CCT: Connecticut State Troubadour

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.

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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,,, and

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Past State Troubadour
2011-2012  Chuck Costa
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

For more information, contact
Bonnie Koba at 860-256-2730 or




Content Last Modified on 5/30/2013 3:23:19 PM