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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

September 2018 Letter From Publisher

Nicole Miale

If you asked 10 different people what was absolutely necessary in order for a community to be an enjoyable, healthy place to live, you would receive a wide variety of answers. There are some basics that would repeat, of course—road and building infrastructure, commerce, educational system. What about parks and green spaces? Recreation or physical facilities? Music venues, or artistic learning centers and studios? Those items would likely be prioritized by individuals based on their level of personal interest. Research shows that those things are not nice-to-haves, but are actually critical to the health and well-being of a stable and sustainable community. This month, we focused on the notion of livability in community from both ecologic and artistic perspectives, and considered the intersection of these concepts. 

You know the old expression, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure?” Contributor Gregg Kirk spent time with three Connecticut artists who create beautiful artwork from actual junk; plastic, fabric and other trash becomes in their hands a vehicle for artistic expression. Their art serves a larger purpose as well; it is a form of leadership as they use their public presence to bring attention to the plight of our planet’s fragile ecosystems and waterways. 

Artspace is a growing work/live concept that helps artists have affordable housing while supporting their artistic endeavors. Anyone who is or has cared for a so-called starving artist understands the need for this. Being able to create art in service to one’s soul should not be a privilege of the wealthy. There are about 40 Artspace projects across the country; I was surprised to learn there are five in our small state, including in Bridgeport. Learn about them in our feature article this month. 

Also this month, we include an in-depth conversation with Analiese Paik, founder of the organization Sustainne. She is one of the leaders who will help our communities change for the better; she never gives up and always puts action behind her ideas. Find out what drives her and what her plans are for Sustainne as it nears its first anniversary and first Sustainability Expo in October.

I’ll let you discover more of this month’s treasures on your own, but will close with a quote from yet another great local contributor’s article this month. Leesa Sklover, PhD, a singer/songwriter, actress, composer and therapist, wrote “Self-Care for the Creative Soul.” The opening line is: “It is the inner need of all humans to make things, to create for themselves as well as the world…we are all meant to finger paint without judgement.”

I know this to be true. We are each of us creative souls. No matter what media you choose, we are all creating our lives and have the choice to use color with joy and make a mess if we need to. We are each integral players in the viability of the communities we inhabit and seek to build. As much as possible, do what makes you happy and stirs your creative passion! 

With love and light, 


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