The Bridgeport Arts & Cultural Council
November 2012


In this photograph, Suzanne enjoys an evening at City Lights Gallery with visiting artist from NIgeria, Tunde Odunlade and City Lights board member, Jonathan Brochstein.


Suzanne Kachmar


With her work as an individual artist, Director of a dynamic gallery space City Lights, and leader of citywide arts initiative "The Bridgeport Art Trail", we are happy to honor Suzanne Kachmar as our November Artist of the Month.  



PT Barnum Encaustic
PT Barnum-Encaustic by Kachmar





Suzanne Kachmar, Executive Director and Program Director of City Lights received her; MFA from the New York Academy of Art and CT License for Therapeutic Recreation from NorwalkCommunity College. She has produced large and small community-based cultural events for 4 years and partnered or advised other groups and individuals regarding cultural planning or programs for the Greater Bridgeport Community. She has taught art, collaborated, and exhibited work of artists and students of all levels and abilities for over 20 years. Her work has shown in Connecticut and New York, and is in private and corporate collections.  


A self-proclaimed "Bridgeport art 'lifer'" and pioneer in the Bridgeport arts scene, Suzanne started her relationship with Bridgeport when used to accompany her mother to the Polka Dot Playhouse, where her mother was the first set designer. Her first art studio experience was on Elm Street in downtown Bridgeport and her first public art projects were 2 large 8ft by 140+ ft murals on plywood retaining walls on Fairfield Avenue in 1981. She was actively involved in the first City Lights Coffee House/Gallery located on Fairfield Avenue in the 80's. After studying and living abroad, in New York and in the SONO district of Norwalk, she found herself back to Bridgeport and City Lights Gallery.  






Over the years with City Lights, Suzanne recognized the importance of developing the nonprofit into an organization that extended beyond simply a gallery, serving the community through art, education, and creative exploration. A 2012, and five time winner of "Best Gallery" by the Fairfield County Weekly reader's poll, City Lights has attracted over 22,000 attendees to the events they've hosted or presented through partnerships. Attendees can view art, participate in workshops and classes, enjoy music, dance, spoken word and film in this multifaceted gallery space and throughout the city.  

Opening Night at City Lights for SAMESEX exhibit June 2012.



Under her direction, some of City Lights initiatives include:


  • ART/BPT, annual Bridgeport themed art exhibit.


Suzanne is now seeking artists interested in participating in the January 2013 exhibit. This year's exhibition focus is DETAILS: Encouraging artists and viewers to go on a visual scavenger hunt and find the soul of Bridgeport in its details. Artists who would like to submit for ART/BPT/2013: DETAILS can send jpegs (72 dpi) and inquiries to 

  • Responding to community request, City Lights annually hosts the exhibit "SAMESEX", featuring art from private collections and work by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight artists interpreting the GLBT theme .
  • City Lights brought the first "Classic and Custom Car Show" to downtown Bridgeport on McLevy Green. It has become an annual tradition and collaboration with the Downtown Special Services District. To further distinguish this car show and celebrate the vibrant Italian American community of Bridgeport, the event embraced the theme, "CARS and CANNOLI" for their 2012 event.

  • City Lights has an active outreach program with Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, CT. Volunteers were successful in installing an art gallery and exhibit at the school, exposing students and staff to an easily accessible gallery experience.



In addition to theses events, City Lights has been the lead organization of a citywide undertaking: the Annual Bridgeport Art Trail, which takes place every Veteran's Day Weekend. Recently described as, "A four-day celebration of all things creative, cultural and arts-related in Bridgeport" by The Connecticut Post, The Bridgeport Art Trail activates over two dozen arts and cultural organizations throughout the city. Scheduled to run through Sunday, November 11th the event includes gallery openings, tours of the area, and open studios at several of the redeveloped factory buildings.


"Attendees can view art, meet the artists and the creative community, enjoy music and purchase art -- it's turned into a really successful, festive event," said Kachmar in the recent article.  


Bridgeport Art Trail supporter Mayor Bill Finch included the following in his Bridgeport Art Trail Guide Welcome Message, "The Bridgeport Art Trail map is an excellent tool to illustrate the proliferation of our arts community: From Downtown, the hub of our City's arts and cultural scene where you'll find Read's ArtSpace, City Lights Gallery, Barnum Museum, Bijou Theatre and the Housatonic Museum of Art to the West Side, home of The Nest Arts Factory and the Klein Memorial Auditorium, to the East Side where you'll find the 305 Knowlton Street Artists Studios and in the East End, American Fabrics Arts Building. I encourage everyone to use your copy of the ArtTrail map all year-round and discover Bridgeport's creative side."  



Details and guides are available at participating locations or at:


For information on City Lights Gallery and Suzanne Kachmar visit: 

Full profile is available at our website:



The Bridgeport Arts + Cultural Council is At the Arcade, 1001-12 Main Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut. The WelcomeCenter is open Tuesday - Thursday, 11am - 3pm. For further information, visit the website,, or call 203-522-4154



Contact: Marianne Brunson Frisch, Executive Director

Bridgeport Arts + Cultural Council

Telephone: (203) 522-4154




1001-12 Main Street - In the Historic Arcade

Bridgeport, CT 06604

The Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council, a non-profit organization, was founded to advocate for cultural and arts organizations by promoting participation of the community in arts and cultural activities in Bridgeport. In addition, the BACC provides exhibition opportunities and promotion for area artists and artisans. Exhibitions and events at the BACC are sponsored by private and public funding partners. To become a member, to make a donation, or to learn more about the BACC call 203.522.4154 or email or visit our website