In 2018 the Putnam Business Association is ready to celebrate “Mill Town Mosaics: Cultural Heritage of the Quiet Corner” during the popular First Fridays series that runs on the first Friday night of each month from May through October.
Mosaics, a “pattern produced by arranging together many small pieces,” certainly describes residents and communities of northeastern Connecticut. Many current residents are a product of our small mill towns, with a mosaic of roots and deep memories extending to Canada, Poland, Greece, Finland, and other parts of the globe. The memories and traditions are shared within families, and with friends and neighbors as the community mosaic grows.
With the 2018 season quickly approaching, the First Fridays committee is launching the annual First Fridays poster contest in search of a poster to represent the theme. Artists of all ages are encouraged to create a 16” x 20” full color poster (portrait orientation) to represent the Mill Town Mosaics. The winning entry will encompass the season’s theme with originality. The poster will be reproduced as the cover of the First Fridays Program, which will have thousands of copies printed and distributed throughout the region and at the events. The winning artist will be awarded a $250 cash prize and will be featured in the program. Entries will be accepted at WINY Radio, 45 Pomfret St., Putnam, until the deadline of March 23.
The First Fridays monthly events will take a closer look at particular cultures while enjoying the overall mosaic that creates community connections and supportiveness, especially while having a big party! Join in each month. Expect to dance! The monthly focuses will be: Polish-Americans on May 4th, African-Americans on June 1st, French Canadian-Americans on July 6th, Greek-Americans on August 3rd, Native-Americans on September 7th, and Scandinavian-Americans on October 5th. 
The First Fridays committee admits that it was next to impossible to choose only six cultures to highlight this season when there are many more to celebrate. This could easily lead to another full season of cultural celebrations for a future First Fridays season!
Don’t forget the added bonus in October when the wildly popular Zombie Fashion show will return. Zombie costume possibilities are endless with our cultural mosaic theme! Imagine Heidi the Scandinavian Zombie, or a Paul Bunyan Zombie? Find your inner zombie, create and come dressed in costumes inspired by your own family history and make it a frightfully fun evening!

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