For immediate release
Contact: Maureen Dowdle 203-332-5078

Funds Received to Launch Bridgeport Cultural Council
Council Seeks to make Bridgeport a Center for Creative Industries

Barbara Johnson, president of the Housatonic Community College Foundation, Inc., has announced that funding has been received for the formation of the Bridgeport Cultural Council (BCC).

The Council is a direct outgrowth of an assessment performed in 2007 that was funded by the US Small Business Administration through the office of Congressman Christopher Shays, and coordinated by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Fairfield County Business Council. The Plan addressed Bridgeport’s specific cultural community and creative economy sector, and linked Bridgeport to initiatives in Fairfield County.

The BCC will establish a professionally staffed Bridgeport office for cultural affairs, and will be overseen by a representative citizen commission. It will seek to raise funds and develop policies, programs and facilities to recruit artists and creative businesses. Additionally, it will create a comprehensive three-year initiative for the city’s nonprofit cultural organizations.

The Housatonic Community College Foundation is the fiduciary agent for the Council and will provide office space and other support assistance. Ms. Johnson says, “We are pleased to support this new entity that will organize the cultural activities of our city and enhance our environment. These goals are very consistent with the philosophy and mission of Housatonic and the Foundation.”

BCC is made possible by a gift that Fairfield County Community Foundation has donated for the first year start-up. Additional funds have come from the Werth Family Foundation, The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the City of Bridgeport, and the Housatonic Foundation in kind for space and staff.

Karen DelVecchio, executive vice president of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council says, “(the BCC) will provide a much needed coordinating structure and organizational energy to the cultural sector in Bridgeport … In these times of reduced resources for all cultural organizations, it is of particular importance to provide centralized services of advocacy, coordination, cooperative marketing, capacity building and partnership development.”

About the Housatonic Community College Foundation
The Housatonic Community College Foundation was formed in 1990 to assist the College and its students beyond the fundamentals provided by the state. The Foundation provides resources for scholarships, equipment, program enhancements, community outreach and support for the Housatonic Museum of Art. The recently concluded major gifts campaign  raised over $1 million that assists the College to provide convenient and affordable post-secondary training and life-long learning to those in the Bridgeport area. For more information, visit http://www.hcc.commnet.edu/hccf

About Fairfield County Community Foundation
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org <http://www.fccfoundation.org/>  .