We’ve had the honor of collaborating with countless hard-working individuals and organizations this year, and we wanted to take the next few weeks to highlight the work they’ve done not only for MMH, but for the Greater Hartford community as well. In these interviews you’ll learn a little bit about their connection to the arts, why they love Hartford, and what they’re most looking forward to on June 21!
In our first post you’ll learn about Arts Council Community Programs Manager Amanda Roy and how her deep connection to Hartford inspired her to bring this international celebration to the capital city.
What is your instrument(s)? If not a singer/musician, what is your connection to the arts?
I play the drums.
What do you do other than music/the arts – professionally? Hobbies?
Professionally I’m the Community Programs Manager at the Greater Hartford Arts Council. I have one of the coolest jobs. Besides being involved in music and other arts, I love adventure and spoiling my dog Rigby. My husband and I are currently working on canoeing in all 50 states plus DC and Puerto Rico. We’re doing as much as we can with our own canoe so that means a lot of road trips. After 3 years we’re a quarter of the way done.
What drew you to MMH?
Make Music Day came to me in the fall of 2017. The Make Music Alliance and the CT Office of the Arts pitched the program to regional arts council in CT. I couldn’t turn down coordinating the program in Hartford. Our state, region and capitol city are so rich with musical talent. The possibilities for this program are endless.
What drew you to Hartford and what is making you stay?
There really is so much to do in Hartford. You can find something interesting to see, hear, or experience every day or night of the week. When I moved to Hartford in 2007 I felt an instant connection to the city that hasn’t faded.
What is your favorite genre(s) of music?
Can we consider 90’s music a genre? I’m kind of stuck in a time warp when it comes to music. I primarily listen to alternative rock, hip hop and R&B from the 90’s or jazz.
Top 3 favorite things about Hartford
1. Monday Night Jazz at Black Eyed Sally’s is one of my favorite things to do in Hartford
2. I’m a local beer fan. I love hanging out at Hog River Brewing.
3. The whole arts scene! I’m surrounded by the arts all the time while I’m working, but also when I’m not working. I try to get out there and support local artists as much as I can outside of work too.
What part of MMH are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to seeing the entire program come to life. I really love our “Spotlight Events.” These are all participatory activities where musicians and non-musicians can take lessons, play in groups, or sit in for jam sessions. I spend a bunch of time coordinating these with the super talented musicians who lead them. I enjoy seeing how they turn out. This year we have over 20 Spotlight Events including jam sessions, free music lessons, play along events for certain types of musicians. There’s going to be so much going on! I’m also looking forward to getting behind a drum kit at some point during the day. It’s going to happen. I’m just not sure where yet!
Hopes/dreams/wishes for Hartford
I’d love to see more artists involved in decision making when it comes to planning for public spaces, not just public art. Artists bring different perspectives and problem solving strategies to the table. Their voices are critical in all aspects of community planning.