The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) recently launched its Arts Workplace Initiative, a paid ($15/hour) 10-week internship program giving college students and emerging arts professionals an opportunity to gain hands-on and engaging work experience with creative organizations throughout the state.

The Arts Workplace Initiative was specifically designed to provide an opportunity for applicants from diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to gain professional experience in the arts. COA selected 10 individuals specializing in the areas of arts administration, curating, media arts, performing arts, visual arts, arts education, and literary arts and matched them with a Connecticut organization aligned with their professional goals. Interns were selected based on their alignment with our READI framework, financial need and commitment to the program. Selected organizations were granted $3,750 per intern to be used to cover the intern’s wages. All internships will take place from June 5th through August 11th. 

“COA is committed to creating a level playing field for constituents to access the resources needed to improve diversity and inclusion in the arts professions," said Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture for the State of Connecticut.  "Interns will be placed in museums, arts organizations, and performing arts centers throughout the state, and will work alongside seasoned arts professionals, gaining hands-on experience in their chosen specialty. Investing in young artist professionals in the State of Connecticut is extremely imperative to the future of Arts in our State and helps to support our Thriving Economy. We are proud of this initiative and to be able to have a hand in cultivating young talent through professional development programs such as this.”

Press questions about the Arts Workforce Initiative can be sent to Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture, State of Connecticut.
Meet the Interns!
Collette Grimes
Town:  Hartford
School:   Trinity College

Collette is a senior at Trinity College majoring in International Studies and Philosophy. She is a Hartford local, a first-generation American to  Guyanese parents. She loves photography and coffee, and she enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures. Her favorite book at the moment is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, while her current favorite movie is Blue Jay and Frances Ha.  Her passion for the arts began with a film photography course in high school. Since then, she has stayed connected to the arts with a particular focus on supporting Hartford's art organizations. In the summer of 2013, she had the opportunity to be an apprentice for the Neighborhood Studios program. In addition, she has interned for Real Art Ways and the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Jhulenty Delossantos
Town:  Bridgeport
Placed at TheaterWorks, Hartford

Jhulenty is a very hardworking and dedicated young man who has aimed his focus towards the arts. He loves to learn from those who may not always be willing to teach and aspires to spread positively through art in any way that he can. Jhulenty is very thankful for this opportunity!

Gianna DiMaiolo
Town:  Tolland

Gianna is a 19-year-old student born and raised in Tolland, Connecticut. Gianna has been a life-long lover of the arts and fell in love with theater as a sixth grader at Classical Magnet School, where she graduated in 2015. As a young adult, Gianna plans on working in the arts and hopes to work for a theater in the future. She is currently studying Theater and Italian at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. In the fall, Gianna will be studying abroad in Italy and taking classes at the University of Bologna. She is very excited to be working at the Autorino Center for the Arts this summer.
Maritza Quintuna
Town:  Bridgeport
Placed at City Lights Gallery, Bridgeport

Maritza was born in Bronx, NY in 1995. She is an Ecuadorian artist. Most of her life she lived in Ecuador, and in 2011, she came back to the United States. She is currently a sophomore at Housatonic Community College in the Graphic Design Program. As an artist, she gets inspired by nature - not just its concept but its movement. She wants to demonstrate different ways about the abstract illusion of organic lines as a representation of nature in body paint, photography, portrait, landscape and abstract paintings.
As a person, her drive is her family; even though they are miles apart, she will never forget where she came from.
Catherine Harger
Town:  Windsor
Placed at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven

From her background in ceramics Catherine learned the skill of combining unsuspecting materials, shaping them into new forms and concepts. She aims to do the same in all aspects of her life. An artist, social media manager, event planner, researcher and teacher, Catherine brings a unique perspective and dedication to her projects. Her goal is to use these skills to collaborate with diverse community members to create engaging programs and stimulating productive conversations.
Leslie Hernandez
Town:  Manchester
Placed at the Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

