Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

May 7, 2024
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |

Sen. Lesser, Newington Delegation Secure $445,000 for Town

State Senator Matt LesserState Representatives Gary Turco and Kate Farrar and Mayor Jon Trister welcome $445,000 for Newington.

  • $300,000 for the Newington Children’s Theater Company for capital improvements
  • $100,000 for the Deming-Young Farm Foundation for barn rehabilitation
  • $45,000 for the Town of Newington for signage construction

The funding comes from $372.5 million in soon-to-expire American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, secured by Sen. Lesser and voted on by the state legislature at large. The legislation passed the house with a 103-48 vote, and the Senate by 26-10.

“Helping Newington Children’s Theater Company win major capital support and the Deming-Young Farm finish work on its historic barn were priorities for the Newington delegation this session,” said Senator Lesser. “Newington Children’s Theater Company has been an institution for decades, and provides an outstanding experience for area children. The Deming-Young Farm preserves a historic 1784 farm, an important part of Newington’s history and valuable open space that provides historical enrichment for schoolchildren across the region. I made returning this funding to Newington my priority in budget negotiations. I am thrilled we were able to win overwhelming support for these investments in Newington and am grateful to President Biden and our federal delegation for making the funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act and to legislative leaders and my colleagues for supporting our request.”

“These allocations are great investments in our community,” said Rep. Turco. “NCTC is a treasure for our youth and these capital improvements will allow them to educate and entertain for many years to come, while funding to preserve the historic 1700s Deming-Young Farm Barn ensures we are preserving our history for all to enjoy.”

“These state grants are a win for the residents of Newington and the 20th District,” Rep. Farrar said. “Residents of all ages in Newington and across the region will benefit from the Newington Children’s Theatre improvements, historic rehabilitation at the Deming-Young Farm, and town signage. I’m proud to work as a team with Senator Lesser and Representative Turco to deliver for our community.”

“We are so thankful to Senator Lesser and our entire legislative delegation for their hard work in securing this ARPA funding for these items in the budget stabilization bill,” said Newington Mayor Jon Trister. “This funding will go to programs and projects that will benefit all of Newington residents in multiple different ways!”

“I am thrilled to receive this grant through the efforts of Sen. Lesser. This grant will enable the Deming-Young Farm Foundation to continue and complete the repairs and the restoration of the 1784 Thomas Deming farmhouse in Newington,” said David Goodale, President of the Deming-Young Farm Foundation.

“We have shown tremendous growth since coming out of COVID, but the limitations of our physical space have been stifling,” says Claire Van Cott, NCTC’s Executive and Artistic director. “This support from the state will go such a long way toward getting us back to having a performance space of our own, one that accommodates how far we’ve come and how much further we’ll be able to go. Theater brings so much joy to children, while cleverly sneaking in important life lessons about responsibility, teamwork, discipline and building self-confidence.”

“As the state’s longest-running nonprofit children’s theatre, each year we serve hundreds of families from three dozen towns, with programming throughout the year for kids of all ages and experience levels,” says Chris DeFrancesco, NCTC’s Board President. “We are enormously grateful to Sen. Lesser, Rep. Farrar and Rep. Turco for their advocacy and recognition of NCTC’s value to the community as we carry out our mission of providing a safe, accessible, welcoming place for children to explore their creativity and grow, both as performers and as people.”

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