Darien Art Center’s Theatre Department is producing a 35-minute version of A Wrinkle in Time, adapted by Morgan Gould from the novel by Madeleine L’Engle. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

This one-act production will be ensemble-driven, and casting will be audition-based. 6th through 8th graders may audition by emailing DAC Theatre Director, Maria Pizzarello at by Feb. 4. To prepare for an audition, read the full script for free on

Jeff Wyant Pic Darien judge 2019

Jeffrey Wyant Named Judge of Darien Arts Center’s 2019 Pic Darien Smartphone Photo Contest

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Award-winning photographer, filmmaker and TV producer Jeffrey Wyant will judge the Darien Art Center’s 2019 Smartphone Photo Contest, Pic Darien. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

This is the fourth year for the photo contest, which garnered 375 entries in 2018. This year, contestants may submit their smartphone photos for cash prizes in six categories at until Feb. 14. Photos do not need to be taken in Darien.

Photo by Harrison Slotkin Pic Darien student travel first place

‘Pic Darien’ 2019 Smartphone Photo Contest Entries Now Accepted

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The Darien Arts Center is announcing the return of its annual smartphone photo contest, Pic Darien, which will be accepting entries at from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

Adults (18 and up) and Students (17 and under) may submit their smartphone photos for cash prizes in six categories: People and Pets; Landscape, Seascape, Nature; Travel; Food and Drink; Abstract; and Love, Anguish and Triumph. The contest is open to all; there are no age restrictions and contestants are not required to live in Darien.

Darien Arts Center students theater performance

Darien Arts Center Registration Now Open for Classes Beginning Soon

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You can register now for Darien Art Center’s upcoming adult and children’s educational classes in dance, visual arts, music, theater and martial arts, as well as special events. Use the DAC’s new improved registration system, sign up for their newsletter or find more information at or call (203) 655-8683. The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Town Hall. —an announcement from Darien Arts Center
NEW! A Wrinkle in Time, grades 6 to 8, Auditions: Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Rehearsals: Saturday, March 2 to April 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Performances: May 3 to 5.

24 Days Before Christmas square thumbnail DAC 2018

Staged Reading of Madeleine L’Engle’s ’24 Days Before Christmas’ on Nov 3 at DAC

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The Darien Arts Center is presenting a staged reading of Madeleine L’Engle’s The 24 Days Before Christmas on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.

Refreshments and a holiday craft for ages 5 and older will be available at 4:30 p.m. and a talkback takes place after the performance at 6:15 p.m. with Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis. — an announcement from the DAC

The play was adapted for the stage by internationally produced playwright Jason Pizzarello and is directed by Carole Claps, director at Curtain Call. In The 24 Days Before Christmas, the Austin family has a cherished tradition of doing something special every day counting down to Christmas — from baking cookies to decorating the tree. This year is a stressful one for Vicky Austin as she’s cast as the youngest angel in the Christmas Pageant.

Evening of Dance 2018 DAC Darien Arts Center

Reserve Tickets Now (They Usually Sell Out) for Darien Art’s Center’s 18th ‘Evening of Dance’

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Once again, a dazzling ‘Evening of Dance’ promises to thrill audiences at the Darien Arts Center’s annual performances at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 and at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 21. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

Celebrating it’s 18th year, the DAC’s ‘Evening of Dance’ will showcase an impressive culmination of performances by the DAC Dance department staff, and the adult and student performance groups that have worked together since 2000. Under the direction of DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos, instructors and students have developed, choreographed and polished performances to feature the versatility of the dancers in a wide variety of dance forms.

Performances will encompass classical ballet, modern, contemporary jazz, and ballroom styles, and approximately 30 dancers will perform in the 90-minute show.

Dan Salpaugh to teach Rock Composing Private Lessons at Darien Arts Center

Musician Joins Darien Arts Center to Teach Rock Ensemble, Young Composers, Give Private Music Lessons

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Musician Dan Saulpaugh has joined the Darien Arts Center to lead new group lessons that include a Rock Ensemble Workshop as well as the Young Composers’ Workshop, in addition to teaching private music lessons in guitar and voice. The group workshops each take place on Saturdays, beginning on Oct. 13, and private guitar and voice lessons are ongoing. Dan Saulpaugh is an active performer and teacher throughout the greater New York City metro area and holds a bachelor of fine arts in jazz studies from City College of New York. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

He also spent time studying with Douglass Rubio at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music as a classical guitar performance major before relocating to New York City.

