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Sunday, June 17 News

Get to know...Kristin Levinson, Darien resident taking on job at Stamford Palace Theater

DARIEN — Kristin Levinson, or “Kiki” as she’s affectionally called, is full of energy even after having attended a late evening show the night before at the Stamford Palace Theater.

“I was here for a concert last night upstairs,” Levinson said with a smile as she led the way to the bottom floor of the Theater, opening the grand, ornate doors.

Levinson, 47, has been a Darien resident for seven years and has volunteered in various local organizations throughout her time in town.

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To check out upcoming events at the Stamford Palace Theater, visit: https://www.palacestamford.org/Online/default.asp

She was a member of Opus for Person-to-Person, a nonprofit organization in Darien, since 2009, and a board member from 2012 to 2013 in charge of corporate development.

“I like to follow my heart and I truly believe in fundraising and what it can do for others,” Levinson said while on a tour of the Palace Theater where she now works as development coordinator.

Levinson and her husband, who is from New Canaan, have raised their six-year-old son, Tucker, in Darien. During this time she took what she called a “professional relieve” though she has extensively dedicated her time to volunteering and fundraising for local organizations.

Her volunteer work has taken her from the Darien Nature Center to the Noroton Yacht Club to the First Congregational Church in Darien sometimes coordinating speaker events, other times focusing on entertainment but a mainstay is her passion for fundraising.

“I have been in nonprofit philanthropy and fundraising for over 21 years now,” Levinson said. “It’s something I really enjoy doing.”

Her new job at the Stamford Palace Theatre, which she obtained only last November, is her first foray into the arts, a realm that is new to her and something she sees as another venture.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to work in the arts. As a volunteer I’ve been involved from social services to healthcare to the environment and the arts is a new thing and I’m excited to try it and make a difference. I’m always learning by being in this type of environment,” Levinson said.

The day of the interview members of Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance company, were arriving to the Theatre for weekend performance. Levinson and Director of Development Lisa Colangelo admired the company’s dresses and suits, embroidered with different colors and smooth silk.

“Look at these costumes, aren’t they amazing?” Levinson remarked. “It’s something I love about being here.”

Attracted by the allure and proximity the Theatre, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, Levinson wanted to join the staff at Stamford and noted that many distinguished artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Diana Ross, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfield had performed on the very same stage she was currently standing on.

“I love being so close to the Palace Theater,” Levinson, who is originally from Boston, said. “I don’t think people should have to leave Stamford or Fairfield County because we have this gem here. It’s a historic cultural arts center and we have so much to offer,” Levinson said.

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Levinson will be partaking in the fundraising for the educational programs for children that take place in the Palace Theater during the summer.

“I’ll be helping to get funding for the education program to help maintain it but also to get the message out,” Levinson said. “We teach the kids about life skills and we also help those who can’t afford it by fundraising and providing scholarships.”

Having contributed to many local organizations, Levinson is prepared to add her piece to these efforts.

humberto.juarez@hearstmedia

ct.com

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