WESTPORT IN FOCUS

Westport In Focus is a virtual oral history project that began to document the COVID-19 crisis in our town but has evolved into  Westporters—and former Westporters—telling their own stories and sharing observations during the dramatic and historic age in which we find ourselves.  Westport in Focus marries the skill of the experienced portraitist with the curatorial  and oral history expertise of the museum. The goal is to create a first-hand, living history of the town’s experiences  during this time for future generations. Westporters—and those who work in Westport—are encouraged to participate.

The project can be viewed on Instagram @WestportFocus and Facebook @WestportInFocus. Families can signup by emailing the museum at virtualmuseum@westporthistory.org

Focus On: Rev. Dr. John T. Morehouse
Rev. Dr. John T. Morehouse, Senior Minister of the Unitarian Church in Westport has lived in Westport since 2015.   The Morehouses have been living …
Focus On: Diane Sembrot, Editor, Westport Magazine
Diane Sembrot has many centuries of roots in Westport through her Wakeman ancestors. Today she is the editor of Westport …
Focus On: Peggy Henkel
Mrs. Margaret “Peggy” Henkel moved to Westport in 1965 and was part of a group of locals who revived the largely-defunct Westport …
Focus On: Michael Friedman, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel
Michael Friedman is originally from Great Neck, NY.  He attended Yale University as an undergraduate where he studied history. After school Rabbi …
Focus On: Patton Family
The Patton family moved to Westport eight years ago from Simsbury. Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton is the Pastor of …
Focus On: David Adam Waldman
A life-long Westporter who has lived in town for fifty years, having moved here at age one, David Waldman owns David Adam …
Focus On: Edward F. Gerber
A recognizable figure around town, Ed Gerber has lived in Westport for 10 years although his roots go much deeper. …
Focus On: Adam Moore & Family
Adam Moore is the CEO and co-founder of WHEELHOUSE Center for Health and Wellbeing along with his wife Dr. Tegan …
Focus On: Darcy Hicks
Darcy Hicks is a well-known figure throughout town—an activist and artist who moved here with her brother and mother, who is also an …
Focus On: Cat Graham, Westport Museum Associate
Catherine—Cat—Graham joined Westport Museum as an associate, after graduating from Staples High School in 2019. In addition to greeting visitors, she is learning the ropes …
Focus On: Jes Bengston, Regional Executive Chef, Terrain Café and Amis in Westport
Chef Jes Bengston has worked in Westport for the last four years at Terrain’s popular Café and downtown-Westport sister restaurant …
Focus On: Stafford Thomas
Lessons I Learned From This Pandemic  For one, we know that this dreadful virus has put our routines and expectations for 2020 …
Focus on: Michael Barker, Managing Director, Westport Country Playhouse
Michael originally hales from Jonesboro, Arkansas and Sewanee, Tennessee. He spent 4 years in graduate school in New Haven at the …
Focus On: Diane Benke & Family
“We have lived in Westport 10 ½ years. I am a stay at home mom & amateur triathlete/swimmer. My husband …
Focus On: Michelle Murphy & Family
As I write this, we are in week six of social distancing. Although I have less fear than six weeks …
Focus On: Laura Tucker & Family
The Tuckers, Laura, David and their three kids Lili, a college freshman; Avery a Staples sophomore and Eily a 3rd grader at Long Lots, …
Focus On: Netta Levy & Family
I am a PTA volunteer (Staples high school PTA President) and a marketing consultant. I’ve been able to still do most …
Focus On: Cheryl Bliss
Cheryl Bliss has lived in Westport for 40 years. She moved here with her husband, Michael, and together they raised their three children …
Focus On: CLASP
Since 1976, CLASP group homes, headquartered in Westport, creates and supports family environments for people with autism and intellectual disabilities. Latravia Cox and Tiffany Scott are …
Focus On: Lisa Laudico & Family
Lisa Laudico has lived in Westport for 13 years with her husband and two sons. She is a Metastatic Breast Cancer survivor …

History happens every day and all around us. Sometimes that fact is more apparent than at others in our lives but this is one of those times when it is crystal clear. Our hope is that we can record history for posterity and for the knowledge of future generations.

RAMIN GANESHRAM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WESTPORT MUSEUM

In an effort to remain connected as a community, our mission is to show our faces to our neighbors. We can’t forget who we are behind the closed doors during this pandemic. Partnering with Westport Museum to create a living history to be archived for future generations will demonstrate how we survived, thrived, and maintained our humanity as a town in this unprecedented time.

JERRI GRAHAM, WESTPORT IN FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHER

Partially funded by a grant from CT Humanities

Any views or opinions expressed in this oral history project are personal to the profile subject, belong solely to said person and do not necessarily represent opinions of Westport Historical Society D/B/A Westport Museum for History & Culture, its employees, board members, volunteers or contractors.