January 16, 2019
On January 16 at The State House in New Haven, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) will present a chance to experience a 1:1 in-depth conversation with Christopher Brown, Senior National Director of Pop Promotion & Artist Development at Sony Music Entertainment.

The discussion will tap into Christopher's insight on what goes on "behind the scenes" in labels giving a breakdown of streaming and what artists need to do to get in front of the right individuals. Brand Strategist, Publicist and "Millennial Goal Digger" Brianna Regine will moderate the discussion and the audience will be able to ask questions towards the end of the discussion.

R.E.A.D.I Talk with Christopher Brown
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:00 - 9:00 pm
The State House , 310 State Street, New Haven

This event is free-of-charge. There will be a cash bar available for attendees 21+ years old. Snacks will be available for purchase.
RSVP is required for entry. Individuals without a RSVP will not be admitted into the discussion. RSVP NOW to secure your seat, as space is limited for this experience.
Assets for Artists is now accepting applications from Connecticut artists for its 2019 Matched Savings Grant Program. The Matched Savings Program is about strengthening an artist's career by growing their business know-how and financial capacity. Artists selected for the 2019 Matched Savings Grant Program will receive a "matched savings" grant of $1,000 or $2,000, free professional development services, and free one-on-one coaching.

This application is for artists of ALL creative disciplines, and ALL financial circumstances, based ANYWHERE in Connecticut.

For details on the program, eligibility, and to apply, visit Assets for Artists.

Assets for Artists is a project of MASS MoCA , ArtBuilt , and the Midas Collaborative. This Connecticut-specific opportunity is made possible with direct funding from COA.
Friday, June 21, 2019
Make Music Day made its Connecticut debut in 2018 with an incredible 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, from Long Island Sound to the hills in the North. Twelve (12) regional partners, brought together by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, coordinated the music-filled, open-to-all, state-wide event! Watch the clip from New 12 Connecticut !

Make Music Day 2019 will take place on June 21, 2019
As part of COA’s Creative Conversations series, Arts Program Specialist Tamara Dimitri organized an Arts & Economic Impact discovery/working session that took place on December 12 at the New Britain Museum of American Art. 

The event included conversations on Artists & Mobile Talent, For-Profit Creative Businesses, Small Non-Profits with Big Impact, When Art doesn’t fit into the Data Collection Mold, and Thinking Beyond Traditional Non-Profit Data Studies. 

To shake things up, Tamara enlisted the talent of performance artist John O’Donnell and a handful of professional improv actors from Hartford’s Sea Tea Comedy Theater/Sea Tea Improv !
Creative Conversations is a professional development series related to five (5) strategic initiatives: R.E.A.D.I, Accessibility, Arts Learning, Arts Workforce and Arts & Economic Impact. COA will convene sessions focused on each initiative, each designed in various formats including invitation-only meetings, open registration sessions, fishbowl-style conversations, workshops, and panel presentations.
Guidelines and application materials for three National Endowment for the Arts funding categories— Art Works, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships — are available! The National Endowment for the Arts supports projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

The FY 2020 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects taking place beginning in 2020. The Art Works category is encouraging artistically excellent projects that address any of the following activities below:

  • Honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States.
  • Engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic or Latino organizations; or the Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts.
  • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.

In addition, guidelines for FY 2020 Creative Writing Fellowships: Prose are posted for application by published creative writers.

Questions about these guidelines or your application? Please use the list on the NEA’s website to determine your appropriate staff contact.


Application Deadlines: February 14 & July 11, 2019
A guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for January 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET. Click here to register.

Application Deadline: April 11, 2019
A guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for February 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET. Click here to register.

An additional webinar will be offered on January 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET for previous Challenge America applicants interested in applying for Art Works. Click here to register. NOTE: An organization may not apply to both the Art Works AND the Challenge America categories.

Application Deadline: March 6, 2019

COA is now on YouTube! Subscribe now!

On November 30, COA conducted its first session in a professional development series called Creative Conversations. The first session – Building Up Connecticut’s Arts Workforce – was held at Real Art Ways in Hartford. Arts Program Associate Adriane Jefferson facilitated a conversation around building a landscape across Connecticut filled with a thriving and sustainable workforce which supports young creative (18-40 years old) and start-up businesses.

A full gallery of photos from the event can be viewed at here . A video re-cap can be viewed on YouTube .

Creative Conversations is a professional development series related to five (5) strategic initiatives: R.E.A.D.I, Accessibility, Arts Learning, Arts Workforce and Arts & Economic Impact. COA will convene sessions focused on each initiative, each designed in various formats including invitation-only meetings, open registration sessions, fishbowl-style conversations, workshops, and panel presentations.
Connecticut's State Troubadour Nekita Waller will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. in an evening concert with her five piece band. She will be singing songs of motivation and inspiration in a classic soul style as a tribute to King.

The concert is free and will take place on Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm at the Russell Library in Middletown. The evening will include a Martin Luther King reading by actor Michael Scott. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

A Middletown native, Nekita Waller performs throughout the region bringing a mix of pop, Motown, soul, Jazz and classic rock favorites with original music. She is the first non-folk musician to be appointed as the Connecticut State Troubadour.
Thanks to a special invitation from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, COA was present at the Phenomenal Women's Luncheon & 38th Annual Arts Awards on December 7 at the New Haven Lawn Club. This event is the Arts Council's signature event to both support its mission and highlight exemplary accomplishments in the New Haven community. This year's theme celebrated the power of women in the creative community.
In photo (L to R): Lindy Lee Gold, CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development; Tamara Dimitri, Office of the Arts; Maryann Ott, Managing Director of New Alliance Foundation; and Rhonda Olisky, Office of the Arts.
US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro was honored with the C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement in and Contributions to the Arts. In the photo with Rosa DeLauro is Rhonda Olisky and Tamara Dimitri.
In photo (L to R): Jane Schneider; Tamara Dimitri; Adriane Jefferson; Lourdes “Lu” Rivera; J.R. Logan, Executive Director of MakeHaven; Stacy Graham-Hunt, Membership Director for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven; Noah Barnett, Program Associate at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven; Rhonda Olisky and Bonnie Koba.
On December 11, COA was in New Haven for several site visits including The Institute Library , MakeHaven and the Yale-China Association . The day was coordinated by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

The photo was taken at MakeHaven , a community makerspace that supports the development of and collaboration on a wide variety of projects, including prototyping, fabrication, mechanics, electronics, crafts, arts and woodworking.
On December 4, the Offices of Tourism, Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office were present at the 2018 THRIVE! Conference . THRIVE! gathers the community involved in creating, promoting and supporting the arts, culture and history in Southeastern Connecticut and is hosted by the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.
In above photo (L to R): Alyssa Lozupone, Mary Dunne, & Julie Carmelich, all from the State Historic Preservation Office within the Dept. of Economic & Community Development
Rosemary Bove from the Office of Tourism with COA's Rhonda Olisky
COA's Arts Program Associate Rhonda Olisky attended the Americans for the Arts' National Arts Marketing Project conference in Se attle, WA from November 9 - November 12.

The 2019 National Arts Marketing Project Conference will take place November 15 - 18, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
Let's remember the good times of 2018 and get ready for some GREAT times in 2019! We are thankful for your continued support!

Elizabeth Shapiro, Interim Director of Culture
& the COA Team:
Tamara Dimitri
Adriane Jefferson
Bonnie Koba
Rhonda F. Olisky
Lourdes "Lu" Rivera
Jane Schneider