ARTS HEROES
Artist image

Recognizing Connecticut's Arts Heroes

Established in 2016, the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards honor and celebrate Connecticut residents who are doing inspiring things for the arts.

The latest recipients were celebrated at Infinity Hall in Hartford. Each one received a Small State, Big Heart, Great Art framed print created by Hartford Prints! for the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

SEE PHOTOS FROM THE 2022 AWARDS CEREMONY

Email any of our staff members to learn more about this award.
2023 Awardees
Gabbie Barnes Picture
Gabbie Barnes, Hartford
Gabbie is a multicultural dreamer living, working, surviving, and sometimes thriving in the Hartbeat: Hartford, CT.
Marcella Monk Flake Picture
Marcella Monk Flake, New Haven
Marcella has over 37 years of teaching experience, with most of her career dedicated to students in New Haven’s Talented and Gifted Program.
Suzanne Gaskell Picture
Suzanne Gaskell, Lyme
Suzanne has taught photography, drawing, printmaking and more as a member of the Daniel Hand High School Art Department in Madison for over twenty years.
Amanda Hanzlik Picture
Amanda Hanzlik, Storrs
Amanda is the Director of Choral Activities at Edwin O. Smith High School in Storrs and will serve as President of the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Region from 2024-2026.
Stephanie Ingrassia Picture
Stephanie Ingrassia, Washington
Stephanie founded Spring Hill Vineyards with her husband Tim in 2006.
Deborah Tosun Kilday Picture
Deborah Tosun Kilday, Wolcott
Debbie is a new generation Beat Poet, published author, writer, nature photographer, illustrator and artist.
Philip Michalowski Picture
Philip Michalowski, New London
Phil is a municipal planner and development administrator who has lived in New London for over 50 years.
Duvian Montoya Picture
Duvian Montoya, Easton
Duvian is an artist, muralist, studio manager, curator, and community organizer.
Austin Scelzo Picture
Austin Scelzo, Danbury
Austin is a teacher, musician, and Bluegrass community advocate.

2022 Awardees

Sosse Baker of Chester
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Sosse is described as a cultural icon in Chester. With her late husband Jack, she founded Chester Gallery and made it the center for the local arts community where, for 36 years, newcomers were welcomed and introduced to the community. Sosse is an internationally known basket maker, and she enthusiastically donates her work to charity and has traveled to Uganda to help local makers create baskets that would be marketable to global consumers. For 17+ years, she has curated The Postcard Show featuring postcard-size art by local artists. Through her ingenious Creative Challenge to Artists, which links town history with art, Sosse raises funds for the Chester Historical Society while bringing out the inner artist in others.

