The Merryall Center for the Arts in New Milford is up and running for the season.

The season will include musical performances, a dance performance, as well as two new features -- lectures and one more children's program.

The lecture series will open July 16 at 8 p.m. with former Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who will speak about the behind-the-scenes working of state government.

A catered reception with the former governor will precede the lecture at 6:30 p.m.

The event will officially mark the center's 60th anniversary.

When the center opened 60 years ago as the Merryall Community Center, Fredric March -- in period costume -- read the Declaration of Independence, and Marian Anderson sang the National Anthem.

This year, Curtis Thompson will sing the National Anthem, by Curtis Thompson, and there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Future lectures will be held Sept. 10 with Stephen McGrath, a former New Milford High School social studies chair and nationally recognized expert on the American Revolution; and Sept. 24, with Norman Adler, a well-known political lobbyist.

Upcoming musical performances will include the Danbury Brass Band July 23, The Bearcats Aug. 21, Lynn Henderson and Roger Young and Nicole Pasternack Oct. 1.

In addition, Rebecca Anderson Darling and Company, will present an evening of dance, "In Motion," featuring many former and current Studio D dancers, July 30.

Regular performances will be at 8 p.m., except Aug. 21 when activities will begin at 3 p.m.

Regular performances will be at 8 p.m., except Aug. 21 when activities will begin at 3 p.m.

Lectures will be held Sept. 10 with Stephen McGrath, a former New Milford High School social studies chair and nationally recognized expert on the American Revolution, and Sept. 24 with and Norman Adler, a well-known political lobbyist.

One more children's event will be held: A Very Dance Tale, which will include some of Studio D's dancers and excerpts from the studio's "In Motion" annual performances, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m.

Tickets at the door for musical performances are $20 for adults and $10 for students. The children's program will cost $5 per person, with a $25 maximum per family.

All performances include refreshments and an opportunity to meet the performers.

For more information, call the center at Merryall and Chapel roads, at 860-354-7264 or visit www.merryallcenter.org.