Episode Information

Small Towns: Chester, CT
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Where We Live broadcasts from Chester with a live audience


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51:58 minutes (24.95 MB)
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Nilsson Studios, Spring Street Chester: Photo By Chion WolfNilsson Studios, Spring Street Chester: Photo By Chion WolfSmall-town life has a rhythm of it’s own. Everyone knows everyone else - and they have to work together to maintain a vibrant community.

Connecticut is dotted with small towns – tucked between our urban and suburban areas. Some survive by staying hidden – by being off the beaten path. Others welcome in visitors, while trying desperately to maintain a unique character. One of those towns is Chester – 4000 people nestled in the Connecticut River Valley.

The look of the place is quintessential New England – stone walls, colonial houses and a town center. But it’s thrived as an “arts community” a place that attracts artists of all kinds…who work together for a common goal.

Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh and columnist Larry Bloom: Photo By Chion WolfChester First Selectman Tom Marsh and columnist Larry Bloom: Photo By Chion WolfToday, we’re back on the road – taking a look at the places where we live in Connecticut. Last time, for our first in this series, we went to the “Center of Connecticut” – the town of Berlin.

We talked about “average Connecticut” – as if there is such a thing – but today we’re going in search of something different.

A few months ago we heard from photographer Caryn Davis about a new exhibit called “Chester Stories:Poetry of Place” 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 itself….?

Photographer Caryn Davis: Photo By Chion WolfPhotographer Caryn Davis: Photo By Chion WolfSo, we’re here in the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery in Chester. A beautiful 1830 house and former inn – that contains an amazing collection of Nilsson’s own impressionistic paintings…most of them featuring views of this picturesque little community.

We’re going to talk about what makes Chester such a vibrant arts community – and how they maintain uniqueness in a state sadly overrun by suburban sprawl.

A bit later – we’re going to hear music from members of the “Big House Band” – they’ll be talking about an upcoming show in their “Small Town Concert Series” – celebrating the music of Joni Mitchell.Lauren Agnelli and Rodney Maxwell, members of the Big House band: Photo By Chion WolfLauren Agnelli and Rodney Maxwell, members of the Big House band: Photo By Chion Wolf

To see more pictures of our live broadcast from Chester, CT, check out WNPR's Flickr Page.

Suggestions, questions or comments? Add them below!

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Where we live - Chester

I was dismayed that the host did not solicit more comment from the full house audience. Katie Wright was short changed, I thought. And too much time alloted to Marsh and Bloom.

Otherwise it was a good hour and the singer, Ms. Agnelli, and her musicians, topped off the show.

Carl Nilsson

Where We Live:Chester,CT

Thank you where We Live-NPR for such a super job with the show this morning.Now I know why I like living in this town so much!Thank you For letting The small Town Concert Series be part of this show! Thank you also to Caryn Davis and Leif Nilsson for Setting this all in motion and hosting the show in your wonderfull studio. Fantastic artwork on every wall!

Our show next weekend-Everybody's Digging Joni(a musical tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell) will be on March 29@7pm and March 30@2pm for more info look at the website are e-mail me at: [email protected]

Come down to Chester before the show-Check out the Galleries and dine at one of our eateries!

And remember to keep listening to Where We Live!

Where We Live: Chester

Thank you to the amazing crew at WNPR and to our wonderful live audience of friends and residents who came out to support us and celebrate Chester and Where We Love. One thing I forgot to mention, I am looking for a publisher for my project Chester Stories: Poetry of Place. It started as an exhibition but I soon realized that it really needed to be a book about Chester and the power of community in general. I have written a proposal and have a mockup. Any takers? Just thought I’d put it out there!