Sosse is described as a cultural icon in Chester. With her late husband Jack, she founded Chester Gallery and made it the center for the local arts community where, for 36 years, newcomers were welcomed and introduced to the community. Sosse is an internationally known basket maker, and she enthusiastically donates her work to charity and has traveled to Uganda to help local makers create baskets that would be marketable to global consumers. For 17+ years, she has curated The Postcard Show featuring postcard-size art by local artists. Through her ingenious Creative Challenge to Artists, which links town history with art, Sosse raises funds for the Chester Historical Society while bringing out the inner artist in others.<br /> <br />
Matt Conway of East Granby
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Matt is a community developer, public art & placemaking innovator. He is Founder and Executive Director of The RiseUP Group. RiseUP's mission is to empower communities to imagine new possibilities. He has organized hundreds of public art projects and created significant paid opportunities for professional Connecticut artists who use public art to uplift communities. Matt launched the Creative Leadership Internship Program, a safe and creative space where youth are exposed to real life public art opportunities and are mentored working alongside professional muralists. His latest projects are The Studio CT labs which are physical creative incubator spaces in Hartford and Bridgeport and The Art Club to cultivate a creative community where artists can collaborate, learn, and create together.
Matt is a community developer, public art &amp; placemaking innovator. He is Founder and Executive Director of The RiseUP Group. RiseUP's mission is to empower communities to imagine new possibilities. He has organized hundreds of public art projects and created significant paid opportunities for professional Connecticut artists who use public art to uplift communities. Matt launched the Creative Leadership Internship Program, a safe and creative space where youth are exposed to real life public art opportunities and are mentored working alongside professional muralists. His latest projects are The Studio CT labs which are physical creative incubator spaces in Hartford and Bridgeport and The Art Club to cultivate a creative community where artists can collaborate, learn, and create together.
Kevin Diaz of New Haven
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Kevin’s efforts in the community are 100% to keep the Afro-Puerto Rican/Caribbean culture alive. He is the Founder and Director of Movimiento Cultural Afro-Continental Inc, a community-based organization with a mission to educate people about Puerto Rico’s rich African-based folklore, music, dance, and other art forms, especially the Bomba. Bomba, which is one of the oldest musical traditions dating back to the 17th century and rooted in slavery is a playful exchange between dancers, singers, and drummers. Kevin's multifaceted commitment to Bomba artists is due to his selfless character and his vision of sharing a safe space for healing, learning, and cultivating awareness, and self-esteem from one another. He has the doors open to anyone who wants to learn about the Afro-Puerto Rican culture or needs a place to strengthen their performance skills. There is no request too small for Kevin, he will always make you feel seen and heard.
Kevin&rsquo;s efforts in the community are 100% to keep the Afro-Puerto Rican/Caribbean culture alive. He is the Founder and Director of Movimiento Cultural Afro-Continental Inc, a community-based organization with a mission to educate people about Puerto Rico&rsquo;s rich African-based folklore, music, dance, and other art forms, especially the Bomba. Bomba, which is one of the oldest musical traditions dating back to the 17th century and rooted in slavery is a playful exchange between dancers, singers, and drummers. Kevin's multifaceted commitment to Bomba artists is due to his selfless character and his vision of sharing a safe space for healing, learning, and cultivating awareness, and self-esteem from one another. He has the doors open to anyone who wants to learn about the Afro-Puerto Rican culture or needs a place to strengthen their performance skills. There is no request too small for Kevin, he will always make you feel seen and heard.
Jim Felice of Ridgefield
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Jim is a sculptor, a musician, and a friend to all. At his Jim Felice Studio, you will encounter a full spectrum of artworks ranging from graffiti to live performances to monumental sculptures. Jim is a “go-to” individual for established artists as well as amateur, emerging, and unknown artists. He founded The Trailer Box Project to showcase the work of groundbreaking artists. The Trailer Box Project approaches the art gallery as a conceptual work of art where ideas are exchanged and curator and artist work together to create immersive exhibits. Jim is equally dedicated to bringing an audience to the artists whose work graces the walls. He has created a dynamic social hub with an environment of generosity for artists and for the surrounding community.
Jim is a sculptor, a musician, and a friend to all. At his Jim Felice Studio, you will encounter a full spectrum of artworks ranging from graffiti to live performances to monumental sculptures. Jim is a &ldquo;go-to&rdquo; individual for established artists as well as amateur, emerging, and unknown artists. He founded The Trailer Box Project to showcase the work of groundbreaking artists. The Trailer Box Project approaches the art gallery as a conceptual work of art where ideas are exchanged and curator and artist work together to create immersive exhibits. Jim is equally dedicated to bringing an audience to the artists whose work graces the walls. He has created a dynamic social hub with an environment of generosity for artists and for the surrounding community.
Bill Geddes of Woodbury
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Bill has spent his life inspiring others through his passion for the arts. His years as a high school music teacher were inspirational to his students, yet they were just a prelude to a new and unpaid “career” that has impacted every segment of the community. Bill is the founder and current president of the Woodbury-Bethlehem Community Music Foundation, which provides financial support for music education initiatives. As founding director of the Arts Alliance of Woodbury, Bill created the Woodbury Arts Festival, Arts Meet & Greets and Arts Walks. At the height of the pandemic, when public performances of all kinds were shuttered, Bill donned a kilt and carried his Highland Bagpipes to the end of his driveway where he played daily at sunset, lifting the spirits of neighbors and others who came to listen from their cars.
Bill has spent his life inspiring others through his passion for the arts. His years as a high school music teacher were inspirational to his students, yet they were just a prelude to a new and unpaid “career” that has impacted every segment of the community. Bill is the founder and current president of the Woodbury-Bethlehem Community Music Foundation, which provides financial support for music education initiatives. As founding director of the Arts Alliance of Woodbury, Bill created the Woodbury Arts Festival, Arts Meet &amp; Greets and Arts Walks. At the height of the pandemic, when public performances of all kinds were shuttered, Bill donned a kilt and carried his Highland Bagpipes to the end of his driveway where he played daily at sunset, lifting the spirits of neighbors and others who came to listen from their cars.

