Welcome

to the Darien Community Association

The DCA provides a unique community home in a welcoming setting, with stimulating learning and outreach experiences for the enrichment of the community. Within this site you will find information about our history and multifaceted mission, programs and activities that are open to the public, DCA groups, renting our historic home for your event, and our college scholarship program. Should you require more information, please contact us.

In the event of inclement weather, we will typically follow any closing decisions of the Darien Public Schools.

Author Amor Towles Spoke to a Sold-Out Crowd

Book Talk and Signing with Author Amor Towles
On Wednesday evening, October 4, The New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles spoke at the Darien Community Association about his latest novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, to a sold-out crowd. It was a beautiful night to enjoy a drink with friends in our DCA historic formal garden before Amor discussed his book and answered questions from the audience.  Did you get a chance to have Amor sign your book?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Cheese, Wine and Cider Tasting with Darien Cheese and Fine Foods

Thursday, November 2
7:00pm – 9:00pm
DCA members $50 / public $60
Prepayment is required by Friday, October 27.

Ken Skovron and the staff from Darien Cheese and Fine Foods will be recreating their shop at the DCA for a special cheese, wine and cider tasting!

Guests that evening will have a tasting of a lifetime, including at least one variety from the cheese family tree, imported and locally-sourced. Every texture and flavor from delicate goat cheeses to complex mountain cheeses to super funky and blue will be covered!

This is a wonderful opportunity to sample new cheeses, enjoy Ken’s hand-picked wine and cider pairings, interact with the experts and expand your knowledge and selections for the upcoming holiday season.

Click for online registration

Stay tuned for the new DCA website!

We have been working on this project over the summer and will be going live shortly.  A new website was a goal of our strategic planning process, and it will be mobile-friendly, with a clean new design and full-screen images.

 

2017 Strategic Plan Executive Summary

In early 2017 the Darien Community Association embarked on a strategic planning process to develop a roadmap for organizational development over the next three years. The plan is intended to drive positive change within the Darien Community Association while also embracing continuity. The plan provides a sharper focus to the DCA’s work in terms of both programming and financial strength.

Environmental Scan
The DCA’s environmental scan involved over 300 individuals including members, donors, board, staff, local partners and community leaders. Several themes arose from the interviews and survey. The DCA’s programming is well respected in the community and people love its historic house and grounds. The Thrift Shop is a large source of income and helps support the DCA mission, including significant scholarship funding to Darien High School graduates. With some gentle building updates and strengthening its marketing, the DCA may become a premier event and meeting space. In addition, the DCA should continue to build community partnerships and develop programs to attract a broader array of the community.

Vision Statement
The preferred place for all to gather, give and learn.

Mission Statement
Enriching our community in a welcoming, historic setting for lifelong learning, philanthropy, and enjoyment.

Core Operating Values
At the DCA we:

  • Encourage the joy of learning for all generations
  • Give back with gifts of time, resources, opportunities and fellowship
  • Share the beauty of our historic house and grounds
  • Strive for high standards in all we offer


Goals
In keeping with the findings in the environmental scan and in-depth conversations with the strategic planning team, the DCA will focus on the following five key areas in the next three years:

1. Marketing – To improve awareness and reach in order to build stronger community
attachment and participation.

2. Partnership and Collaborations – To expand and cultivate partnerships and
collaborations to strengthen our role as community leader and to further our
mission.

3. Human Resources – To recruit and retain the highest quality board members,
volunteers, and staff.

4. Programming – To create a profitable portfolio of quality programs that attracts a
broader audience.

5. Financial Sustainability – To secure resources to fully support the DCA’s annual
operating and capital needs.

 

Amended Bylaws; Slate for the 2017-2018 DCA Board of Directors

As part of our strategic plan work, and with legal counsel provided through the Pro Bono Partnership, the DCA has drafted amended bylaws, for your consideration.  For comparison purposes, we are posting our existing bylaws as well.     

