We can’t imagine any other town in the country that has so many residents and organizations dedicated to supporting the fine arts, drama, dance, music, and literature. The Greenwich Arts Council ensures that the arts stay wonderfully alive and well in our town and boasts two galleries, a dance studio, a recital hall, and artist’s studios. Under its auspices, we now have “Art to the Avenue,” a May evening when carefully selected artists and musicians bring their work into central Greenwich shops and restaurants. You can stroll the Avenue top to bottom, savoring it all from fine photography and floral art to Japanese Dancers and jazz ensembles.
The nationally accredited Bruce Museum has become one of the finest regional art and science museums in the country. More than 100,000 visitors a year are drawn to its many exhibitions, such as a remarkable collection of Dutch masters, sculpture and fine art from private collectors and science exhibitions ranging from robots to climate. In addition to lectures and a vast educational program for children, the museum annually sponsors an outdoor art festival and a crafts festival. It plays host to the Greenwich Antiques Society, Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle, and other worthy groups.
Down the road at Flinn Gallery at Greenwich Library, the walls display works from botanicals to free-spirited creations children’s and pedestals are mounted with everything from butterfly sculptures to whimsical chairs. The Art Society of Old Greenwich, open to both amateur and professional artists, organizes a sidewalk show on Sound Beach Avenue every fall, and the 100-year-old Greenwich Art Society displays its work upstairs at the Greenwich Arts Council in the old town hall on Greenwich Avenue.
Music, of course, is close to our hearts, and there are many opportunities in Greenwich for you to join the aficionados in the audience or the ensemble on stage. The ninety-member Greenwich Symphony Orchestra has been in business for fifty years and its concerts are not to be missed.
There are several excellent chamber music groups in town and plenty to do for the vocalists among us. The 120-member Greenwich Choral Society, still going strong after eighty years, puts on three major concerts a year in December, March, and May. The Grace Notes, an a cappella women’s singing group, have carried their tunes as far as the White House. Strictly for gents, Greenwich offers the Melody Men and Off-Sounders, as well as the outstanding Choir for Men and Boys over at Christ Church (non-members are welcome to try out).
The Arts Council has also joined with the Department of Parks and Recreation to form the Greenwich Summer Music Series, offering some twenty outdoor concerts.
Thespians flock to the Connecticut Playmakers with its Young People’s Theater division, the Acting Company at the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich, and the St. Catherine’s Players, who pull out all stops every spring to put on great performances of classics like West Side Story and Music Man. Auditions are open to all.
For lovers of classics with a twist, Shakespeare on the Sound presents summer performances in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.
Book clubs, literary discussion programs, and community libraries abound. In addition, Greenwich Library is known to be the second-busiest public library in New England—after the Boston Public library—with an annual circulation of 1.4 million books, DVDs, and other materials.
Situated on Strickland Road, and boasting seven buildings and over 2,800 members, the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich preserves our illustrious beginning with the founding of Greenwich in 1640. Its centerpiece is the pre-Colonial Bush-Holley House, which in the early twentieth century became the residence of the famous Cos Cob School of American Impressionists.
Across the back lawn, the William Finch Archives Building houses many of the town’s existing historic documents and photographs, and the old barn has been transformed into the Hugh and Claire Vanderbilt Education Center. Then, up the hill on the Post Road, more history awaits at Putnam Cottage, one home to weary eighteenth-century travelers, now home to the DAR.
Arts Organizations in Greenwich
Acting Company of Greenwich: 203-629-2094
American Classical Orchestra: 203-396-0199
American Legion Drum Corps: 203-531-8890
Art Society of Old Greenwich: 203-637-9949
Bruce Museum: 203-869-0376
Byram Library: 203-531-0426
Cameo Theater: 203-637-4870
Center for Chamber Music: 203-661-6626
Choir of Men and Boys: 203-869-6602
Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle: 203-863-9655
Connecticut Grand Opera & Orchestra: 203-327-2867
Connecticut Playmakers: 203-637-2298
Cos Cob Library: 203-622-6883
Diamond Hill Chancel Theatre: 203-637-4870
Flinn Gallery at Greenwich Library: 203-622-7947
Grace Notes (women’s a cappella group): 203-869-8428
Greenwich Antiques Society: 203-661-4831
Greenwich Art Society: 203-629-1533
Greenwich Arts Council: 203-862-6750
Greenwich Choral Society: 203-622-5136
Greenwich Music Festival: 203-637-0536
Greenwich Library: 203-622-7900
Greenwich Pen Women: 203-869-8313
Greenwich Symphony Orchestra: 203-869-2664
Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich: 203-869-6899
Melody Men (Retired Men’s Association): 203-625-0772
Off-Sounders (men’s a cappella group): 203-869-5815
Perrot Library in Old Greenwich: 203-637-1066
Pro Arte Singers: 203-322-5970