2021 Awardees

Jasmin Agosto of Hartford
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Jasmin’s vision for Sageseeker Productions was born out of a lifelong mission to build community through Black and POC-centered creative space. She has been organizing cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions alongside other artists, students, elders, and community organizers, and through schools and nonprofits in Hartford since she was a teenager. After over 10 years of work, she continued to see a lack of performance opportunities for womxn of color, especially queer womxn of color, and after establishing her company, put together the first La Sala Femme event in May 2018. La Sala Femme is a performance series where a diverse group of artists and healers come together to produce public experiences that release grief, inspire joy and cultivate curiosity in the community. By day, she develops creative and intergenerational programming through her position at the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library. As a producer and curator, she brings to the forefront Black womxn, womxn of color, non-binary and queer artists with the goal of fostering nourishing collaborations across the state of Connecticut and setting a standard for care in curation and equity in paid creative work.
Jasmin&rsquo;s vision for Sageseeker Productions was born out of a lifelong mission to build community through Black and POC-centered creative space. She has been organizing cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions alongside other artists, students, elders, and community organizers, and through schools and nonprofits in Hartford since she was a teenager. After over 10 years of work, she continued to see a lack of performance opportunities for womxn of color, especially queer womxn of color, and after establishing her company, put together the first La Sala Femme event in May 2018. La Sala Femme is a performance series where a diverse group of artists and healers come together to produce public experiences that release grief, inspire joy and cultivate curiosity in the community. By day, she develops creative and intergenerational programming through her position at the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library. As a producer and curator, she brings to the forefront Black womxn, womxn of color, non-binary and queer artists with the goal of fostering nourishing collaborations across the state of Connecticut and setting a standard for care in curation and equity in paid creative work.
Andrew Camacho of New London
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Andrew, artistically known as Suave-Ski is a successful hip-hop artist, actively involved in the New London arts community (recently voted into the Cultural District Commission). From recording music to producing videos, graphic designs, and websites for local artists and companies, he works to highlight musicians and events in the spirit of unity and collaboration. He is all about community and is described as an all-around prolific artist and inspiration. He will soon be launching Artflame, a non-profit music mentorship program he created to provide a comfortable and creative environment for area youth to pursue their passions and promote positivity, artistic growth, and collaboration through the music-making process.
Andrew, artistically known as Suave-Ski is a successful hip-hop artist, actively involved in the New London arts community (recently voted into the Cultural District Commission). From recording music to producing videos, graphic designs, and websites for local artists and companies, he works to highlight musicians and events in the spirit of unity and collaboration. He is all about community and is described as an all-around prolific artist and inspiration. He will soon be launching Artflame, a non-profit music mentorship program he created to provide a comfortable and creative environment for area youth to pursue their passions and promote positivity, artistic growth, and collaboration through the music-making process.
Shelby Davis of Waterbury
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Shelby is a life coach, author, theater enthusiast and educator with a love and passion for helping others. He established City Youth Theater, a theater company committed to challenging each student to perform at their highest level on and off the stage. Aside from impacting young adults through theater, Shelby has touched the lives of many through his books Meet Wyatt Brown & Everything My Parents Taught Me in 6 Steps, a book centered around guiding, encouraging, and motivating individuals to believe in themselves and to reach for their goals.
Shelby is a life coach, author, theater enthusiast and educator with a love and passion for helping others. He established City Youth Theater, a theater company committed to challenging each student to perform at their highest level on and off the stage. Aside from impacting young adults through theater, Shelby has touched the lives of many through his books Meet Wyatt Brown &amp; Everything My Parents Taught Me in 6 Steps, a book centered around guiding, encouraging, and motivating individuals to believe in themselves and to reach for their goals.
Marti Etter of Stamford
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Marti is co-founder and executive director of The Ballet School of Stamford, a non-profit devoted to nurturing young dancers through a disciplined and focused training program that brings out the best of their natural talent. Students are never turned away because they cannot afford classes – Marti finds a way to provide scholarships to all those who want to dance. She is passionate about arts education and the change it can bring to a child’s life.
Marti is co-founder and executive director of The Ballet School of Stamford, a non-profit devoted to nurturing young dancers through a disciplined and focused training program that brings out the best of their natural talent. Students are never turned away because they cannot afford classes &ndash; Marti finds a way to provide scholarships to all those who want to dance. She is passionate about arts education and the change it can bring to a child&rsquo;s life.
Kerry Kincy of Middletown
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Kerry is an artist with a strong commitment to bringing expressive arts into all spaces and all communities, particularly in underserved and invisible populations who are not traditionally served by arts organizations. Ms. Kincy is a core faculty member with New Haven Ballet’s Shared Abilities Program where dancers with and without physical disabilities work in partnership to create performances. She provides the vocabulary and the tools to utilize the transformative power of movement /dance to both typical and differently-abled communities, in schools, colleges, Alzheimer's residential programs, hospitals, correctional facilities and with veterans with PTSD. Kerry is the Founder and Director of Free Center Middletown and facilitates free programming with all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds to move together as a tool to strengthen social and cognitive abilities and an awareness of the mind/body connection as a path to healing. Kerry is an Expressive Arts Consultant to organizations and institutions, collecting data to understand the efficacy of their programming.
Kerry is an artist with a strong commitment to bringing expressive arts into all spaces and all communities, particularly in underserved and invisible populations who are not traditionally served by arts organizations. Ms. Kincy is a core faculty member with New Haven Ballet&rsquo;s Shared Abilities Program where dancers with and without physical disabilities work in partnership to create performances. She provides the vocabulary and the tools to utilize the transformative power of movement /dance to both typical and differently-abled communities, in schools, colleges, Alzheimer's residential programs, hospitals, correctional facilities and with veterans with PTSD. Kerry is the Founder and Director of Free Center Middletown and facilitates free programming with all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds to move together as a tool to strengthen social and cognitive abilities and an awareness of the mind/body connection as a path to healing. Kerry is an Expressive Arts Consultant to organizations and institutions, collecting data to understand the efficacy of their programming.

