Our Town

City Lights & Co.

Bridgeport, Connecticut




Kids painting at a gallery space.

Among the opportunities offered by City Lights & Co. is studio time for youth at City Lights gallery. Photo by Suzanne Kachmar Photography.

The NEA grant will support Universal Arts (UArts), a pilot project designed to increase access to the arts for underserved populations in Bridgeport. Project activities will include a series of community arts workshops, education and training for teaching artists and community leaders, and exhibitions in storefront locations throughout the city. Workshops will be led by local artists and held in nontraditional sites familiar to target participants, including community centers, libraries, veterans' homes, senior centers, housing projects, and schools. Training sessions will focus on themes of diversity and inclusion, ADA compliance, crisis response, and coping with trauma and loss.

City Lights & Co.'s partners include the City of Bridgeport Neighborhood Outreach Office, Connecticut Arts for Learning, Bridgeport Board of Education, Alpha Community Services, State of Connecticut Office for the Arts, Bridgeport Public Library, WPKN Community Radio, and Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District. Bridgeport is the poorest city in Connecticut and home to diverse underserved populations. The project is expected to serve as a model for replication in other cities throughout the state.