COA Monthly Newsletter – August 2017

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Texas and Louisiana. May you find strength in the healing power of the arts.
The Department of Economic and Community Development and its Office of the Arts will be moving to 450 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford this September. The move will begin on September 15. Please note the staff’s email addresses will remain the same but telephone numbers will be changing and will be posted on our website when they become available.
The Governor and members of the General Assembly continue to meet to negotiate the state budget for fiscal years 2018 – 2019. As reported in the news, the General Assembly plans to vote on a budget the week of September 11, 2017.
No final decisions regarding fiscal year 2018 grants can be made until the CT Office of the Arts receives a confirmed allocation in the state budget. The following grant programs are on hold: Supporting Arts in Place, Arts Projects, Regional Initiative, Arts Learning and Artist Fellowship.
On the national level, in July, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that funds both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, albeit with about $5 million in cuts to each agency, at $145 million each in fiscal year 2018.  The measure has not received a vote from the full House of Representatives. Please take moment to read Ted Johnson’s article, PopPolitics: Why Arts Funding is Still At Risk(Variety, August 28, 2017).
Adam Chambers received the 2017 Kasey Gaffney Shea Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Scholar Award at Connecticut Office of the Arts’ HOT Schools Summer Institute in July.
Adam is a visual, language and sound artist whose figurative work is stylistically a hyper-contemporary blend of imagination, whimsy, absurdity, and surreal imagery, but one which is both intensely personal and often culturally archetypal at the same time. As a teaching artist, Adam has founded The H.O.P.E. Project, a collaborative effort with other artists that uses visual poetry as an easily accessible medium for creative expression, to provide intensive workshops to marginalized members of the community such as those experiencing homelessness and/or challenges to their mental health. He has also facilitated workshops using the creative arts as a healing tool for others, and has spoken on behalf of the CT Office of the Arts on the topic of the Arts, PTSD and the Military.
The Kasey Gaffney Shea HOT Schools Scholar Award provides the opportunity for an artist interested in working in a school setting to attend COA’s prestigious HOT Schools Summer Institute where they develop and hone skills as a teaching artist and network with other artists and educators. Adam wanted to attend the HOT Summer Institute because of his interest in expanding his work as a teaching artist. Of his experience Adam writes “I learned so much last week, and made so many wonderful connections with other artists, teachers, and arts advocates. It really was very special – a life-changing conference.”
Congratulations Adam!
The National Endowment for the Artsand the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Connecticut Office of the Arts to support 2018 Poetry Out Loud, a FREE high school program which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This dynamic program helps high school students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about their literary heritage, and compete for more than $100,000 in awards.
Each winner at the state level will receive:
  • A $200 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC
  • A $500 cash stipend for their school to purchase poetry materials
  • An opportunity to compete at the 2018 National Finals for the title of National Champion and a $20,000 prize
How do I get my students involved?
In order to compete, schools must register by contacting Adriane Jefferson!
For more information, visit!
Recognizing the need to provide hands-on, practical work experience not typically available to students and emerging professionals in the traditional academic setting, the Connecticut Office of the Arts has established an unpaid internship program. This program may be used by qualified students to obtain academic credit from their institution, but is also open to professional-track applicants not currently enrolled in an academic institution. Connecticut Office of the Arts interns also get the opportunity to complete an Arts Workforce Entry internship project that can also be used as a capstone or research project to help fulfill the academic requirement at your school or university and/or is great to have in your professional portfolio!
Connecticut Office of the Arts is currently seeking to fill the two following internship positions:
Responsibilities: Research, organization, planning, data collection, various aspects of grant making, field development (building connections between and among schools and arts/cultural organizations), and many more exciting projects!
Requirement: Must demonstrate an interest in the field of arts in education and/or arts administration.
Responsibilities: Updates to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, news and announcements, perform research to find articles, stories, resources and other relevant content, develop relevant content (video, photos, etc.), organize COA’s YouTube Channel, and help to increase social media interaction, presence and followers.
Requirement: Must demonstrate an interest in the field of arts and/or communications.
For more information about internship opportunities, please contact Adriane Jefferson.
Each year the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) convenes the state and regional Accessibility Coordinators at the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference. This year the LEAD conference took place in Austin, TX with 39 state and regional coordinators and over 400 conference goers from all sectors of the arts. Connecticut was in attendance with Tamara Dimitri from the Office of the Arts participating in the NEA peer sessions and overall conference workshops. The workshops immerse conference goers in up-to-date trends in the field, introduce new ideas, and provide tips for success to ensure the arts are accessible to all abilities.
Visit our website for accessibility resources or contact the state’s Accessibility Coordinator Tamara Dimitri.
The Office of the Arts would like to thank the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for providing support for state representatives to attend the annual LEAD conferences.
Back in April, we did a call for Connecticut Art Stories. We wanted to hear from our constituents about how the arts have had an impact on their communities or in their personal or professional life. We were particularly interested in stories about how a publicly funded grant from the CT Office of the Arts or from the National Endowment for the Arts made difference in their life or their community. Thanks to everyone who submitted their story and a special thanks to our intern Nicholas Sharp for pulling them all together! We hope you enjoy!
The Arts Workforce Initiative (AWI), a pilot program offered by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, is a paid 10-week internship program giving college students and emerging arts professionals on opportunity to gain hands-on and engaging work experience with creative organizations throughout the state.
If you are interested in being an Art Workforce Initiative intern or a host organization, contact Adriane Jefferson.
CreativeGround spotlights the creative people and places at work in New England: cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like recording studios and design agencies, and artists of all disciplines such as performing arts, visual arts, and crafts. Why? To connect them with each other and with you. Because vibrant neighborhoods go hand-in-hand with a vibrant creative sector.
  • SEARCH to find potential collaborators and resources
  • PROMOTE yourself or your New England enterprise to a broad audience     Learn more
  • EXPLORE the creative assets of your community
A project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), CreativeGround is brought to you through ongoing partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development/Office of the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, theRhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Vermont Arts Council.
Check out the Monthly Wire – a newsletter from Americans For the Arts!
It includes Making Headlines, Advocacy News, Serving the Needs of the Field, Arts Partnerships, Business & Philanthropy News, Grant opportunities, Jobs and more!
Read August news from the New England Foundation for the Arts!
In this issue: National Theater Project Awards / IMMIGRATION NATION Panel at Urbano Project / CCX Participant Survey Results are In / Attend an Event / Recently Awarded Grants / On the Blog / Apply for a Grant!
The National Endowment for the Arts will offer three webinars that provide opportunities for the public to engage with experts in the field such as Cynthia Lopez, former NYC film commissioner; Sarah Wolozin, director of MIT Open Doc Lab; and Sue Shardt, CEO of the Association for Independents in Radio.
  • State of the Documentary Field / Building Resiliency: Emerging Forms & Collaborative Networks on Tuesday, September 5
  • Research: Art Works Guidelines on September 6
  • State of the Documentary Field / Supporting Independent Productions: Film Rebate & Tax Incentive Programs on Thursday, September 21
  • Evidence at the Core of the 21st Century Local Arts Agency on September 28
  • State of the Documentary Field / Strengthening Communities: Regional Programs & Public Broadcast Initiatives on Thursday, October 12
All webinars take place from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. All guest presenters, session descriptions and registration details are here.
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