SBA to Open Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG)

SBA to Open Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG)

The SBA has opened the Shuttered Venues Grant submission process. Those eligible are operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theaters, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers, and talent representatives.

The application will be available on the SBA’s website at The SBA has released a “5 Things You Should Know”. They are as follows:

  1. SVOG applications open April 8 at 12 p.m. EDT.

Starting at 12 p.m. EDT, eligible entities will be able to start their SVOG application via the SVOG application portal. Once you begin, remember to save along the way and refer to SBA’s SVOG website – – for reference materials as you go through the process.

Visit SVOG portal

  1. Access the SVOG 4506-T from the website.

To meet IRS requirements, a unique SVOG 4506-T is required for the SVOG application and you can find that fillable document at under Supplemental Documents. A video tutorial is also provided to guide you through it.

Review the form

  1. Review the updated FAQs.

The FAQs were updated on April 6 with the information included from questions received on the March 30 national training webinar. If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording.

Review the updated FAQs

  1. Get prepared with these multiple tools.

The SBA has created several tools and resources to help potential SVOG applicants prepare, including:

All info about SVOG

  1. Tap local SBA partners for technical assistance.

The SBA Resource Partner Network provides advising and counseling services to help organizations prepare for funding opportunities like the SVOG, PPP, and other business recovery needs.

Local assistance

Katia Garcon Honored with 40 Under 40 Award

Katia Garcon Honored with 40 Under 40 Award

On June 11th, Norwalk’s LaKota Oaks hosted an array of bright young talent from the corporate, nonprofit, government, education and medical worlds with the presentation of the Fairfield County Business Journal’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty awards.

Among this year’s recipients is GNHCC Board member Katia Garcon.

This year’s event included a new minimalist twist: the honorees were asked to describe themselves in speeches consisting only of three words. Katia provoked applause with her sassy three-word announcement:

 “Boss ladies rule.” – Katia Garcon


About Katia

Katia is the owner of House of Katia, Norwalk’s very own world-class personal styling boutique. She is passionate about helping her clients live their best life now, and dress their best always. Through her business, she offers a variety of services including unique personal styling, vacation wardrobe styling, custom jewelry design and more.

With her ability to consciously and accurately assess her client’s needs, Katia carefully curates the perfect balance of clothing, jewelry and accessories for every client she works with. She has more than a decade of professional experience and style industry expertise, and is a certified appraiser through the American Appraisers Association.

Katia is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America where she earned her GG (Graduate Gemologist) and JDT (Jewelry Design Technology) degrees. She also holds a Master of Arts in Business Administration from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science in International Business from the University of Connecticut.

Rene Soto Honored with CT Arts Hero Award

Rene Soto Honored with CT Arts Hero Award

To honor and celebrate individuals who are doing extraordinary things in, for and through the arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) established the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards in 2016.

This year, nine artists were honored with this prestigious award, including GNHCC board member Rene Soto. The awards were presented as part of COA’s annual Connecticut Arts Day, an annual event designed to inform, inspire and celebrate Connecticut’s investment in the arts.

All Connecticut Arts Heroes were presented with a framed print of the original art — Small State, Big Heart, Great Art —which was created by Hartford Prints! for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. See Rene posing with his print in the image gallery below.

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”

– Maya Angelou

April Exhibit at Rene Soto Gallery

April Exhibit at Rene Soto Gallery

Rene Soto Gallery presents “Awakening,” a collection of paintings by Guatemalan artist Santiago Cabrera. On display from April 6 – April 28, 2019. Open hours: Monday Closed; Tuesday 3–8PM; Wednesday 3–8PM; Thursday 3–8PM; Friday 3–8PM; Saturday 1–5PM; Sunday 1–5PM.

Preview the exhibit here.

The opening reception is April 6, from 6-9pm. Enjoy complimentary wine, refreshments, a first look at the exhibit, and a talk from the artist. Free and open to the public.

RSVP on Facebook!

About The Artist

Santiago Cabrera was born in Guatemala, and moved to the United States in 1999, where he graduated from Sacred Heart University, with an Associate’s degree in Arts and Business Administration.
Santiago has an incredible range, having worked as as theatrical actor, director, designer, costume designer, body painter, and surrealist painter. He continues to evolve and to extend his reach from local to national and international audiences.

Learn more here. 

About Rene Soto Gallery

Rene Soto Gallery is a place where art and community come together. They believe that the universal love of art can break down barriers and build community. Join their family of artists and visitors, who come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries around the world.

The gallery features established and up-and-coming artists, working in all mediums, from painting and sculpture, to music and dance, to poetry, photography, and more. All are welcome!

Available for booking of community, cultural, fundraising, and other events. Email to inquire.

NICE Festival Vendor Sign-Up is Now Open!

NICE Festival Vendor Sign-Up is Now Open!

NICE Festival Vendor Sign-Up is now open! NICE Festival is an annual event that was created to celebrate the diversity in our community with international food, art and music. It also includes a vendor area, where artists, businesses and nonprofits can promote themselves and sell their products. Each vendor receives a designated area approximately 10ft x 10ft. Prices range from $225-$450, depending on your organization type and product category. For example, businesses pay more than nonprofits; food businesses pay more than artists. If you are interested in vending at the NICE Festival, follow the steps below: Deadline: April 30, 2019.

Step 1:

Complete the Vendor Form.
Click to download the Vendor form.

Step 2:

Return the Vendor Form to:
Janet Evelyn
Executive Director
20 Elmwood Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854
Email: • Phone: (203) 919-3000

Step 3:

Select Vendor Type and make a payment.
Click to review vendor types and prices.

Step 4:

Complete required additional forms.
Click to review additional forms.

January Exhibit at Rene Soto Gallery

January Exhibit at Rene Soto Gallery

On January 5th, Rene Soto Gallery celebrated the New Year, and a new feature exhibit by Nancy Breakstone Photography, with a fabulous opening reception attended by Norwalk’s finest. Even News 12 showed up! Click here to see their coverage. If you missed it, don’t worry! Nancy’s photos will be up until the end of January, including the two that she is putting up for a silent auction to benefit the Surfrider Foundation Connecticut Chapter.

The Artist

Nancy Breakstone is a water woman. She has spent the last 50+ years on the water: windsurfing, sailing and paddle-boarding. She is also a photographer, producing both commercial and fine art. Recently, she worked out of a “studio” on the black sand beaches of Costa Rica. In 2018, Nancy exhibited her work in 28 shows, including one solo show.

She has sold to collectors in New York, Marthas Vineyard, Washington DC, Rehoboth, Delaware; Darien, Stamford, Westport, and Greenwich CT; Stratton, VT; Maui, HI; Rome, Italy; Sydney Australia; Los Angeles and San Francisco CA; Beaverton, OR; and Santa Fe, NM. Learn more here:

The Art

Nancy, who has always had a strong connection to the ocean, uses photography to capture the waxing and waning of the tides, creating images of the natural patterns in the sand at a specific moment. Looking at her work feels like time is standing still. View the collection here:

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