Anniversary of Kennedy Center Calendar celebrated during reception

It has been an annual Greater Bridgeport tradition for more than 30 years: A time to meet the artists, enjoy the art exhibit and receive a complimentary calendar.

“A Unique Perspective” — The 2014 Kennedy Center’s calendar will be launched on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Gallery@999, on the second floor of the Margaret E. Morton Government Center, 999 Broad St., Bridgeport, from 5:30-7 p.m.

The calendar reception will feature a light cocktail hour and awards presentation to the artists. Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport will be one of the featured speakers as well as Martin D. Schwartz, President and CEO of The Kennedy Center.

The Kennedy Center Calendar celebrates the potential of all people and chronicles a monthly celebration of talent and creativity bursting with color and vitality.

This four-color calendar raises needed funds for The Kennedy Center’s Expressive Arts Program. People’s United Community Foundation made the largest donation at the presidential sponsor level. For over 25 years, People’s United Bank and, more recently, the People’s United Community Foundation, have generously underwritten the calendar as its major sponsor.

“We are proud of our continued support of The Kennedy Center calendar, which exemplifies the extraordinary abilities of Kennedy Center clients,” said Vince Santilli, Executive Director of the People’s United Community Foundation.

The calendar features the expressive, vibrant works of 16 Connecticut artists with disabilities and illustrates how people with disabilities can be productive, contributing members of their community.

“The calendar has been a wonderful showcase for The Kennedy Center, demonstrating the diverse range of abilities of people with disabilities,” said Martin D. Schwartz, President and CEO. “People’s United Bank and People’s United Community Foundation are exemplary corporate sponsors who are responsible for the calendar’s wide distribution and increasing popularity for over three decades.”

Gallery@999 at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center has been transformed into a massive art gallery representing over 75 Kennedy Center artists and more than 90 paintings. The artwork will be on display for public viewing until the end of January.

Artwork featured in “A Unique Perspective” covers a variety of themes ranging from abstracts to still lifes. Each piece reflects the personal interests and feelings of the artists. Some are drawn with whimsy and playfulness and others by the natural expression, directness and simplicity of the works. Still others react to the color explosion and brilliance of the palette as the depths of imagination and creativity are explored.

As individuals, these artists have transcended their disabilities to reveal their own unique style, creative ability and spirit.  Many of the artists have had their work published in the calendar for several years. The artists primarily work with tempera paint.

The color calendar was designed by Meghan Gerety, a freelance artist in Marfa, Texas, and was printed by Imperial Graphics of Stratford.

The Kennedy Center is a nationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves 2,400 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 24 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs.

Reservations for the calendar reception can be made by calling 203-332-4535, 0 for the operator or emailing mconnors@kennedyctr.org.