Established in 2014, the Governor’s Patron of the Arts Awards honor individuals, companies and organizations for their support of the arts and reaffirms the value of philanthropy for the arts in Connecticut.
“We are extremely proud to recognize these individuals and organizations for their extensive contributions to the arts community and our state’s overall quality of life,” said Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Department of Economic & Community Development.
The 2018 recipients, who were recognized at a special ceremony, are:
Alva G. Greenberg
Alva Greenberg has a deep philanthropic commitment to the arts, social justice, the welfare and education of children, and community building. In 1997, she opened ALVA Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in New London, Connecticut. She did this while simultaneously making a decade-long commitment to the redevelopment of downtown New London by purchasing and rehabilitating five buildings on State Street and engaging in various stimulus projects including starting the Saturday Market and the New London Music Festival. Alva has served on many community boards including the Garde Arts Center, the Pequot Community Foundation and Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT. She currently sits on the board of Arttable, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College. She is also an independent art curator and an occasional writer and poet.
PHOTO (left to right): Fritz Jellinghaus, Chairman of the CT Arts Council and CT Arts Council Foundation; Alva Greenberg; and First Lady Cathy Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
Credit: Nick Cinea Photography
Grace Farms Foundation
Grace Farms Foundation aspires to advance good in the world, providing a peaceful respite and porous platform to experience nature, encounter the arts, pursue justice, foster community, and explore faith. Grace Farms, an 80-acre landscape with the award-winning River building, has emerged as a hospitable environment to convene artists and propose artist-driven responses to complex subjects. Collaborations with artists have led to new site-responsive projects at the intersection of the visual, literary, and performing arts, all shared with the public. The Foundation has permanent works on view and has also presented seminal works by Paul Taylor American Modern Dance and Meredith Monk.
PHOTO (left to right): Fritz Jellinghaus, Chairman of the CT Arts Council and CT Arts Council Foundation; Sharon Prince, Chair and President of Grace Farms Foundation; Kenyon Adams, Arts Initiative Director for Grace Farms; and Governor Dannell P. Malloy. Credit: Nick Cinea Photography
United Technologies (UTC)
United Technologies believes they have a responsibility to change the world for the better. Their purpose-driven people are united by a high-performance culture in which they share common values while embracing diversity. United Technologies represents an array of nationalities, cultures and points of view, and fosters an inclusive workplace. Whether mentoring students, explaining sustainability or engineering solutions to complex community needs, UTC employees bring their expertise, creativity and passion to schools, cultural, artistic and civic groups around the globe.
PHOTO (left to right): Fritz Jellinghaus, Chairman of the CT Arts Council and CT Arts Council Foundation; Steven M. Greenspan Esq., UTC’s Chief Litigation Counsel; Governor Dannell P. Malloy; and First Lady Cathy Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
Credit: Nick Cinea Photography
Yale University is a vibrant creative and cultural community that is the only private university to have a full suite of professional art schools. At both of its world-class museums, the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, collections of extraordinary quality and breadth are open to the public free of charge. Countless theatrical and musical performances by professional and student groups take place on the Yale campus every year. Yale also plays an important role in New Haven as an educator by offering a vast array of art education enrichment opportunities for community members.
PHOTO (left to right): Fritz Jellinghaus, Chairman of the CT Arts Council and CT Arts Council Foundation; Emily Bakemeier, Yale University’s Deputy Provost; and Governor Dannell P. Malloy. Credit: Nick Cinea Photography
Fritz Jellinghaus of Chester, Connecticut received special recognition at the ceremony for his 30-plus years of dedication to the arts community and for his service on the Commission on the Arts, now the Connecticut Arts Council.
Having served as a senior executive, consultant, and board member, Jellinghaus has spent his career fundraising for leading arts, cultural and educational organizations, as well as advising major corporations on corporate social responsibility and cultural marketing. Jellinghaus spearheaded the establishment of both the Connecticut Arts Council Foundation and has held several prominent leadership positions, including Vice President of Development at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Director of Leadership Giving at Stepping Stones Museum for Children and President Emeritus of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Connecticut Arts Council and the Connecticut Arts Council Foundation.
PHOTO (left to right): Fritz Jellinghaus and Governor Dannell P. Malloy.
Credit: Nick Cinea Photography
The Performing Artists
The Connecticut Office of the Arts would like to thank the performing artists who shared their talent with the attendees at the special ceremony.
Sal Olivas-Cervantes is a 22 year old Folk harpist specializing in mariachi and Latin American music and has experience performing music from various genres. He moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Connecticut in 2016, and has performed as a soloist and with professional group Mariachi Mexico Antiguo across the US. He currently teaches at the Mariachi Academy of New England, a non-profit organization that uses the music of mariachi as a basis for the students’ musical education.
Connecticut State Troubadour Nekita Waller is a professional singer who has been performing in the state for decades. She performs popular music with a band and sings for special events throughout the state as well as in nursing homes, schools, and other venues. As Connecticut’s 17th State Troubadour, Nekita wants to use the title to visit schools and meet children who don’t have the same level of opportunities afforded to them as others. “Music is my purest form of communication. It doesn’t care how much money you have, where you were born, the color of your skin, or how old you are,” notes Nekita. “There is no greater feeling or purpose than to help another person.”
Dan Foster is a fiddle player from York, England, who immigrated to the USA in 2015. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall alongside Irish step-dancer Niall O’Leary, toured the Midwest and South with gypsy-swing outfit “Caravan of Thieves” and developed a new touring Irish trio “Daymark” featuring Eric McDonald on guitar and vocals, and Will Woodson on uilleann pipes and flute. Dan has traveled widely across the US and Canada to play for Irish dance and is increasingly interested in Old-Time fiddle music. Dan maintains a busy private teaching schedule at his wife Courtney Jay’s Irish dance academy, “Scoil Rince Luimni” in South Windsor.
The 2018 Governor’s Patrons of the Arts were presented with an award created by Connecticut glass artist Peter Greenwood of Riverton, Connecticut.