Marian Anderson was an extremely talented local woman who, despite her incredible knack for singing, grew up in an era through which the color of her skin prevented many from recognizing her talents.

Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Anderson lived in Danbury, CT for many years, where she would practice her vocals in a studio on her Mill Plain area property, which has since been relocated to Main St.

In her famed career, she toured all over America, and according to Western Connecticut State University, one of her most notable venues was Carnegie Hall. Even with her increased popularity, she still struggled with performing in certain places one of those being Princeton University. Due to the color of her skin, Anderson was denied entry to many hotels and restaurants, and often stayed with Albert Einstein, who was very accepting of her race.

According to, Marian Anderson became so popular in the 1930s that she was invited to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington DC. She was later uninvited to sing, however, due to her skin color. Many people were outraged by this, so Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial instead. Then, in 1961, Anderson was invited to sing at John F. Kennedy's Presidential Inauguration, and two years later,  Kennedy awarded her with the Medal of Freedom.

For all of those reasons and more, Western Connecticut State University is currently fundraising to change the name of the Visual and Performing Arts Building in her honor.

Anderson certainly made a difference in the Civil Rights movement and due to her achievements in the Danbury area and beyond, she is someone that students of Western Connecticut State University should aspire to be like.

For more information on the campaign to dedicate the Visual and Performing Arts Building, visit the Marian Anderson Campaign