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Connecticut Arts Day 2018

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Hartford Stage

50 Church Street

Hartford, CT 06103

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description


CONNECTICUT ARTS DAY celebrates Connecticut’s investment in and support of the arts and reaffirms the significant role the arts play in our state.

The day includes special performances, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards and the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Judy Dworin, founder of the Judy Dworin Performance Project!

Connecticut Arts Day has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

8:00 am
* along with a continental breakfast by The Kitchen at Billings Forge
Location: Hartford Stage lobby

9:00 am (SHARP!)
Location: Hartford Stage

The morning program will feature a special performance by Quick Center for the Arts' artist-in-residence DBR (Daniel Bernard Roumain), with additional performances by Chad Browne-Springer, Zulynette, and Los Gigantes de la Plana! Featured speakers include Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman; State Representative Matt Ritter; Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Department of Economic & Community Development; Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of the Connecticut Office of the Arts; musician and songwriter Doug Wimbish; Cheryl Schiele from the National Endowment for the Arts; Cathy Edwards from the New England Foundation for the Arts; Amy Wynn from the Connecticut Arts Alliance, and our very own Lu Rivera, Grants Administor at the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The morning program will include a presentation on the Land Art Generator Initiative - Willimantic and a keynote address from Dr. Bettina Love!

Dr. Bettina Love is a powerful speaker with a powerful message. Dr. Love is an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her research also focuses on how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and anti-sexist educational, equitable classrooms.

11:00 am
Location: Hartford Stage, Upward Hartford and Hartford Hilton

Panel A: Advocacy to Activism, hosted by the Connecticut Arts Alliance
* with a poetry reading by Bessy Reyna!
Panelists will share their personal experiences/observations on successful arts advocacy efforts or how the lack of arts advocacy efforts was detrimental. This is an inspirational how-to session covering grassroots advocacy and the Create the Vote campaign. Panelists: Amy Wynn, President, Connecticut Arts Alliance & Executive Director, Northwest CT Arts Council; Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater New Haven; Calida Jones, Artistic Director, Bravo Waterbury! @ Waterbury Symphony Orchestra; Matt Wilson, Executive Director, MASSCreative; and Diane Ploch of the Arts & Culture Collaborative, Waterbury.

Panel B: Artists and Resiliency in their Practice
* with a spoken word performance by Kimolee Eryn!
Panelists will discuss and provide strategies for preparing, empowering, and sustaining resilient artists. Artists and arts administrators will gain insight into successful tactics that speak to artists of all disciplines. Panelists include: Suzy Delvalle, President and ED of Creative Capital; Jenifer Simon, Director of Programs & Outreach at CERF + The Artists Safety Net, Sharon Butler, Founder & Editor of Two Coats of Paint and Juliana Steele, Director of Development for Fractured Atlas. Moderated by Min Jung Kim, Director, New Britain Museum of American Art.

Panel C: Talent is Universal, Opportunity is Not
* with a theatrical monologue performance by Alicia Thompson!
Panelists will discuss how can artists and organizations create opportunities to amplify talent at its source. Panelists include: Mallory Mason, The People Project/CT Public Broadcasting Network; Poet and artist Zulynette; Composer, performer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain "DBR"; Dr. Timothy Watt, Andover Bread Loaf & English teacher at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury; with moderator Floyd Green, Corporate Vice President at AETNA. Closing remarks by Jamal Jimerson, The Minority Inclusion Project.

Panel D: Arts, Education and Resiliency - Igniting the Process
* with Rise Up performance by Hartford City Ballet!
Panelists will discuss the important role of arts in education in fostering hopefulness and understanding in young people, explore the relationship between arts and resiliency in education, and ways to guide resilience as proactive rather than reactive. Panelists include: Victoria Christgau, Executive Director of the CT Center for Nonvolience; Judy Dworin, Executive and Artistic Director of the Judy Dworin Performance Project; and Dr. Bettina Love, Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia, with moderator Richard Sugarman, President of Hartford Promise.

Following the panel discussions, join us on Church Street for a Hip Hop Dance and Afro Beat performance by Michael Raymond Okoasia!

12 noon
LUNCH *the cost for lunch is included in the CT Arts Day registration fee
Location: Hartford Hilton Ballroom, 3rd floor

12:15 pm
Enjoy a performance by Bravo Waterbury!'s Bucket Band & Choir!
Location: Hartford Hilton Ballroom, 3rd Floor

12:30 pm
Location: Hartford Hilton Ballroom, 3rd floor

Judy Dworin of The Judy Dworin Performance Project (JDPP) will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her inspiring and innovative work on stage, in schools, in prisons and in the community that raises awareness about social issues and creates positive change through creative expression. Judy Dworin founded JDPP in 1989 based on a commitment to the important role the arts can and do play in challenging and creating change.

The luncheon program will feature Keynote Speaker Greg Galle, Co-Founder of Future Partners about their radical problem-solving system - Think Wrong - that gets people and organizations "thinking wrong" to solve their "most wicked problems"; a small talks/presentations with Mohamad Hafez & Ahmed Badr of Unpacked: Refugee Baggage; Dee Schneidman from the New England Foundation for the Arts; Jaclyn Rudderrow from VH-1 Save the Music Foundation; Sunny Widmann & Taneisha Duggan from National Arts Strategies, Dave Rudder from Make Music Alliance; and performances by Mike Casey and A CHORUS LINE by students at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts!

