HISTORY ~ AREAS OF FOCUS
The Norfolk Foundation is an outgrowth of conversations that have taken place on or around the Economic Development Commission, the City Meadow Project, the Community Association, and elsewhere—building on the groundwork first laid out in the Plan of Conservation and Development published by the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission in 2009.
From the outset, these conversations were focused on the sustainability of the business district in the wake of the several failures of the Corner Store at 2 Station Place and the ongoing difficulties retailers find in maintaining a successful business, but they have also frequently reflected a broader interest in the emergent shape of the downtown area as suggested by the four-year-old City Meadow Project, for which the town was awarded a $500,000 grant from the State of Connecticut.
Taken together, these two concerns point to a shared vision of a lively Norfolk Center, as a commercial district, as a hub opening onto Norfolk’s network of trails and natural attractions, and to the artistic and cultural resources well represented by the Library and the Yale summer programs in music and art. Firmer integration of these aspects into the active fabric of the town could establish Norfolk as a major center for literature and the arts in New England and nationally.
The Foundation will work closely with other groups in town to advance a number of existing projects, to develop a more sustainable and attractive business district, and to explore any other initiatives that offer to expand Norfolk’s artistic and natural heritage. Over the long term, the Foundation means to develop a broad base of community support as it helps realize a shared sense of Norfolk’s possibilities as a town where art and nature meet.
AREAS OF FOCUS
At the outset, the Foundation recognizes three particular areas in which it expects to be particularly active.
1. We expect to provide support to the City Meadow Project and other initiatives aimed at establishing a pedestrian hub in downtown Norfolk offering improved linkage between all of Norfolk’s major institutions as well as access to trail networks and the Stoeckel Estate.
2. We will work to establish Norfolk as a major center for arts and culture in the region. Our initial efforts will likely focus on summer festivals and related activities throughout the year, and on targeted support to the Yale Summer Schools of Art and Music.
3. In doing these things, we intend to provide support to, serve as a useful link among, the various nonprofits active in Norfolk.