Leslie is currently a part- time graphic design student at Manchester Community College. When she is not in school, Leslie works part-time at Ulta Beauty where she has been a beauty adviser for 6 years. Outside of work and school Leslie is a full-time single mother with a six-year old daughter. In 2015 Leslie showed her creative side by involving herself in the Big Draw.  Working with teachers and students, she helped create drawings made from charcoal. In 2016 she became part of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and is currently still part of the society. Expected to graduate in Fall 2018 with an Associates Degree in Design, Leslie intends to use what she has learned to continue spreading her creative influence.
Hunter Mitchell-Adams
Town:  Stratford
School:   Trinity College
Placed at Neighborhood Studios, Bridgeport

Hunter Mitchell-Adams is a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. His major is Urban Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Urban Development and Environmental Policy, while pursuing a Studio Arts minor. Coming from a single-mother household in Stratford, Connecticut, he and his twin sister were taught that kindness and empathy were of the utmost importance. As an accomplished swimmer and record holder, he has been competitively swimming for over 10 years. Also, he holds the title of  President of Trinity College's Food Recovery Program and Creative Editor of Trinity College's The Beacon magazine. Hunter also studied in China in the summer of 2016 and Barcelona, Catalonia in the fall of 2016.
Abigail DuPont
Town:  Thomaston
Placed at Hartbeat Ensemble , Hartford

Abigail is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut. She studied Communications and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She loves challenging herself with new opportunities that life throws at her, and she is extremely interested in arts administration and expanding her knowledge in the arts industry. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends. Abigail is looking forward to what her future holds and hopes to absorb as much experience as possible along the way.

Rebecca Maynard
Town:  Clinton
Placed at The Writers Block Ink, New London

Rebecca is a 26-year-old visual artist currently residing in Clinton, Connecticut. In 2013, she graduated with honors summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Visual Fine Art from Eastern Connecticut State University and with her associate's degree in Visual Fine Art from Three Rivers Community College in 2012. Becky is passionate about helping others and using her artistic skills in a way that would benefit the community, and she likes using art as a way to work through various social issues. Rebecca is currently applying to graduate school to work toward her Masters in Art Therapy where she hopes to begin a career in which she can combine both her love of art and helping others. In her free time, Becky likes to go on hikes with her husband and her yellow Labrador, travel, try out new restaurants, drink tea, go to concerts and read.

Grayson Grazia
Town:  Sherman
Placed at Expressiones Cultural Center, New London

Grayson is from Sherman, Connecticut and recently graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University. His degree is in visual arts, concentrating in printmaking as well as minoring in art history. Art has been an interest of his since grade school where he began taking classes that covered various art forms. He is an avid screen printer and plans on starting his own business in the near future. During his time at Eastern he worked as a curatorial assistant for the Windham Project and worked as a teaching assistant for beginner printmaking classes. Through the years he has spent extended periods of time on sets for movies, TV shows, and commercials, which has helped his photography and video skills. He aims to inspire all individuals to see the importance and beauty that he sees in art. 

Robyn Genzano
Town:  Hamden
Placed at the Judy Dworin Performance Project, Hartford

Robyn is a graduate student at the University of Connecticut working towards her Masters in Arts Administration with a concentration in Executive Leadership. Robyn received her undergraduate degree from Salve Regina University where she studied Administration of Justice. Robyn
is currently a Graduate Assistant through the UCONN MFA program. She has interned at the Connecticut Repertory Theater and the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. Most recently, Robyn completed an internship at Long Wharf Theatre as a Management Intern. Additional, Robyn has volunteered for the past several years with the East Haven Arts Commission where she helps administer their Summer Youth Theater program.
Jamie Beldon
Town:  Southbury

Jamie is honored to be a part of the Arts Workforce Initiative run by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has been paired with the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas working in the Marketing Department. She is very excited for this opportunity as it will serve as a gateway into the real working world. She is a very hardworking and talented designer and this experience will help to push her even further. She believes her creativity and keen eye for aesthetic design will help develop a positive image and branding of the Festival. She is excited to meet new people, experience the Festival, and continue to grow as a graphic designer.
We're Moving!
The Connecticut Office of the Arts is moving from Constitution Plaza in Hartford to the new State Office Building at 450 Columbus Boulevard (also in Hartford).  We are tentatively scheduled to relocate the second week in September.  We will be sure to keep you posted.