I believe a successful arts experience accomplishes three things:

  • It forges a connection between the participant and the space. 
  • It facilitates a positive dialogue between the participant and the art form.
  • It creates a safe space for deep personal connections — within and with others — to be made.

A successful arts experience is some blend of these components, and each component matters. Successfully woven together into a experience that hits participants on multiple levels of interaction, these components can create a rich, deep and lasting experience. And it’s the kind of work that I’m most excited by.


Last year, I was part of the team that created the inaugural Saugatuck StoryFest, a three-day literary festival on the banks of the Saugatuck River in Westport, Connecticut. It’s unique among literary fests; it’s one of the only in the country put on by a public library and a public school system. Our mission: connecting communities through story.

You can watch a “trailer’ about last year’s fest here, and you can take a look at our author lineup and schedule here.

With my colleague, Alex Giannini, I run a yearlong writers’ support program called WestportWRITES. We provide local authors with monthly seminars and mini-conferences on all aspects of writing: creating work, refining work, and getting that work out into the world. We bring in authors, agents, editors and educators to de-mystify the writing life.

You can check out some of the programs we’ve created here.