Westport Arts Center To Help Raise Funds For Orphanage

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Emmanuel, an orphan living in Sierra Leone, Africa, is one of the children featured in the documentary film "Brownstones to Red Dirt," which is being screened Friday at the Westport Arts Center. Photo Credit: Contributed
Malik Adamson, one of the Brooklyn-based pen pals featured in the documentary film "Brownstones to Red Dirt," will be at Friday's event at the Westport Arts Center. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. – As part of its “Pen Pals and Dreams” exhibit, the Westport Arts Center is hosting a film screening and reception Friday to help raise money for an orphanage in Sierra Leone, Africa.

“Pen Pals and Dreams,” on display through Sunday, exhibits children’s letters and drawings between sixth-graders in Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn,  and their pen pals in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The letters were featured in “Brownstones to Red Dirt,” a full-length documentary film that follows the developing friendship between the Brooklyn students, who live in housing projects, and the children in Sierra Leone, who are war orphans.

The film was created by Copper Pot Pictures, a Connecticut-based film production company.

Friday’s event, scheduled from 6 to 8:30 p.m., will include a screening of “Brownstones to Red Dirt,” followed by a filmmaker question and answer session featuring special guest Malik Adamson, one of the Brooklyn-based pen pals. Refreshments will be served.

The reception will also include a silent auction. Items for sale will include jewelry from Sierra Leone, an autographed drawing from Big Bird puppeteer Caroll Spinney—the subject of Copper Pot Pictures’ next film—tickets to a New York Knicks game, World Series memorabilia, and  more.

Tickets for the reception are $15 or $10 for Westport Arts Center members, and can be purchased by calling 203-222-7070 or online.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Schools for Salone, Cooper Pot Pictures' nonprofit partner building an orphanage in Freetown for the children in the documentary.

Copper Pot Pictures previously raised more than $53,000 to construct a new school for the children featured in the documentary. With help from Schools for Salone, the Freetown School opened its doors last year.

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