Artist Sam Morrow Leads Darien Arts Center Photography Class for Kids, Painting Class for Adults

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Artist Sam Morrow is leading the Digital Photography class for ages 9-12, starting Friday, Oct. 5, and an Oil Painting class for adults at the Darien Arts Center, starting Oct. 10. Morrow has taught at local art centers including Silvermine, Rowayton Arts Center, Greenwich Art Society and Ridgefield Guild of Artists, as well as at East Tennessee State University and Virginia Intermont. He has a BFA from St.

DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos with dance students Darien Ats Center DAC

Bonnie Gombos Both Heads DAC Dance and, with Husband Jamie, Teaches Martial Arts

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For many in Darien, “Miss Bonnie” is synonymous with ballet, modern, tap, hip hop, jazz and multiple other dance opportunities for youth. It’s not a surprise, as Bonnie Gombos has been at the helm of the Darien Art Center’s well-known dance department since 2007 and has been teaching dance at the DAC for 23 years. — This article was provided by Darien Arts Center. First hired as a dance instructor, Gombos soon found herself filling the shoes of original DAC Dance Director Val Pullman when Pullman moved to Maryland. Already known for its welcoming and creative dance space, Gombos grew the DAC’s dance “family” into one of the largest dance schools in Connecticut, teaching dance to many generations in Darien.

DAC art classes registration announcement

Art Classes for Kids, Ages 3 to 10, Start This Week, Register Soon

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The Darien Arts Center is introducing three new visual arts classes and instructors for children, aged 3 through 10. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

The classes are tailored to specific age groups, where students will create developmentally appropriate art projects using the elements of art and a variety of different media. Techniques will be explored while students create using pastels, watercolor, ink and more. Karen Siegel, leads the Art Studio class for 8 to 10 year olds, taking place on Thursdays, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., from Sept. 27 through Dec.

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Workshop Series for Teens Who Want to Sharpen Theater Auditioning Skills

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The Audition Workout, an intensive workshop for high school students at the Darien Arts Center, promises to hone auditioning skills and give participants the tools to make every audition a positive experience. _____________

— an announcement from Darien Arts Center


The DAC’s theatre department has invited local industry professionals Claire Kelly, Carole Claps, Jenifer Menedis, and Dwayne Condon to share their expertise in this workshop series. The series consists of three sessions, taking place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 26, Oct. 1 and Oct.

Emily Altman hired as arts director Darien Arts Center

Darien Arts Center Appoints New Visual Arts Director

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The Darien Arts Center has named Emily Altman as its new Visual Arts Director. She will oversee visual arts programs for both adults and children. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

Altman also is part of the team leading classes that include Little Artists for ages 3-5, Elementary Art Studio for ages 6 & 7, Art Studio for ages 8-10, Cartooning for ages 7-12, Drawing and Painting for ages 10-15, Digital Photography for ages 9-12 and Watercolor and Oil Painting for adults. Altman holds a B.A. in art history from Bucknell University and an M.A. from New York University in visual arts administration. Before joining the DAC she worked for 10 years in exhibition management at The Museum of Modern Art and Christie’s Auction House, New York.

Darien Arts Center DAC dance students ballerinas

New Classes Offered This Fall at Darien Arts Center, and You Can Register Now

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Darien Arts Center is offering some new classes this fall, and registration is now open for educational programs in dance, visual arts, music, theater and martial arts, along with special events and community theater produced by DAC Stage. For further information, to sign up for email newsletters, or to register for classes, visit the Darien Arts Center website or call (203) 655-8683. The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Town Hall. For Ages 3 Through High School
NEW! — Middle School Theatre Makers, ages 11-14, Tuesdays, 4 to 5:15 p.m., Sept. 11-Nov.

Rocco Natale vertical Darien Arts Center

Kids of Ages 8 to 15 Invited to Audition for ‘Broadway Beat’ Variety Show

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The Darien Arts Center is teaming up with the Open Arts Alliance to provide a unique performance opportunity for ages 8 to 15. Broadway Beat, directed by Rocco Natale, executive director of the Open Arts Alliance, is a 30-minute variety show that will give every performer their moment to shine. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

The musical revue is a tribute to the Broadway musical and features songs from Hairspray, Grease, the King and I, Wicked, Rent, The Music Man and more. Auditions for Broadway Beat take place on Sept. 5 at the Darien Arts Center and should be scheduled by emailing Maria Pizzarello, DAC theatre director, at by Sept.