In June 2020, the Arts Council gathered a dozen artists from the Greater Hartford community to form the first Artist Advisory Council.
The mission of the Artist Advisory Committee (AAC) is: to inform, support, and educate the Greater Hartford Arts Council about its role as an advocate for artists in the Greater Hartford region.
Each of these members play a significant role in our community as artists, educators, students, leaders, activists, facilitators, and organizers. As liaisons to the Greater Hartford artist community, they’re engaged and active within their respective, often overlapping realms. Within just 3 months of existence, the AAC has assisted the Arts Council in:
- Creating the Artist Relief Grant application and helped us assure BIPOC artists were supported in this program
- Recruiting Indigenous artists for Hartford Public Library’s Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration, “Indigenous Futures”
- Providing insight into what artists are facing during the pandemic
Scroll through to meet the committee!
Lee Mixashawn Rozie (he/him/his): L. Mixashawn Rozie is an internationally acclaimed jazz artist. educator and practioner of canoe culture. In the jazz world his has worked with artist such as Rashid Ali, Bobby McFerin, Ravi Coltrane, Don Pullen. Shannon Jackson in the US and Europe. Being of Maheekanew, Mohawk and Cherokee decent Mixashawn has a firm grasp of American music from Indigenous to modern and this connect has been developed over the years as a cultural artist and lecturer at museums, schools and universities but more importantly as a singer and drummer at countless socials, powwows and community gatherings both solo and as one of the founding members of the Young Blood Singers Society. Through Mixashawn's book "Indigenous Roots of Social Evolution" you can find out more about his work and Indigenous people of the place we call CT. | mixashawn.comLee Mixashawn Rozie
Madyson Frame (she/her/hers): Madyson Frame is a young spoken word artist and photographer residing in Hartford, CT. From an early age she began her conquest to better her community through art and activism by getting involved in programs like; Heads Up Hartford, Compass Youth Collaborative and Hartford Decide$. She has been a performing artist since the age of 13 sharing her spoken word at a variety of events from art performances to protests and rallies. She has built a strong connection with the people of Hartford, holding on to a family legacy of advocating for change and giving voices to the voiceless.Madyson Frame
Composer, hot-beverage snob, and aesthetic junkie, Joshua Hummel loves being creative and loves to inspire people with beauty and subtlety. Josh owns an award-winning composition studio in Connecticut, and his music has been performed in Carnegie Hall and throughout the US as well as Paris, Croatia, Perugia, Rome, London and Moscow. Josh holds an M.A. in Theatre and a MMus. in Composition and has studied with professors from the Hartt School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory and Julliard. Composition awards include ten choral awards, the Frederick Fennell Prize, the NBA Merrill Jones, and the Leonard Bernstein Award. Josh is an Associate Professor of Music at Capital Community College in Hartford, owns New Leaf Arts, is owned by his eight-year old son, Sebi, governed by his lovely wife, Trista, and is utterly smitten with four-year-old daughter, Anya Evangeline. | joshummel.com | FB: Josh HummelJoshua Hummel
Devon Lane (he/him/his): Devon is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Hartford going into his third year. He is a photography major, with an art history minor and a business administration minor. He has also worked with the Greater Hartford Arts Council's SNAP! Photography program as part of Neighborhood Studios. In 2019 he served as an intern for the program, and was the Master Teaching Assistant to the interns this past summer.Devon Lane
Carol Padberg (she/her/hers): Carol Padberg is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and the founding director of the Nomad MFA (nomadmfa.org). Her art has been the subject of exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Projects have been featured at the Walker Art Center, MoMA, and the Creative Time Summit at the Venice Biennale. Her writings and presentations on regenerative culture have been published by the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly, and featured at the InSEA European Congress at Aalto University (Finland); The Multispecies Storytelling Conference at Linnaeus University (Sweden); the Open Engagement Convening for Social Practice in Chicago; the Imaginative Futures: Arts Based Research as Boundary Event Symposium at Arizona State University; and the Unruly Engagements Conference at The Cleveland Art Institute. Her initiatives explore resiliency through poetic intervention and pragmatic engagement. She lives at Nook Farm House on Sicoag, Tunxis and Wangunks unceded territory (now known as Hartford). | carolpadberg.com | IG: @nookfarmhouseCarol Padberg
T'challa Williams (she/her/hers): Born in Hartford,Connecticut T’challa Williams has always loved the arts. With two books of poetry completed, contributions to five poetry anthologies and two inspirational anthologies, this artist is solidifying her name in ink and adding Living Art to her repertoire as she touches stages across the state. Host to an amazing Open Mic Night that she is desperate to host again; Co-host on the podcast Unapologetically Speaking; Executive Co-Founder of Hartford’s L.I.T.; Chairperson of the Hartford Public High School Governance Council; member of the Greater Hartford Arts Council Artist Advisory Committee, as well as participant in several community organizations with focuses on the youth and single parents; T’challa is ever present in the community utilizing her voice and her talent for the cause of the people. With an upcoming production with Ruby's Realm at The Mark Twain House in the fall, and the second annual Hartford’s L.I.T. Book Festival in October, this activist and organizer is staying in motion, committed to tangible results. Editor in Chief of Wright Ink Productions and the proud publisher of the book Promises Keeper, which is a 31-Day devotional available in both English and Spanish, she is proving there are no limits. She wants us all to keep pushing until you reach your goals, then aim higher. | tchallawilliams.com | IG: @challarockT’challa Williams
Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. (he/him/his): Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. is Artistic Director of HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford’s Public Theatre. He is also co-founder of Civic Ensemble, a community-based theatre company in Ithaca, NY. For Civic, he directed Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings and The Next Storm, and appeared in My Children! My Africa!, Fast Blood and his adaptation of The Trump Card. Godfrey was Producing Artist in charge of New Artist Development for Off-Broadway’s Epic Theatre Ensemble, appearing in A More Perfect Union, Widowers' Houses (which Godfrey co-adapted with Ron Russell), and Measure for Measure, among other plays. At Epic, he also co-wrote and starred in a documentary play about the election of President Barack Obama, Dispatches From (A)mended America. Godfrey is a 2012 TCG/Fox Fellow and a participant in the TCG SPARK Leadership Program. He is a lifetime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre.| hartbeatensemble.org | IG: @godfrey.simmons | Twitter: @anangrynegroGodfrey L. Simmons, Jr.
Melanie Faranello (she/her/hers): Melanie Pappadis Faranello is a writer, teaching artist, and creator of Poetry on the Streets, LLC, which received a grant from The Pollination Project, awarded globally to leaders in support of social change. She was chosen as a 2019 Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies. She holds her MFA in creative writing from The New School, and is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Fiction from CT Office of the Arts. Her writing has appeared in many literary magazines, received awards and honorable mentions including nomination for a Pushcart Prize. Originally from Chicago, Melanie has lived in New York City, Chicago, Colorado, Ecuador, and studied in Nepal, collecting and translating Limbu oral folklore. Currently, she is a teaching artist at Charter Oak Cultural Center and Hartford Performs and continues develop Poetry on the Streets as a space to share people’s voices and stories. | melaniefaranello.com | IG: @poetryonthestreetsMelanie Faranello
Eric Galm (he/him/his): Eric Galm is Associate Professor of Music, Chair of the Music Department, and Co-Director of the Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College in Hartford. He founded the Trinity Samba Ensemble and the Samba Fest, a regional music festival that has presented the United States debut performances of many Brazilian artists. He has conducted research, presented and performed in Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, the United States and Canada. In addition to currently serving as a selection committee member for the national Fulbright Fellowship Program and the Southern New England Apprenticeship Program, he has received awards from the Fulbright Fellowship Program, Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, Trinity College, and the Community Music Center of Boston. (photography: Isabella Galm) | IG: @thesambafestEric Galm
Ray Shaw (he/him/his): Ray has spent many years working behind the scenes in local and network television production but photography is his greatest passion. He is Upward Hartford's 2020 Artist-In-Residence and describes himself as a documentary style photographer. He can be seen capturing day-in-the-life and historical events throughout Hartford. | raydshaw.com | IG: brodahhrayRay Shaw
David Borawski (he/him/his): David Borawski lives and works in Hartford, Connecticut, and received his BFA from the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford. A multi-media installation artist, his work is comprised of sculpture, video, drawing and digital imagery. Conceptually driven, the work reflects upon pop culture, radical politics, art history and the dark alleys of society while also incorporating personal experiences. The focus is on iconic societal events that have influenced major shifts in our collective consciousness, suggesting connections while exposing them as uncanny precursors to present-day realities. Recent solo installations include Pegasus Gallery at MxCC in Middletown, the New Britain Museum of American Art, Five Points Gallery and EBK Gallery, and has been included in group exhibitions at Galleria Foksal in Warsaw, work-detroit, Portal:Governors Island, Spring Break Art Show in New York, and Mill St in New Haven. | rot8tor.org | IG: @davborskiDavid Borawski
Joni Weisfeld (she/her/hers): Joni is an Actor and Director. She is Artistic Director of THE OTHER VOICE Theater Company which creates original non-verbal theater that is ignited from the body. She received her BFA in Acting from The University of Connecticut with an emphasis on Suzuki Training. As an actor Joni has performed throughout New York City, New England and in National Tours. As a Director, she has reinvigorated older works and devised new pieces nationwide. Joni serves on the adjunct Theater faculty at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. | IG: @theothervoicetheater | FB: The Other VoiceJoni Weisfeld