Connecticut State Troubadour
The honorary position of Connecticut State Troubadour was established in 1991 by the State of Connecticut. The State Troubadour serves as an ambassador of music and song and promotes cultural literacy among Connecticut citizens. The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) appoints a resident songwriter as state troubadour on a biannual basis.
Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and activist from Fairfield, CT. With catchy songs, funny stories and inspiring lyrics, Kristen performs approximately 175 shows a year throughout the country. She has four albums, as well as a Christmas CD and two EPs to her credit.
In addition to a rigorous performing schedule, Kristen makes sure to focus time on humanitarian efforts through different organizations. "In 2001, I took a trip to a children's home in Mexico to volunteer for a week. The kids that I met there, and the things I experienced in seven short days changed the entire course of my life."
Currently, Kristen spends about three months of her year volunteering with Simply Smiles, a Connecticut-based charity run by her husband, Bryan Nurnberger. "I play benefit concerts whenever I can. I have a few non-profits that I'm really passionate about and to me, the combination of arts and service makes perfect sense."
Kristen also has a political passion. "During the 2012 election things got so mean and nasty. I thought it would be funny to start my own political party called the Just Be Nice Party. I'd mention it at shows as a joke, and people started asking if they could join!" Kristen now has a website for the Just Be Nice Party. It's a page that lists small non-profits that take on a variety of social issues. And she's determined to grow the party during the next two years.
"During my time as the State Troubadour, I want to take the opportunity to encourage artists of all ages to not only make great art, but take things a step further outside of themselves and use that art to inspire change. "When we all do our part to use our talents and make the world a better place, beautiful things happen."
For more information on Kristen and her efforts, please visit, www.kristengraves.com, www.thejustbeniceparty.com, and www.simplysmiles.org.
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2011-2012 Chuck Costa
Past State Troubadour
2009-2010 Lara Herscovitch
2007-2008 Pierce Campbell
2005-2006 Thomasina Levy
2003-2004 Dennis Waring
2001-2002 Kevin Briody
1999-2000 Hugh Blumenfield
1998 Jeff and Synia McQuillan
1997 Sally Rogers
1996 Mike Kachuba
1995 Bill Pere
1994 Phil Rosenthal
1993 Sandy and Caroline Paton
1991-1992 Tom Callinan
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Bonnie Koba at 860-256-2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org