2020 Connecticut Arts Heroes

Brian Cohen of Chaplin
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Brian is an artist and a coordinator and promoter of art and artists. Through his work through Positive Expressions 93, he encourages youth to be creative, have pride in their artistry, and appreciate the art of others. Brian has donated his artwork to libraries, schools and other non-profit organizations. His proudest donation is to Camp Harkness in Waterford where three of his cedar sculptures help anchor the Enchanted Sensory Garden.
Brian is an artist and a coordinator and promoter of art and artists. Through his work through Positive Expressions 93, he encourages youth to be creative, have pride in their artistry, and appreciate the art of others. Brian has donated his artwork to libraries, schools and other non-profit organizations. His proudest donation is to Camp Harkness in Waterford where three of his cedar sculptures help anchor the Enchanted Sensory Garden.
Semina De Laurentis of Torrington
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Semina is the founder and artistic director of Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury. She has devoted herself for the past 30 years to making a difference for thousands of people by ensuring that the theater and all its activities are accessible and open to all. Through her work, Semina reaches out to all demographics with diversity and openness in casting, programming, volunteerism and employment.
Semina is the founder and artistic director of Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury. She has devoted herself for the past 30 years to making a difference for thousands of people by ensuring that the theater and all its activities are accessible and open to all. Through her work, Semina reaches out to all demographics with diversity and openness in casting, programming, volunteerism and employment.
Lucy Gellman of New Haven
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Lucy is a tireless advocate for the arts. She is a reporter, critic, "under-dog cheerleader" and mentor. She is described as "a magnifying glass, flashlight, amplifier and connector for all who care about the arts". Lucy is the editor of The Arts Paper, a publication of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, and she is the co-founder of the Youth Arts Journalism Project that creates a pathway for youth to gain journalism skills.
Lucy is a tireless advocate for the arts. She is a reporter, critic, "under-dog cheerleader" and mentor. She is described as "a magnifying glass, flashlight, amplifier and connector for all who care about the arts". Lucy is the editor of The Arts Paper, a publication of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, and she is the co-founder of the Youth Arts Journalism Project that creates a pathway for youth to gain journalism skills.
Edward Lent of Guilford
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Edward, also known as Ezra Lovecroft, is a published poet with a devotion to spreading love of the spoken word. He coordinates events (kids painting to poetry, open mic poetry nights, writing workshops for seniors) that bring together people of all ages, backgrounds, culture and race to feel heard, "to be honest to the point of tears or laughter" and to "shed the masks that we so often hide behind every day can be remarkable!". He donates all proceeds from his events to homeless shelters, food pantries and local farms growing pollinator pathways.
Edward, also known as Ezra Lovecroft, is a published poet with a devotion to spreading love of the spoken word. He coordinates events (kids painting to poetry, open mic poetry nights, writing workshops for seniors) that bring together people of all ages, backgrounds, culture and race to feel heard, "to be honest to the point of tears or laughter" and to "shed the masks that we so often hide behind every day can be remarkable!". He donates all proceeds from his events to homeless shelters, food pantries and local farms growing pollinator pathways.
Marilyn Malcarne of Deep River
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Marilyn is a dedicated, passionate and loving artist who understands that creativity at an early age motivates children to love art throughout their lives. She is a sculptor, painter, photographer, certified milliner and polymer clay artist. Marilyn's career was spent as an art teacher at Regional District #4 for 37 years,1 1/2 years at John Winthrop Middle School and taught ceramics at Middlesex Community College. In addition, Marilyn has been involved with the Deep River Junior Ancient Fife and Drum Corps for the past 38 years holding the position of Director for 34 of those years. Since 1995 Marilyn has had Starry Night Studio in Chester, where dozens of children spent weeks immersed in art, science and nature every summer.

