New nonprofit sponsors free concert

A free family concert, sponsored by Connecticut Friends of the Performing Arts, will take place at Merwin Meadows on Lovers Lane on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 3 to 7.

The lineup includes musical duo Jay and Ray from 3 to 4, indie blues band Idle Kyle from 4:15 to 5:15, and award-winning bassist, composer and vocalist Bakithi Kumalo from 6 to 7.

Connecticut Friends of the Performing Arts is a nonprofit founded by Wilton residents Andy DiLoreto and Ray Bryant — the latter of whom is a member of Jay and Ray — this past spring, with the “desire to make Wilton and the surrounding area towns a more desirable destination for its residents and for people to visit,” according to DiLoreto.

“The heart of our organization is, of course, our desire to support the performing arts,” he said. “Our mission has five tenets to it, each of which is important to us and has received strong support from residents and friends who have been exposed to our newly formed organization.”

Those tenets are to:

  • Promote the outdoor performing arts, as well as the development of a performing arts facility at Schenck’s Island.
  • Provide funding for merit-based scholarship to be awarded annually to graduating high school students pursuing the performing arts in college.
  • Provide a forum for other local nonprofits to help create awareness, drive membership, participation and support for their activities.
  • Promote local merchants and stimulate business activity.
  • Enhance the image and reputation of Wilton as a fun place to visit and live, as well as a recognized show-stop for performing artists.

In addition to DiLoreto as president and Bryant as vice president Wilton residents Pam Kelley and Rich Nichols serve on the board of directors with Eric Lobenfeld of New Canaan.

As part of its mission to provide a forum for other groups, Connecticut Friends of the Performing Arts invites Wilton nonprofits to set up tables at its Aug. 26 concert so that concertgoers can learn more about them and their missions.

“We have had interest from a number of nonprofits, but none have officially signed up,” Kelley told The Bulletin on Aug. 14.

Nonprofits interested in setting up a table at the concert are asked to email Kelley at [email protected].

In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the WIlton High School Clune Center and begin at 1.

Information: ctforthearts.org.

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