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News from The West Haven Council on the Arts

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By Rosemary O’Brien
Board Member, West Haven Council on the Arts

West Haven, CT –  On Thursday, January 7th, the West Haven Council on the Arts held elections at their monthly meeting. The new officers and Board Members are as follows:

President, Kevin Davignon
Vice President, Barth McNeil
Secretary, Cathy Granoth
Treasurer, Charles Williams

Board Members: Elaine Carroll, Paul Scanlon, Rosemary O’Brien

A little about the officers:

West Haven resident and newly-elected President of the WHCA, Kevin Davignon, is the Principal Architect at EDA Architecture located in Stamford, CT. He serves on the West Haven Energy Commission, the West Haven Arts Center Building Committee, and is one of the driving forces of the future Arts Center building.

Barth McNeil, Vice President, is a theatre veteran with over 20 years experience, both on stage and as a technician. Before being elected to VP, he served as the WHCA’s first Treasurer. According to McNeil, one of his greatest experience with WHCA to date was as Production Coordinator and Stage Manager for West Haven Summer Youth Theater’s production of Godspell Jr. this past summer.

“I’m sure there are more good things to come and can’t wait to get going again with the kids next summer,” says McNeil.

Cathy Granoth will remain in the position of Secretary for this second round of executive officers. As a union representative in Connecticut, Granoth is experienced in working with municipalities and brings excellent organization skills to the office. She involves her whole family in her work with the Council. Her son, Rob Granoth, is a member of the band, Infinity Project, and frequently plays at WHCA events. Cathy’s favorite experience with the Council was acting with Barth McNeil as one of the main organizers of WHCA’s first Family Arts Night in 2009.

Charles Williams takes on the role of Treasurer for the organization. As a filmmaker, Williams brings a visual perspective to the office, having documented the WHCA’s involvement in the community using video and photography. In 1999, he self-published a book titled, “The Chief,” a historical novel based on the life and times of the late FDNY battalion chief, Wesley Williams.

New Board Member, Elaine Carroll, General Manager of the Stamford Symphony, is an experienced performing arts administrator with a Masters Degree in Performing Arts Administration from New York University. Her undergraduate degree is in flute performance and she plays and sings with a local Irish band.

“I love when the arts and Downtown work together to make West Haven a magical place,” says Carroll who lives very close to the Center. “This past summer I put my 2-year old in her little red wagon and we walked over to the Green on a mid-summer’s night. She fell asleep listening to her neighbors perform Shakespeare.”

All of the officers and Board members, new and old, along with the membership, look forward to helping the West Haven Council on the Arts achieve their goals in the coming years. One of these goals is to help West Haven in their efforts at transforming the former Masonic Temple on Center Street into the West Haven Cultural Arts Center.

Previous President and Vice Pr esident, Paul Scanlon and Rosemary O’Brien, are to remain on the Board of Directors.

“I am excited to see what the future holds for the West Haven Council on the Arts,” said Rosemary O’Brien. “Paul Scanlon wrote up a list of our accomplishments over the past few years and it was extensive. Our challenge now is to keep up the momentum we’ve established so far.”

“We are a vibrant organization,” says Scanlon. “I am proud to be a member of such a hard-working organization and look forward to helping the new officers in any way I can.”

The West Haven Council on the Arts is a coalition of citizens dedicated to reviving art, cultural events and tourism in our community. Our mission is to strengthen and promote the arts in West Haven by nurturing an appreciation of and participation in artistic endeavors in all media. Through the conversion of The Masonic Temple on Center Street into the West Haven Cultural Arts Center, we intend to provide a forum for local, regional and national artists to display their talents.

Meetings are held in the basement of West Haven City Hall on the first Thursday of each month. The public is invited to attend and new members are always welcome. Membership is $40 for a family and $20 per individual. For more information contact the WHCA at 203-932-2102, or email us at artswh@aol.com.

You can also view our blog at http://whcac.blogspot.com.

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News from The West Haven Council on the Arts