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Small-town life has a rhythm of itâ€™s own. Everyone knows everyone else - and they have to work together to maintain a vibrant community.
Connecticut is dotted with small towns â€“ tucked between our urban and suburban areas. Some survive by staying hidden â€“ by being off the beaten path. Others welcome in visitors, while trying desperately to maintain a unique character. One of those towns is Chester â€“ 4000 people nestled in the Connecticut River Valley.
The look of the place is quintessential New England â€“ stone walls, colonial houses and a town center. But itâ€™s thrived as an â€œarts communityâ€ a place that attracts artists of all kindsâ€¦who work together for a common goal.
Today, weâ€™re back on the road â€“ taking a look at the places where we live in Connecticut. Last time, for our first in this series, we went to the â€œCenter of Connecticutâ€ â€“ the town of Berlin.
We talked about â€œaverage Connecticutâ€ â€“ as if there is such a thing â€“ but today weâ€™re going in search of something different.
A few months ago we heard from photographer Caryn Davis about a new exhibit called â€œChester Stories:Poetry of Placeâ€ that looks at life in the small Connecticut River Valley town of Chester. So, we thought about going in search of small town life for the show today. And what better place to go than Chester itselfâ€¦.?
So, weâ€™re here in the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery in Chester. A beautiful 1830 house and former inn â€“ that contains an amazing collection of Nilssonâ€™s own impressionistic paintingsâ€¦most of them featuring views of this picturesque little community.
Weâ€™re going to talk about what makes Chester such a vibrant arts community â€“ and how they maintain uniqueness in a state sadly overrun by suburban sprawl.
A bit later â€“ weâ€™re going to hear music from members of the â€œBig House Bandâ€ â€“ theyâ€™ll be talking about an upcoming show in their â€œSmall Town Concert Seriesâ€ â€“ celebrating the music of Joni Mitchell.
To see more pictures of our live broadcast from Chester, CT, check out WNPR's Flickr Page.
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