Police to host holiday food drive

The Westport Police Department, in conjunction with Stop & Shop stores, will be hosting a Holiday Food Drive. All donations will directly support the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, which provides vital services to men, women, and children dealing with hunger and homelessness.

All food service programs at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission are provided free of charge to anyone who is hungry, regardless of age, gender, national origin, ethnic background, religion, or socioeconomic group. Donations will provide a hot meal to someone who otherwise would go without food. The mission provides more than 550,000 meals each year through their mobile kitchen distributions, Great Thanksgiving Project, daily pantry bags and meals served in their dining room.

Westport police officers will accept nonperishable food items, as well as cash donations in front the Stop & Shop store at 1790 Post Road East, on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For information, visit bridgeportrescuemission.org.

Small works art show on Nov. 17

Established artists from New York and Connecticut have been invited to create pieces for Axel Interiors’ “Small Works Show.” The works will all measure near 100 square inches, and each will sell for $300. The works include minimalist plein air paintings, still-life studies, colorful acrylic paintings, essentialist studies of New England houses, macro views of flowers, shoreline paintings, encaustic abstracts, urban landscapes, textural abstract collages, and black-and-white monotype gems of local nature.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Nov. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Axel Interiors, 33 North Ave., Norwalk. The show will run until Jan. 12. Refreshments will be served.

Local Westport artists featured in the show include Jen Greely and Katherine Ross.

Homes with Hope shelter awarded $15K grant

The Bacharach Community, Homes with Hope’s emergency shelter for homeless mothers and their children, has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Near & Far Aid. This funding illustrates the two organization’s mutual efforts to improve the lives of those living in poverty in Fairfield County. The grant will be used to help support the professional, individualized support services provided to each family both during their stay in the shelter, and to help them maintain their housing once they’ve moved on.

Families come to the Bacharach Community from the greater Fairfield County community. They are all struggling with economic issues, and many, also face challenges with mental illness, substance abuse, medical issues or domestic violence.

Near & Far Aid is an all-volunteer fundraising and fund granting organization, dedicated to eliminating the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County. Since 2000, Near & Far Aid has granted more than $15 million to the area’s best nonprofit agencies and programs who further their mission.

Museum professional wins excellence award

A Westport museum professional has won an award in the New England Museum Association’s fifth annual Excellence Awards competition.

Ramin Ganeshram, executive director of the Westport Historical Society, won the Excellence Award for curating “Remembered: The History of African Americans,” an exhibit that rectifies misperceptions about those who founded and built Westport and towns like it throughout New England. Westport Public Schools incorporated the exhibit into their eighth- and 10th-grade curricula for the 2018-19 school year. Additionally, Ganeshram has led a comprehensive effort to make WHS an inclusive community hub and initiated the memorialization of the enslaved people of Wesport in the town’s brick walk.

“This award is a testament to Ramin’s passion, commitment, and vision in her work for and with New England’s museums. Her work makes us better as museum professionals and as a field,” said NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger in announcing the honor. “We are proud to acknowledge her accomplishments as an outstanding example of leadership and service to our colleagues, visitors, and community partners.”

The NEMA Excellence Award competition recognizes individual members for excellence in museum practice, whether they’re behind-the-scenes or on the front lines, the unsung heroes or the superstars. Nominated by their peers, nominees represent a range of a practices, acts of outreach, kind deeds, and sustained commitments to going above and beyond, regardless of job description.

This year, NEMA received 20 nominations for museum workers across New England, all of whom have achieved exceptional accomplishments in the field. Winners will be recognized at the 100th Annual NEMA Conference in Stamford on Nov. 7-9.

Staples players presents ‘Legally Blonde The Musical’

An award-winning show based on the movie, “Legally Blonde The Musical” follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Packed with high-energy dance numbers and a catchy score, this show is co-directed by Staples High School alumni David Roth and Kerry Long. A cast of 73 will appear in six performances from Nov. 9-17.

When Elle Woods’ boyfriend Warner gets into Harvard Law and promptly dumps her, the bubbly blonde is determined to charm her way into the prestigious school and get him back.

“The humor of the film and show, the fun music, and the large number of interesting roles are what originally drew us to the piece,” Roth said. “Since we started working on it, we are very excited about what the show has to say about empowering women. It is a great show to do during the #MeToo Movement.”

Georgia Wright and Camille Foisie share the role of Elle, while Sam Mandelbaum and Max Hermann share the role of Warner.

Performances will take place at the Staples High School Auditorium, 70 North Ave. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students, and $15 for seniors (matinee only). Tickets may be purchased online at StaplesPlayers.com or in the lobby 30 minutes prior to performances, subject to availability.