Project Return: Birdhouse auction returns to Rolling Hills

Project Return celebrates 20 years of birdhouses when more than 125 artists from near and far — including three from Wilton — present their one-of-a-kind creations at the 20th Anniversary Birdhouse Gala on Friday, March 27, from 7 to 11 p.m., at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.
The Wilton artists include Lucy Krupenye, Shinobu Farrell and the late Marcia Spivak.

Entries are traditional and contemporary, whimsical and contemplative, decorative and practical, designed for outdoor use or meant to enhance indoor spaces. Besides birdhouses, the eclectic collection includes numerous paintings, vases, serving bowls, candlesticks, shadow boxes, lamps, and other objects d’art.
A sumptuous buffet and small plates will be accompanied by a martini bar, courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and music will be offered by the popular band DNR, Fairfield County’s (almost) all-physician rock band.

A milestone in the 29-year history of the Westport-based non-profit, the “birdhouse auction,” says its creator and former Board President Totney Benson, “grew out of the idea that birdhouses, like Project Return, provide safe havens until it’s time to fly away.”
The prelude to the auction, the Annual Birdhouse Stroll, takes place Sunday, March 8, from 2 to 4, with a reception in downtown Westport at Eileen Fisher on Main Street. More than 50 local businesses will have birdhouses on display.
New this year will be a Birdhouse Retrospective, “The Art of the Birdhouse — A Celebration of 20 Years,” at the Westport Arts Center on Thursday, March 19, from 6 to 9, featuring 20 birdhouses and 20 years of auction artwork created by children’s book author and illustrator Hans Wilhelm and watercolor and pen-and-ink artist Cassie Foss.
Tickets to the gala may be purchased by visiting Through March 8, the ticket price is $125; thereafter, $150. Both the Birdhouse Stroll and the Westport Arts Center Retrospective are free and open to the public.
Project Return creates a safe, structured and nurturing environment where adolescent girls and young women in crisis can heal and grow. By providing unconditional love, encouraging resiliency, building self-esteem, and teaching life skills, Project Return inspires them to hope and realize their dreams.