The bylaws have been updated to reflect current state statutes governing non-profits, and will provide needed flexibility for minor changes in our operations – such as the structure of our various board committees.

The amended bylaws retain the requirement that the DCA membership approve the proposed board of directors slate at each year’s annual meeting, as well as vote on fundamental changes to the organization.

A member vote on the proposed amended bylaws, as well as the board of directors slate, will take place at our annual meeting on Thursday, May 25th, 9:30 am, and will precede the presentation from our guest speakers: David Genovese and Penny Glassmeyer.

Happy Easter from the DCA!

Our annual DCA Mom’s Morning In Easter Egg Hunt was enjoyed by many little ones as they “hunted” for eggs and then visited with the Easter Bunny. To see all the pictures from today, check out our DCA Facebook page.

Easter Egg hunt - bunny

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - bunny & line

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - bunny & line running

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kids 3 on steps

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - line running

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kids 2

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kids 4

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kid 1

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kids 5

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - family 1

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg hunt - kids Dorin

 

 

 

Thanks to all who came to our “Denim & Diamonds Hoedown” Fundraiser at the DCA !

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/denimdiamondshoedown/Wow – what a night!

Between the live country band, the dance exhibitions, delicious food and all those auction prizes… last night’s fundraiser was a great event! To those who joined us for the evening, the volunteers who worked so hard on every detail, and our donors and sponsors, thank you for your support, and for making the evening a success for the DCA mission, including scholarships for Darien High School graduates. We have some great photos which are posted on the DCA Facebook page. Please feel free to add yours too!

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/denimdiamondshoedown/

 

 

 

 

 

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/denimdiamondshoedown/

 

 

 

 

 

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/denimdiamondshoedown/

 

 

 

 

 

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/denimdiamondshoedown/

DCA Planning Survey

http://dariendca.org/The DCA is working to create a strategic plan with a clear direction and focus for our work over the next 2-3 years. An important step in the planning process is to hear from the community – our members, donors, program participants, clients, community partners, and others – to tell us what you feel is working and what could be done better. 

We would appreciate your taking the time to complete a short 5-10 minute survey using the link provided below.  For those wishing to expand on your survey responses and tell us even more, you will have the opportunity at the end of the survey to sign up for a one hour focus group. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DCA17

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and for helping us plan for the DCA’s future.   

Join Us This Week to Hear Our Last Thursday Morning Academic Lecture Series Presenter

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/academic-lecture-series/Last week over 200 people enjoyed Fiona Hill’s presentation on “Barbarians at the Gate? The EU Confronts the Outside World.”

Join us this Thursday, January 26th, to hear Gregory Maniatis from the Migration Policy Institute discuss “Why Should We Care? The Strategic and Human Significance of the Mediterranean Refugee Crisis.”  Single tickets ($30) will be available at the door.

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/academic-lecture-series/Gregory A. Maniatis is Senior Advisor to Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for Migration, Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundations, Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, and a co-director of Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Maniatis has worked closely with the European Commission, EU member state governments, the European Parliament, international organizations, and civil society groups on all aspects of migration policy. 

There is still time to purchase your tickets for the conclusion of our Academic Lecture Series on Monday evening, January 30th.  There will be a reception at 7:30pm and the lecture will begin at 8:00pm. Constanze Stelzenmüller from the Brookings Institution will speak about “America’s Most Essential Alliance.”  Some single tickets ($30) for the Monday evening lecture & reception will be available at the door.

http://dariendca.org/activities-programs/academic-lecture-series/Constanze Stelzenmüller, an expert on German, European, and transatlantic foreign and security policy and strategy, is the inaugural Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. Prior to working at Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she directed the influential Transatlantic Trends survey program. Her areas of expertise include: transatlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the European Union’s foreign, security, and defense policy; international law; and human rights.

Click to purchase Monday evening tickets online and for more details about our speakers.