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Spring Fling

Decluttering your life for a refreshed you



Illustration by Carole Hénaff

If you’re like me, along with the stirring of springtime comes the urge to open up the windows and clear out the clutter that’s accumulated over the winter. Make that over the past year—or over the course of many winters, many years. 

Wandering into my home office, I get an instant headache as I survey the bursting bookshelves, overstuffed file cabinets, and piles of folders and papers on every available surface. I’ll deal with it another day.

But that day would never come without the compassionate guidance of master organizer Carole Cline, who looked at my office recently. Her first comment immediately makes me feel better about its sorry, cluttered state. “It’s not so much that your office is messy,” she says. “It’s that your life is bigger than that. You’ve got more creative energy than the space can hold.”

So you mean it’s not my fault that I can’t stay organized? I can stop beating myself up about that?

Yes, Cline assures me. The trick is to clear out old stuff so that you can make room for what’s “hot”—what’s alive and growing right now. 

“First of all, start with the trash, the stuff you’re not attached to. Put that in a pile for the dump. Then look at what you have that might go into recycling, or be taken to Goodwill for someone else to use. Make another pile of that stuff. And then you get into the stuff that you have some attachment to. That’s harder, but I go by the ten-percent philosophy,” she says. “Everyone can give up ten percent, or one in ten, of any category of stuff they have.”

De-cluttering is really about making decisions, Cline says, which can be especially hard when you’re stressed (on deadline to vacate a home, for instance) or going through an emotional transition (after a divorce, say, or going through the accumulated possessions of a deceased parent). “Making decisions is like exercising a muscle,” she says. “The more decisions you make, the more actions you take, the more you start to get into a flow and it becomes less painful, less emotional.”

“The letting go is the hard part,” says Lori Plager. Plager hired Cline to help her pare down the belongings in her four-bedroom house, including two attics, a basement, and a shed filled with all the “stuff” of her now-grown three children. “We worked for two hours once a week for three or four months,” Plager says. “Carole was so good at helping me prioritize what I really needed without getting overwhelmed. Like who really needs ten pairs of black pants when you probably only wear three of them? I was able to give things away to people who could really use them. And when it was all done, I felt so much better.”

It turns out that de-cluttering one’s physical space has a very positive effect on one’s mental space, too. Cline applies her background in the healing arts to her role as an organizer. “After I work with someone—never more than two hours at a time—I have them lie down with an eye pillow, put their feet up, relax, and energetically let go of whatever stuff we’ve begun to purge,” she says. “When we let go of things that are not working for us, our environments will start to nurture us and make vibrant, new creative energy available to us.” 

Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, a wellness coach and yoga teacher who offers workshops at Kripalu in the Berkshires and around the country, agrees. “Carole came in, not judging me but supporting me in sorting through years’ worth of stuff that I had accumulated, in order to make space to create the mental clarity that I needed to work with clients here at home,” she says. “It was miraculous. Once we had cleared up the clutter, it gave me a new sense of grounded spaciousness that allowed me to be more effective in my work.”

Cline was in the process of packing up her own life to move from here to the West Coast. She and her new husband are thinking of joining the tiny-house movement, where her talent for keeping clutter to a minimum will surely come in handy. 

Staying organized is a never-ending project, so I ask Cline: How do you keep stuff from accumulating again?

“Once you start to have more space, you develop a different attitude toward stuff,” she says. “You realize what’s important to you. It doesn’t matter if things are beautiful or full of sentimental value or even if they’re made of gold, they still take up space and prevent us from trying something different, something new.” 


Tips to Stay Organized

  • The 10% rule: Eliminate one item in ten.
  • Start with a half-hour a week of decluttering one small area, like a closet shelf. 
  • Start by getting rid of trash—broken things, stained clothing, old receipts. As you exercise your decision-making muscle, it will become easier to purge stuff.
  • Think altruistically: What might someone else enjoy? 

As you continue to purge in small increments, notice the resulting mental clarity and energetic boost that decluttering gives you. It’s not just about a clearer home, but a clearer mind as well.

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July 2017

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

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Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
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Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

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Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
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View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

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Website »

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Cost: $30-$35

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Sharon Playhouse
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With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
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View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
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View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

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Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
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View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
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With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sharon Playhouse puts on the play Far Away, by  Caryl Churchill. Joan has just seen something she shouldn’t have. Far from home, she hears screams in the night. She’s...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT  06069
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join photographer Rich Pomerantz for “Photography In The Garden”. Thursday, July 20 at 7PM“Relax It’s Only Garden Photography”. Meet in the barn for light...

Cost: $150-$250

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sharon Playhouse puts on the play Far Away, by  Caryl Churchill. Joan has just seen something she shouldn’t have. Far from home, she hears screams in the night. She’s...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT  06069
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

Join photographer Rich Pomerantz for “Photography In The Garden”. Thursday, July 20 at 7PM“Relax It’s Only Garden Photography”. Meet in the barn for light...

Cost: $150-$250

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

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Cost: Price: $34 - $49

Where:
Infinity Hall Norfolk
20 Greenwoods Rd W,CT
Norfolk , CT  06058
View map »


Telephone: 866-666-6306
Website »

More information

Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sharon Playhouse puts on the play Far Away, by  Caryl Churchill. Joan has just seen something she shouldn’t have. Far from home, she hears screams in the night. She’s...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT  06069
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With summer just around the corner, Linda Mazzeo and other members of the ECAD team are busy planning all the fun activities for the kids, age 9-13, who will attend the annual Summer Camp at the...

Cost: $195.00 PER WEEK

Where:
ECAD Campus
149 Newfield Road
Winsted, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities
Telephone: (917) 664-8092
Contact Name: Patricia Robert
Website »

More information

Anita Healy’s First Solo Show  “Breathe” June 3 through July 22 in Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery Reception June 17, 12p-2p Gunn Memorial Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


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

More information

The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce the premier exhibit of recent paintings by the New York City based contemporary abstract artist Steven Miller. This exhibit will be on view through...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

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Cost: $35 or $10 for those under 21 or not drinking

Where:
The Goshen Fairground
116 Old Middle Street
Goshen, CT  06756
View map »


Website »

More information

Brews & BBQ is back! Come out on Saturday, July 22nd at Ives Concert Park in Danbury to celebrate the change of the seasons with the ultimate spring bash featuring BBQ, craft beer and live...

Cost: Advance tickets $15, tickets at the door $20

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-9226
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
Website »

More information

Dance, dine, drink, and discover an all new experience with Pilobolus, modern dance company. Don't miss this summers Pilobolus Ball and get a first look at the historic and...

Cost: Tickets Start at $125

Where:
Troutbeck
515 Leedsville Rd
Amenia, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Join photographer Rich Pomerantz for “Photography In The Garden”. Thursday, July 20 at 7PM“Relax It’s Only Garden Photography”. Meet in the barn for light...

Cost: $150-$250

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
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Liliana Kleid considers her work a celebration of life and nature, often changing courses along the way. It is her goal to honor the magical moments nature offers by using color, composition, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Charlie Hewitt.  Heart of Gold, a mixed media exhibition featuring paintings, works-on-paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The show will open...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
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The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
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Sharon Playhouse puts on the play Far Away, by  Caryl Churchill. Joan has just seen something she shouldn’t have. Far from home, she hears screams in the night. She’s...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
Sharon Playhouse
49 Amenia Road
Sharon, CT  06069
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