to speak at

Grace Farms

New York Times and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali and Michelle Boorstein, of the Washington Post, will have an in-depth conversation on religion and its portrayal in American media on July 20.

The conversation, moderated by Lisa Lynne Kirkpatrick, community initiative director at Grace Farms Foundation, will take place at 365 Lukes Wood Road, New Canaan, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free.

Boorstein and Ali will share insights and personal stories about writing on faith in American life. Their experiences as journalists will inform their dialogue and allow for discussion on how individuals can contribute to civil discourse and their capacity for greater compassion in America’s pluralistic society.

Ali is a journalist, writer, lawyer, an award-winning playwright, a TV host and a consultant for the U.S. State Department. He contributes op-eds for The New York Times on the issues of religion, family life and politics in America. He is also a correspondent for CNN covering the same topics. In 2012, Ali was honored as a “Generation Change Leader” by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and as an Emerging Muslim American Artist by the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Boorstein covered regions across the United States for the Associated Press before joining The Washington Post to report on religion. She has been awarded Religion Reporter of the Year” three times by the Religion Newswriters Association in 2011, 2013 and 2017. In 2017, she studied the renegotiation of religion’s place in American public life as a Harvard University U.S. Neiman Fellow.

The program “Portraying Faith: An Inside View of Religion and the Media” is part of Grace Farms Foundation’s Faith Initiative. Public programs aim to bring individuals together to build empathy across lines of religious difference and pursue the common good.

Portraying Faith will follow the foundation’s July Community Dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register, go to

Armstrong joins Halstead in

New Canaan

Jane Armstrong has joined Halstead in New Canaan, a residential real estate brokerage firm based operating in the New York metropolitan area. Armstrong brings to Halstead real estate knowledge and sales experience, and has sold property in her real estate career in the towns of New Canaan, Stamford and Norwalk.

“We are thrilled to have Jane as part of the Halstead family,” said Sharon Daley, executive director of sales. “She’s a consummate professional and her real estate savvy and positive attitude make her a tremendous asset to her clients.”

Armstrong, who was previously at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Property for five years, moved to New Canaan in 1993. Prior to real estate, she worked in New York in the public relations department for E.F. Hutton, and in client services for Lehman Brothers. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she received a bachelor’s degrees in economics and French. Armstrong is a member of the New Canaan Board of Realtors, the Connecticut Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and the New Canaan and Smart MLS.

‘Marine & Coastal’ art winners

The Rowayton Arts Center announced the winners of its “Marine & Coastal” exhibit during its opening reception on July 1. The show featured artwork with a marine and coastal theme and included paintings, drawings, photos and sculptures. Award-winning artist and instructor Will McCarthy selected the winners from almost 80 entries.

Marianne Rothballer, of New Canaan, won first place in the watercolor category for her piece, “View from Wilson Point.” Virginia Jennewein, also of New Canaan, won second place in the oil category for her piece, “Rocks — Sherwood Island Park.”

The exhibition will be on view until July 29. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The RAC Gallery and Art School are on Five Mile River in Norwalk, 145 Rowayton Ave; visit

Dean’s list students

New Canaan residents Leanne Macaione and Lily Overacker were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Ithaca College.

Bridget K. Callahan, Andrew J. Chalon and Isabelle M. Porter, all of New Canaan, were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Clemson University.

Among the graduates

New Canaan residents Sophia Curiale, Lauren Howe and John Schlegel graduated from Loyola University Maryland on May 19.

Michael Pickhardt, of New Canaan, recently graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in writing for film, television and emerging media.