Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner Vol. 12

February 15, 2024

Originally Published October 31, 2019

Music Mountain Explores the Relationship Between
Art and Music

Music Mountain in Falls Village brings together professional, amateur and student musicians, and children for the performance and teaching of the string quartet.

The organization holds chamber music performances, workshops to mentor and educate young musicians, and community events, including Painting Music, a free collaborative event where children and adults enjoy a performance by a live string quartet and translate what they hear through painting on canvas.

“The goal [of Painting Music] is to increase appreciation of new music and awareness of its diverse components— texture, color, rhythm,” said Ann M. McKinney of Music Mountain.

The event brings together the Argus String Quartet, well-known artist Vincent Inconiglios, and participants of all ages to explore the relationship between art and music.

In 2019 Painting Music was made possible by a grant from the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.

Sean Hayden and Peary Stafford of the Lake Waramaug Task Force monitor lake water

Task Force Maintains Lake Waramaug's
Beautiful Healthy Waters

Members of The Lake Waramaug Task Force have been busy testing the water quality of Lake Waramaug and ensuring the lake is safe for recreation.

The Task Force works to keep the lake safe for swimmers and boaters by monitoring the levels of cyanobacteria (algae) that thrives in warm, slow-moving nutrient rich waters—often in lakes with water-front yards treated with fertilizers. If left-unchecked the bacteria can make humans and dogs sick with flu-like symptoms. Long-term exposure can cause neurological problems.

A recent grant from the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, enabled the Task Force to purchase equipment to monitor cyanobacteria densities and the algae-eating zooplankton that help keep the lake healthy.

“This equipment is essential to improving our ability to protect the lake as an important regional natural resource,” said Sean Hayden of the Lake Waramaug Task Force.

The Task Force operates an in-lake restoration system that restores the natural balance of the lake’s ecosystem by removing and isolating harmful nutrients.

In 2016 a grant from Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, supported the Task Force in its effort to build a zooplankton farm. The farm provides a healthy stock of zooplankton for the Lake.

Timely Help Keeps Students in School and on Track

Northwestern Connecticut Community College welcomes about 1,400 students a year working to improve their lives by gaining career training and technical certificates or laying a foundation for a bachelor’s degree.

Many students qualify for student aid based on their income, but struggle to balance work, school and other responsibilities.

“A growing number of our students are finding it difficult to pay for college without having to work more hours than they would like to—work hours that interfere with their ability to take classes,” said Dr. Michael A. Rooke of Northwestern Connecticut Community College.

To help these students stay on track, NCCC maintains a student emergency fund that assists students with basic expenses that could potentially derail their education, such as rent, utilities or unexpected car repairs. About 40-50 students per year receive help from the fund.

A grant from the Northwest Connecticut Philanthropy Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation made these emergency funds available for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.

“Every student who receives assistance from the emergency fund is asked to eventually ‘pay it forward’ once they are able to, and just about every student enthusiastically embraces that idea.”