City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail employs the platform of the arts to bring together people of diverse backgrounds to share a cultural experience, through relevant and thought-provoking exhibits and programs, that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion; this includes content, process, decision making and representation. This is evident in the CL exhibit and program archives.
It is our belief that actions speak louder than words, therefore, CL was not quick to write a DEI statement, to avoid a potential for tokenism. CL took time to listen and process events, facts and attitudes. The learning and refining of practices will be on-going, but the attitude of respect and coexistence will not change. In January 2021 we witnessed how words matter and affect actions. It is the culture of City Lights & Company to welcome all to the table regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, or background, to produce programs and determine content and decsion-making. CL is committed to supporting and presenting the spectrum of artistic expression of Greater Bridgeport, the region and beyond. Programs are free and open to the public.
City Lights Gallery presents local, regional and emerging artists to Bridgeport and its visitors. The gallery hosts various community-based exhibits and events such as:
- Artists’ Receptions
- Arts/crafts classes
- Poetry Workshops
- Community-based arts projects
- Public art proposals
- Public art proposal II
- Concerts and Music
- Private and Corporate Rentals
The first City Lights was started by Dan Makara 35 years ago on Fairfield Avenue. The second City Lights, the one we know today, was begun in 2004 by downtown visionary Philip Kuchma as a way to have on-the-street exposure for local artists and attract visitors. It evolved into a community non-profit, producing 10 exhibits each year, that are free and open to the public in our downtown art gallery space, City Hall Annex and at other locations throughout the community. City Lights also produces the annual Bridgeport Art Trail to provide arts accessibility and promote the growing art community. http://bridgeport-art-trail.org/
Mission/Purpose of Organization: City Lights serves the community through art. We believe in the power of the arts to enrich, engage, nurture, heal and inspire. We provide opportunities for artists of all levels, backgrounds and abilities to present and sell their art. We offer a common ground for students, youth, arts enthusiasts, artists, patrons, visitors, business people and residents to experience art, meet and exchange ideas. By working with diverse populations we hope to strengthen community relationships and improve the quality of life in the Park City. Our goals are to serve the community through art, raise awareness of the growing arts community in Bridgeport and make art an essential part of everyday life for the residents, visitors, and youth and business people of Greater Bridgeport. City Lights produces the annual Bridgeport Art Trail. www.bridgeport-art-trail.org
Board of Directors:
Jeff Goldwasser, Treasurer
Elaine Carvahlo, Secretary
Rev. Sara Smith
- Our goal is to produce a 10 exhibits annually in the Bridgeport gallery space and in the greater community celebrating the rich culture of the region.
- Voted “Best Gallery in Fairfield County” (6 times in the last 7 years.) by the readers poll of the Fairfield Weekly.
- Admission to our gallery space is free and open to the public. We have an open door policy, enabling individuals and organizations to use our facility for community meetings and cultural events.
- In the past 8 years C/L attracted over 42,000 attendees to events that we hosted or presented through partnerships with others. Attendees viewed art, enjoyed music, dance, spoken word and film in the gallery space and throughout the city.
- City Lights averages an annual distribution of $45,000 to regional artists through, commissions, stipends and art sales from C/L exhibits and community programs and networking.
- C/L initiated the city-wide Annual Bridgeport Art Trail and the Classic and Custom Car Show on McLevy Green
- C/L continues to provide cultural enrichment opportunities for youth through art and chess programs at Bridgeport schools and libraries, facilitating programs for 2200 students in 8 years.