Small City Packs in Large List of Notable Museum, Concert, Art and Theater Offerings

By Pamela Coyle on April 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm EST


Museums that highlight railroads and military matters, outdoor concert venues and multiple art associations give Danbury a cultural flair hard to match for a city of its size.

The Summer Concert Series on the Danbury Green is the largest free concert series in the Northeast; in 2008 alone, more than 20 concerts brought swing, salsa, classical, hip-hop, alternative rock, blues and country to CityCenter.

The Charles Ives Center for the Arts on the Western Connecticut State University has an outdoor amphitheater that has a summer concert series of its own, drawing major national acts. Performers in 2008 included Lyle Lovett, Melissa Etheridge and moe.

Danbury’s specialized museums have a music all their own. The Military Museum of Southern New England started as a way to preserve American Tank Destroyer Units from World War II. Its collection has expanded to include more than 10,000 U.S. military artifacts, many of them on display in the museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits.

The region’s rail history has a home at The Danbury Rail Museum, located in the city station that closed in 1993. Renovated and packed with 60 pieces of railroad equipment, the museum offers tours and train rides. The station, by the way, was one site for the filming of “Strangers on a Train” in 1950.

Theater can be found at WestConn’s Berkshire Theatre, the Danbury Theatre Company and Musicals at Richter, Connecticut’s longest-running outdoor theater.

Richter is a well-known name to the area’s art and music lovers. The Richter Association of the Arts, formerly a private farm home, now hosts arts festivals, lectures, and classical and popular music concerts. Its prestigious Annual Juried Art Show, held each fall, provides large cash prizes, but the events at Richter are either free or low cost. The association gets financial help from the Danbury Cultural Commission, donations and dues to keep it that way and honor the Richter family’s wishes.

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