Marilyn is a dedicated, passionate and loving artist who understands that creativity at an early age motivates children to love art throughout their lives. She is a sculptor, painter, photographer, certified milliner and polymer clay artist. Marilyn's career was spent as an art teacher at Regional District #4 for 37 years,1 1/2 years at John Winthrop Middle School and taught ceramics at Middlesex Community College. In addition, Marilyn has been involved with the Deep River Junior Ancient Fife and Drum Corps for the past 38 years holding the position of Director for 34 of those years. Since 1995 Marilyn has had Starry Night Studio in Chester, where dozens of children spent weeks immersed in art, science and nature every summer.<br /> <br />

2019 Connecticut Arts Heroes

Andrea Aron of Madison
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Andrea is an artist and an arts advocate who has dedicated her life to learning the arts and passing her knowledge onto the next generation. She advocates for the arts to be on the top of the priority list in Connecticut and is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has an equal change and ability to experience the arts.
Andrea is an artist and an arts advocate who has dedicated her life to learning the arts and passing her knowledge onto the next generation. She advocates for the arts to be on the top of the priority list in Connecticut and is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has an equal change and ability to experience the arts.
Rebecca Atkins of Norwich
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Becca uses the arts to change people's lives. Through Artreach's music/comedy/performances, she promotes recovery, increases resiliency and enhances the quality of life for so many. She is true inspiration who uses the power of the arts as a healing tool.
Becca uses the arts to change people's lives. Through Artreach's music/comedy/performances, she promotes recovery, increases resiliency and enhances the quality of life for so many. She is true inspiration who uses the power of the arts as a healing tool.
Chris Belden of Ridgefield
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Chris' compassion for those that are often ignored in society shines through with the dedication he brings to the inmate at Garner Correctional Center during his weekly volunteer creative-writing sessions. He believes all people deserve the right to express themselves, he allows that freedom to the inmates.
Chris' compassion for those that are often ignored in society shines through with the dedication he brings to the inmate at Garner Correctional Center during his weekly volunteer creative-writing sessions. He believes all people deserve the right to express themselves, he allows that freedom to the inmates.
Bill Dougal of Lebanon
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Bill provides laughter, creativity and smiles from ear-to-ear to children at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC). His talent for creating a caricature at lightning speed has children in awe and helps them forget why they are in the hospital for a little while; and that means the world to the children and the parents.
Bill provides laughter, creativity and smiles from ear-to-ear to children at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC). His talent for creating a caricature at lightning speed has children in awe and helps them forget why they are in the hospital for a little while; and that means the world to the children and the parents.
Jason Farquharson of Hartford
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Jason believes in his hometown of Hartford and in the beauty of the people who reside in its different neighborhoods. His Hartford Paint the City project focuses on the people and Jason celebrates them through his magnificent murals. He wants to change the way people think about Hartford by changing the way they see Hartford.
Jason believes in his hometown of Hartford and in the beauty of the people who reside in its different neighborhoods. His Hartford Paint the City project focuses on the people and Jason celebrates them through his magnificent murals. He wants to change the way people think about Hartford by changing the way they see Hartford.

