Artists Discuss Equity

Racial Equity StoryArtists Discuss Equity 'During the week of January 11th, young artists took part in activities and discussions on the topic of racial equity. Throughout the week, artists instructors have taken time out of lessons to bring in guest speakers, hold open discussions, and take part in activities. "Students are going to be able to use their visual artistic voice to create works that have meaning and have a message," says Visual Arts Chair Natasha Miles. "We want our students to be able to present evidence of what they learned."

The week is all part of a larger districtwide effort from The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). Topics range from Black Lives Matter, Voter Suppression, and other types of systemic racism.

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Alumni/Recording Artist Gives Masterclass

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Dr. Jimmy Greene, Co-coordinator of the Jazz Studies Program at Western CT State University, former Academy Artist-Instructor, and Academy Alum, hosted a Zoom Masterclass for our instrumentalists. The masterclass featured a performance of the Academy Jazz Ensemble, a critique by Jimmy, and a recording of his Jazz Ensemble at WCSU.

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Your Art Can Make a Living

KonstantineFreelance artist Konstantin Kahl has his hands in everything visual arts. Growing up in New York City, he always knew that he wanted to do art for a living. As a teen, he attended LaGuardia’s arts high school before moving on to Hampshire College in Massachusetts. It was there where the young artist got involved in various art styles/genres which have led him to making costumes, special effect designs, sculpture, and graphic art. On December 2, he shared his personal journey with Theater Design students at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day Program.


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Arts School Network Awards Artist Instructor

Gail FresiaAcademy artist instructor Gail Fresia is the 2020 recipient of the International Art Schools Network’s Teacher of the Year Award! Gail joined GHAA Half-day in 2004 as an Artist-Instructor for the Theater Design and Production Department as well as the costume designer for all Academy productions. Throughout her illustrious professional career, she collaborated Maurice Scendak for a Pilobolus performance.


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Alumni Profile: Jimmy MacBride

Jimmy MacBrideMusic has always been part of Jimmy MacBride’s life. He had been playing drums since he was three years old before going on to study jazz drums at the Academy. After graduating in 2009, he went to earn his degree from Julliard School of Music.

Now living in New York City, he teaches, performs, and has played on many jazz recordings


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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Some Jazz

Mambo InnThe Academy has always been a place to make music. That’s why for Hispanic Heritage Month, young jazz musicians chose to celebrate Hispanic culture with a little outdoor music. Jamming outside as busses roll in to start the day, arriving students were greeted with the sounds of Cuban jazz artist Paquito D’Rivera as the Academy Jazz ensemble played his piece “Mambo Inn.”

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Theater Alumni; Artist in Residence

Photo Courtesy of American Theatre
Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day alumni Frankie Aliciea- Ford is the most recent artist in residence at New Village Arts in Carlsbad, CA.

At NVA, Alicea-Ford will be heading “Teatro Pueblo Nuevo” which is their bilingual theater outreach. He will be working within the theater educational programs to ensure that Latinx voices are celebrated within NVA.

Frankie Alecea studied theater at the Academy graduating in 2008. He later returned to the Academy to teach for a few years before moving out to California.

You can read the full story from American Theatre below.


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