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It’s the End of the Effing World

Cartoonist’s teenage dystopia explodes in popularity



While in no way autobiographical, Chuck Forsman says “The End of the F***ing World”reflects his psychological state in his younger days.

Photos by Megan Haley

When the television show “The End of the F***ing World” debuted on British television in October, it was greeted with unanimous rave reviews. Less known amidst the acclaim is the show’s Berkshire origins: It is based on a comic book created by Adams-based cartoonist Charles “Chuck” Forsman. 

Forsman’s 2013 graphic novel follows troubled teenagers James and Alyssa, who, escaping their dysfunctional families, hit the road on a dangerous journey of self-discovery, tainted by self-destruction.

Forsman originally released the story as a series of mini-comics before it was published as a complete novel by Fantagraphics Books, and it was in this form that film director and producer Jonathan Entwhistle happened upon it. Entwhistle contacted Forsman, who followed up with copies of the remaining issues. Entwhistle was excited enough to propose developing it, eventually creating the series for Channel Four with an American release by February on Netflix.

Forsman said that in this early part of the process, he just let things unfold as they did. He didn’t have a desire to micro-manage the adaptation, which stars Alex Lawther, from “Goodbye, Christopher Robin” and “Black Mirror,” and Jessica Barden, from “Penny Dreadful” and “The Lobster.”

“I was very happy with the book I had made,” Forsman says. “I could see myself losing gears trying to get something made, a TV or a movie, getting involved being a writer. I don’t know if I would make the same decision now, but then I just wasn’t into it and thought if this happens, I trust Jonathan.”

Forsman visited the production in England twice—once during filming and once during post-production—where he met everyone involved, including all the actors. Writer Charlie Covell followed the original story much more closely than he expected, fleshing out the character relationships and motivations, and expanding some secondary-character roles. Her script also provided some delightful surprises for Forsman, like the addition of two detective characters.

“As soon as I saw them, I wrote Charlie and told her that I’m a little jealous I didn’t come up with these characters,” says Forsman. “They were my favorite part.”

From Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Forsman ended up in New England when he attended the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. That’s how he met his girlfriend, fellow cartoonist and Berkshire native Melissa Mendes.

Forsman began “The End of the F***ing World” in 2011 when he moved to Hancock with Mendes, having nothing more in his head than the characters and a basic set-up. It took a couple of issues to get to know them and their world. The drawing style and layouts were stripped down to indulge in story and character development.

“Even though Chuck is drawing in a somewhat old-fashioned, cartoony style, ‘The End of the F***ing World’ is still a richly naturalistic work,” says Eric Reynolds, Forsman’s editor at Fantagraphics. “All his stories are all strongly character-driven narratives, so it’s no surprise at all to me that his work could lend itself to film or television adaptation.”

Forsman’s stories often portray troubled kids in dark situations. He recalls the death of his father when he was 11 and the changes in his life that followed, including a long struggle with depression that resulted in acute alienation and an abrupt end to high school.

“I always felt robbed because I didn’t get to experience more innocent, blissful teenage years,” says Forsman. “All these feelings I have about that time, why it comes into my work is that I’m probably just trying to make sense of it and be okay with it.”

His upcoming book, “I’m Not Okay With This,” has a December 5 release date. He’s adding elements of science fiction and superheroes to his deadpan realism as he examines how poverty and anxiety damage a young person. It’s these elements that can sometimes build an intense connection with members of his audience.

“Every few months, I’ll get an email out of the blue. They stumbled upon it, and you can tell that they heavily connected with it. And that’s pretty gratifying.”

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January 2019

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Cost: $15; $13.50 member

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The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

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Mount Kisco Public Library
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Sponsor: Friends of the Library
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Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
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Cost: 185.00 for 6 sessions

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Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Cost: Free and open to the public

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Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
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Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
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Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Blending nature and spirituality, Connecticut artist Lori Barker explores the rhythms of life in a new collection of mixed media works on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
5 Wykeham Rd.
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

More information

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Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
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224 Danbury Road
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View map »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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View map »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: free

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RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
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Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

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Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Sponsor: Friends of the Library
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Sponsor: Fairfield Chamber
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Cost: Free

Where:
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5 Wykeham Rd.
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View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

More information

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Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
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View map »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: free

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8 Old Barns Rd
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Telephone: 860-927-1700
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Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: 203-984-8329
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First Congregational Church of Ridgefield
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Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
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Cost: 0

Where:
Greenwich Town Hall
101 Field Point Road
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Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: 203-400-6264
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
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Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

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Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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View map »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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11 North Water Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed...

Cost: See Website

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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Blending nature and spirituality, Connecticut artist Lori Barker explores the rhythms of life in a new collection of mixed media works on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
5 Wykeham Rd.
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

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Idea exchange and brainstorming for entrepreneurs.  Sign up at www.martinhosueworkspace.com/event-listings.

Cost: no charge with one-day pass or membership

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Website »

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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
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Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
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January Swing Dance w/ Chops, Sauerkraut, Krewtons Friday, January 18, 2018 Dewey Hall, 91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA 01257 Doors open at 7:30, Lesson with Jason Fenton at 8:00, Live music at...

Cost: $10-$20 sliding fee scale

Where:
Dewey Hall
91 Main Street
Sheffield, MA  01257
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Sponsor: Oldtone Productions
Telephone: 413-429-1176
Contact Name: Beth Carlson
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Do you have a startup you’re trying to get off the ground? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Are you a solopreneur who’s trying to do it all? Everyone needs a...

Cost: no charge with one-day pass or membership

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle

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The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Blending nature and spirituality, Connecticut artist Lori Barker explores the rhythms of life in a new collection of mixed media works on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
5 Wykeham Rd.
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

More information

We invite you to join us at Dojo Fairfield on Saturday January 19, 2019 when we host the founder/CEO of C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense, Chris Sutton, for a one-day self-defense/ASRP (Active Shooter...

Cost: $129.00

Where:
DOJO FAIRFIELD
2317 Black Rock Tpke.
FAIRFIELD, CT  06825
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Sponsor: DOJO FAIRFIELD
Telephone: 203.319.9989
Contact Name: Karina Gramesty
Website »

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Caring for a loved one with a mental health condition can be overwhelming and stressful. Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, friends and significant others...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: (914) 527-2994
Contact Name: Janet
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Celebrate Helena Hernmarck’s materials and processes at our monthly free admission day. Work with teaching artists and Museum staff on warm wintery projects while enjoying hot cocoa and seasonal...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Type 2 diabetes is becoming an epidemic. Dr. Shawn Carney, a naturopathic physician at Northeast Natural Medicine, LLC, will address the development of problems with blood sugar control. He will...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Join artists and crafters Amelia McIsaac of Flowering Heart and Susannah White of Carapace Farm Puppetry to explore the process of felting. Work with plant-dyed wool from their small family flock...

Cost: $15; $13.50 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Learn some basics of a simple honest cuisine created by thousands of years of heritage, shared culture and a bit of Viking pillaging.Menu:Demo: Gravlax from Scratch, served with Mustard Dill Sauce...

Cost: 100.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

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Comedian, actor, and impressionist Frank Caliendo has been making people laugh his entire life.  He is well known for his impressions of famous personalities: Donald Trump, Morgan Freeman, Al...

Cost: See Website

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

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