2018 Connecticut Arts Heroes

Kim Stroud of Madison
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Kim is a dancer, dance teacher and the director of the arts at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

Kim is a dancer, dance teacher and the director of the arts at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.<br /> <br />
Shanna Melton of Bridgeport
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Shanna is a poet, curator and leader of the Writer's Group based in the City Light's Art Gallery in Bridgeport.
Shanna is a poet, curator and leader of the Writer's Group based in the City Light's Art Gallery in Bridgeport.
Calida Jones of Hartford
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Calida is a violinist, a violin teacher and the artistic director of Bravo Waterbury! at the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.

Calida is a violinist, a violin teacher and the artistic director of Bravo Waterbury! at the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.<br /> <br />
Dr. Jose Gonzalez of Quaker Hill
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Jose is a poet, writer and professor of English at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Jose is a poet, writer and professor of English at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Mark Aldrich of Newtown
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Mark is the founder of THE GARNER PLAYERS, a playwriting and 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.
Mark is the founder of THE GARNER PLAYERS, a playwriting and performance program at Garner Correctional Institute. He produces plays written and performed by inmates through the Theatre Arts &amp; Opportunities Foundation and volunteers at the Alternatives to Violence Project at McDougall, Cheshire and Garner Correctional Institutions.

2017 Connecticut Arts Heroes

Adam Atkins of Winsted
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Adam has taught music at The Gilbert School in Winsted for over 20 years. He is an educator who is highly dedicated to his students' success and devotes significant time when the school day ends to support his students.
Adam has taught music at The Gilbert School in Winsted for over 20 years. He is an educator who is highly dedicated to his students' success and devotes significant time when the school day ends to support his students.
Bruce John of Willimantic
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Bruce is the founder of the Breadbox Folk Theatre, a music and open mic venue whose concerts have raised over $40,000 to feed individuals and families in need throughout the Windham region and provides funds to offset the cost of heating the No Freeze shelter in Willimantic.
Bruce is the founder of the Breadbox Folk Theatre, a music and open mic venue whose concerts have raised over $40,000 to feed individuals and families in need throughout the Windham region and provides funds to offset the cost of heating the No Freeze shelter in Willimantic.
Suzanne Kachmar of Bridgeport
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Suzanne, a self-proclaimed "Bridgeport Art Lifer,” is a pioneer and leader in the Bridgeport arts community. She created the Bridgeport Art Trail, a four-day celebration of all things creative, cultural and arts-related in Bridgeport.
Suzanne, a self-proclaimed "Bridgeport Art Lifer,&rdquo; is a pioneer and leader in the Bridgeport arts community. She created the Bridgeport Art Trail, a four-day celebration of all things creative, cultural and arts-related in Bridgeport.
Lynnette Letsky Piombo of Waterbury
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Lynnette is a long-time volunteer in the Waterbury arts community, advocating for and participating in a diverse set of arts-related projects, programs and organizations.
Lynnette is a long-time volunteer in the Waterbury arts community, advocating for and participating in a diverse set of arts-related projects, programs and organizations.
Wendy Black-Nasta
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Wendy is the founder of Artists for World Peace, a group of artists and activists who promote peace and support some of the world's greatest challenges.
Wendy is the founder of Artists for World Peace, a group of artists and activists who promote peace and support some of the world's greatest challenges.

2016 Connecticut Arts Heroes

Lourdes "Lu" Rivera
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The first Arts Hero Award was presented in 2016 to the Connecticut Office of the Art’s grant administrator, Lourdes "Lu" Rivera, who has worked in the state's arts office, through its many name changes and merges, for over 25 years. In 2018, she celebrated her 30-year anniversary with the Arts office.
The first Arts Hero Award was presented in 2016 to the Connecticut Office of the Art&rsquo;s grant administrator, Lourdes "Lu" Rivera, who has worked in the state's arts office, through its many name changes and merges, for over 25 years. In 2018, she celebrated her 30-year anniversary with the Arts office.