Thanks for Nominating an Arts Hero!

The Connecticut Arts Hero Awards honor and celebrate Connecticut residents who are doing inspiring things in, for or through the arts in Connecticut.
Thank you to everyone who nominated an arts hero.  The review process is taking place (in mid-July) and announcements of the selected heroes will be made soon.
Since 2016, the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards have introduced us to an array of remarkable individuals engaged in or supporting the arts – some publicly and some behind the scenes.
Recipients of the award from our region include:
2020 – Semina De Laurentis – 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.
2019Chase Taylor of Waterbury – Chase is a passionate young artist and author of engaging children’s books that encourage a love of learning and imaginative play. He has championed the hurdles of his Autism diagnosis and is an inspirational role model to many; proving that having a disability does not mean a person is incapable of achieving big goals and dreams.
2018Calida Jones  – Calida is a violinist, a violin teacher and the former artistic director of Bravo Waterbury! at the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. She currently serves as President of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization for the arts.
2017 – Lynnette Letsky Piombo of Waterbury – 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. She also currently serves on the Arts & Culture Collaborative’s Governing Council and Programming Committee.

Connecticut Open House Day was a Success!

Connecticut Open House Day, now in its 17th year, is an annual event held on the second Saturday of June.
The purpose of this event is to inspire Connecticut residents to learn about all the experiences in their own backyard, anticipating that this will convert them into ambassadors who will recommend these experiences to other visitors. The state heavily promotes this event and typically enjoys significant press coverage each year.
Connecticut Tourism Business Partners sent this update:

Thanks for Making the 17th Annual Connecticut Open House Day a Success!

Open House Day

This year, over 140 tourism attractions across the state—from museums, arts and cultural venues, and historical sites to nature centers, farms, and galleries—participated in the annual Open House Day event!

After a difficult year and a half, it was wonderful to see so many properties open and offering in-person or virtual experiences to Connecticut residents.

It’s a positive sign of things to come this summer tourism season!
Here are a few highlights from the State of Connecticut’s Open House Day promotion:

  • We secured over 65 media placements in print, online, and broadcast (TV/radio) media, generating over 55 million earned media impressions.
  • We generated 363,876 social media impressions and 7,495 social media engagements.
  • The Open House Day web page received thousands of hits, generating traffic to partners’ individual websites.

For more things to do this summer throughout Connecticut, visit:


Glass Source Studios Expansion and Ribbon Cutting Event

WHEN: Ribbon Cutting: Friday May 14th, 2021 at 1:00pm.
WHAT: Glass Source Studios of Seymour invites members of the business community,
residential community, friends, and family to their official ribbon cutting and celebration of their
expansion. Other invited guests include: Senator Blumenthal, Seymour First Selectwoman,
Annmarie Drugonis, Bill Purcell, President of the Greater Valley Chamber. Join us for
WHERE: Glass Source Studios
18 Bank Street Suite 101
Seymour, CT 06483

WHY: Glass Source Studios has recently expanded their space to allow for more classes and a
larger gallery and studio space. They will be offering more socially-distanced classes, including
Kids Summer Programming. After moving to Seymour 4 years ago, we have grown our
business thanks to the support of our local community.
WHO: Owner, Michael Skrtic, and Studio Manager, Alexandra Capaldo
With a strong team, and quality offerings, the studio has become a notable stained glass studio,
a full learning center, and a gallery and gift shop. Glass Source Studios specializes in
restoration and preservation of stained and leaded glass, and have worked on notable projects
such as Tiffany and Armstrong windows and many of the stained glass windows on Yale
University’s Campus.
Glass Source Studios recently added a Saturday morning stained glass class and are currently
running classes 6 days a week. The new expansion includes more studio and classroom space,
and a larger gallery which highlights in-house creations, along with products from Connecticut-
based artists and businesses such as fused glass pieces by Heidrun Glass Creations, driftwood
animal sculptures by Joan Pollak, and candles and body care products by Little Bee of CT.

For more information call (203) 888-1616 email: [email protected]

or visit our website at
Please follow us on social media for the latest updates, events, and information:
@theglasssource (Facebook)
@glass_source_studios (Instagram)

Thank You for Participating in the Flying Ivories Event!

The dueling piano sensation, The Flying Ivories, were BACK by Popular Demand on Thursday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. to help raise some much-needed funds for the arts.  This special virtual performance was supported by dueling sponsors, Ion Bank and Drew International. The event also showcased the culmination of an online fundraising auction, sponsored by Post University, featuring art, performance and products of ACC members and supporting businesses.

THANK YOU to everyone who purchased tickets, submitted song requests and donations, participated in the auction and supported us at all levels!  

Cultural Grants Webinar Presented by Congresswoman Jahana Hayes’ Office

Cultural Grants webinar (recording to be released when approved)
The following is a Post-webinar letter from Jennine Lupo | District Director | Congresswoman Jahana Hayes CT05

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes

October 12, 2020

Thank you to the nearly 200 attendees that joined our office on September 29th for our Cultural Grants Webinar. We hope that the event was informative as you and your organization plan for your upcoming funding cycles. 

Approximately 40% of the attendees indicated that they were part of the 5th Congressional District.

For those of you in other districts, I wanted to provide contact information for our colleagues in other federal offices around the state. 

  • Rep. John Larson’s Office (CT01) 860-278-8888
  • Rep. Joe Courtney’s Office (CT02) 860-886-0139 Norwich or 860-741-6011 Enfield 
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s Office (CT03) 203-562-3718
  • Rep. Jim Himes’ Office (CT04) 203-333-6600 Bridgeport or 203-353-9400 Stamford
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal 860-258-6940
  • Senator Chris Murphy 860-549-8463

If you are unsure of your district, click the button below and enter your address.  


Our panelists were kind enough to share their presentations which I am attaching here for your reference.

Dan Sack from National Endowment for the Humanities 
NEH Presentation
(202) 606-8459

John Mathua from National Endowment for the Arts
NEA Presentation
(202) 682-5661

Scott Wand from CT Humanities 
<see website>
[email protected]

Bonnie Koba from CT Office of the Arts
[email protected]
(860) 500-2379 

Congresswoman Hayes will continue to fight for adequate funding for the arts and humanities at the federal level especially during these times in which COVID19 has caused so much disruption and uncertainty. If our office can provide support for your federal grants application package, please reach out to me with details about your project. 


Jennine Lupo | District Director
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes CT05

108 Bank Street, 2nd Floor
Waterbury, CT 06702
860-224-8412 | [email protected]