Following the lunch program, enjoy a performance by The Chamber Singers of the Connecticut Choral Society outside the Hartford Hilton Ballroom!

1:45 pm
Location: Hartford Hilton

These are fast-paced presentations about existing and unique arts initiatives taking place throughout the state given by the people who are making them happen.

Session A: Arts Workforce Initiative
Featuring presentations by Robert Calafiore, Assistant Director of Admission, The Hartt School at University of Hartford; Dee Schneidman, Research and Creative Economy Program Director, New England Foundation for the Arts; Tom Griggs, Co-Executive Director and Director of Development, International Festival of Arts & Ideas; Steven Raider-Ginsburg, Director, Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities; Kia Baird, Senior Director, Writer’s Block; Brittany Gauthier, Director of Community Engagement, Judy Dworin Performance Project; Stacey Queen, Education Associate, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture; and Maritza Quintuna, 2017 Arts Workforce Initiative Intern.

Session B: No Number Without A Story; No Story Without A Number - Model Teacher/Artist Collaborative Residencies
* with a poetry reading by Abioseh Cole The Vegan Poet
This session will feature presentations by teacher/artist teams including John Lyman School, Middletown: Teacher Carol Sibiskie and Teaching Artist Kim Thibodeau; Integrated Day Charter School, Norwich: Teachers Melissa Dearborn and Terri Woronecki; Jack Jackter Intermediate School, Colchester: Teacher Barbara Johnson and Teaching Artist Balam Soto; Nathan Hale Elementary School, New London: Artist Derron Wood of Flock Theatre; Lincoln Middle School, Meriden: Teacher Nathan Smedley and Teaching Artist Beth Klingher. Moderated by Ken O'Brien, Principal, Kinsella School of the Performing Arts, Hartford.

Session C: Fellowship Artists - Create and Inspire with Determination and Fortitude
This session will kick-off with a performance by Mariachi Mexico Antiguo and will feature presentations by Shannon Kiley a.k.a Olive Tiger, singer/songwriter; John O’Donnell, multidisciplinary artist/performer; Carolina Guimarey, visual artist; Ted Thomas, choregrapher; Roland Becerra & Kelly Bigelow Becerra, film-makers, visual artists/designers; Marek Czarnecki, folk and traditional artist/icon painter; along with remarks by Folk & Traditional Arts Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Cheryl Schiele.

3:00 pm
THE HEALING WORLD PROJECT presented by University of Saint Joseph
Location: Hartford Stage

3:15 pm
Location: Hartford Stage

Please join us in honoring nine (9) individuals as they are presented with a 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero Award! These nine Connecticut residents are doing extraordinary work in, for, or through the arts. The 2018 Connecticut Arts Heroes are:

Leslie Elias is Co-Founder & Artistic Director of the Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children's Theatre, as well as a published playwright, director, actress, storyteller and teaching artist.
Kim Stroud is a dancer, dance teacher and the Director of the Arts at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
Mark Aldrich is an author & illustrator and Founder of THE GARNER PLAYERS, a playwriting/performance program at Garner Correctional Institute. He produces plays written and performed by inmates through the Theatre Arts & Opportunities foundation and volunteers at the Alternatives to Violence Project at McDougall, Cheshire and Garner Correctional Institutions.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez is a poet, writer and Professor of English at the US Coast Guard Academy.
Mohamad Hafez is a Syrian-born artist, architect, and co-creator of UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, a multi-media installation that seeks to humanize the word “refugee”.
Calida Jones is a violin teacher and Artistic Director of Waterbury Symphony Orchestra's "Bravo Waterbury!" program.
Elizabeth Morgan is a former board member and served as the volunteer Executive Director of Oddfellows Playhouse in MIddletown. She is also a youth advocate.
Kerri Quirk is a visual artist and a person with autism who is deaf. Her art is truly her voice.
Shanna Melton is a poet, curator and leader of the Writer’s Group based in City Lights Gallery in Bridgeport.

The closing ceremony will include an appearance and performance by Connecticut State Troubadour Kate Callahan, a poetry reading by John L Stanizzi and a Breakdancing Shakespeare grand finale!

3:45 pm
Location: Hartford Stage

Join us in the lobby of the Hartford Stage for cocktails and networking. Enjoy a special perfomance from Theaterworks' The Legend of Georgia McBride, U.S. based Nigerian music artiste Richie Smile, and Live Doodling by designer and artist Constanza Segovia.


Public parking options include, but are not limited to:

  • Mat Garage on Church Street. Discounted Rate: $6.50
    You must present your CT Arts Day ticket to receive the discounted rate.

  • Church Street / Hartford Hilton Garage on Church Street. Discounted Rate: $8.00
    Bring your parking ticket to the Hilton Front Desk for validation!

  • For more parking locations throughout the City, click here!

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You may email Rhonda F. Olisky at rhonda.olisky@ct.gov with questions or special needs.

What's the refund policy?

There is a No Refund policy for Connecticut Arts Day. You may transfer your ticket to another individual. The indiviudal must have your printed ticket in hand.

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Date and Time


Hartford Stage

50 Church Street

Hartford, CT 06103

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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