2023 Press Releases All Stories

WCSU Art Department receives Connecticut Humanities Grant

The WCSU Visual and Performing Arts Center

DANBURY, Connecticut — The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Western Connecticut State University recently received its second grant from Connecticut Humanities, an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A $5,000 cultural fund grant was awarded to the WCSU art gallery, located at 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury, for general operating support.

“The grant we received from CT Humanities is essential to The Gallery at WCSU. This money enables us to continue to bring accomplished artists, outstanding art exhibitions and other related arts events to campus,” said Melissa Ralston-Jones, WCSU Art Gallery curator. “It also sends a message to our enrolled art students and other artists that we are supported. It is important to honor the work of the visual artist, as the work they do has immense value to their communities and we believe they are worthy of financial support,” she added. Many Gallery exhibits are open and free to the public.

The Gallery, sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art and the School of Visual and Performing Arts, presents professional, contemporary art exhibitions and cultural programming with accomplished artists that serve as educational resources for students and the community. The focus of programming is to introduce the audience to new ideas and perspectives, inspiring appreciation of art in all its forms.

Upon opening in 2014, The Gallery has produced 47 art exhibitions, bringing in more than 10,000 people to the art gallery. Two to three curated exhibitions are mounted annually, along with three student exhibitions, including the M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition and the Senior Portfolio Exhibit (currently running from April 20 – May 7).

“Grants and other funding help to provide artist honorariums, speaker fees, workshops, shipping costs and printing of exhibition catalogs and other publications. These funds also enable The Gallery to offer these cultural opportunities to diverse audiences at low or no cost to them,” said Ralston-Jones.

CT Humanities’ grants are designed to help the state’s museums and cultural, humanities and arts organizations maintain and grow their ability to serve their communities and the public, connect K-12 teachers and students to strong humanities and arts content, and improve their information technology and digital infrastructure. The CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants are administered by CT Humanities with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, from the Connecticut State Legislature.

For more information, contact Melissa Ralston-Jones at ralstonjonesm@wcsu.edu or WCSU Public Relations at pr@wcsu.edu.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality  education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.