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July 16, 2020
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Clinton Sustainability Committee is Starting with the Arts

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Three months after its formation, the Sustainability Committee has selected its first area of focus, the town’s arts and cultural landscape, and is reaching out to people in the arts community and elsewhere to move more town-improvement projects forward.

The committee started meeting formally in April 2018, after the Board of Selectmen voted in January to begin participating in the Sustainable CT Municipal Certification Program. Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program that provides environmental best practices and grant opportunities to help communities promote economic well-being and enhance equity. Participating towns select which initiatives they would like to pursue.

“The actions are so broad, there’s a lot to choose from,” Committee Chair Paul Gebauer said.

The website lists 10 major actions, each of which are further broken down. The categories are Thriving Local Economies, Well-Stewarded Land and Natural Resources, Vibrant and Creative Cultural Ecosystems, Dynamic and Resilient Planning, Clean and Diverse Transportation Systems and Choices, Efficient Physical Infrastructure and Operations, Strategic and Inclusive Public Services, Healthy, Efficient and Diverse Housing, Inclusive and Equitable Community Impacts, and Innovation Action .

Currently, Gebauer said the committee is working on the Vibrant and Creative Cultural Ecosystems action plan. The committee felt that action was intriguing due to the strong artistic community in Clinton.

“Nothing really binds them together,” Gebauer said. “You have the George Flynn [Classical] Concerts to the Kidz Konnection to the library events, there’s always something going on.”

Gebauer said that some of the cultural actions the committee is looking to pursue include the establishment of an art district downtown and developing an arts and culture program for youth.

Gebauer said that the committee will soon begin to pursue other action plans, and noted that the program costs the town no money.

“It’s about trying to make the town a better place,” said Gebauer.

The committee meets the first Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. in the Rose Room at Town Hall and welcomes input.

“Not everyone can be in the Board of Finance or Board of Education, but if you see a specific thing that floats your boat that you want to get engaged in, you can,” said Gebauer.

Gebauer said he has been encouraged by seeing the collaboration of different groups that may not normally interact together without the help of the committee. Gebauer said that though the committee a person in town that had a compost container was able to get in touch with people who help with the community garden to donate the compost for the garden.

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