Woman outside smiles in front of autumnal trees
Community Engagement Coordinator, Creative Economy

In a year with wave after wave of upheaval and change, the CreativeGround team is diving into the assets that we have here in New England. That’s right, there’s a new set of CreativeGround featured profiles on the Home and About pages! 

Whale, whale, whale, these robust CreativeGround profiles are making a splash! Read on to discover how these creatives and organizations do their important work. Then click on the respective links to do a deeper dive into their profiles. Note, this blog is part one of a two-part series on these profiles. Stay tuned for part two, to hear from these members of the creative sector on how they are adapting their practices and self care to stay afloat during these turbulent times.

Want more? Search by keyword and explore your locale on CreativeGround to find resources you can engage with from your community: the creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, and artists.

Psst. Are you envisioning making your own profile robust and feature-worthyFollow these steps, then nominate your profile to be featured.

Kwadwo Adae (New Haven, Connecticut)

Kwadwo Adae
courtesy of Kwadwo Adae

Kwadwo Adae, MFA, is a teaching artist, muralist, and public art thought leader. Kwadwo Adae founded an alternative art school in the historic Ninth Square district of Downtown New Haven called the Adae Fine Art Academy. His school provides individualized drawing and painting instruction for children adolescents, and adults. The academy also has a Mobile Art Studio that provides off site art lessons to seniors in assisted living centers, adults in transitional living facilities for people with schizophrenia, young adults in mental health clinics, and children in after school programs. Check out Adae’s CreativeGround profile to learn more about how Adae Fine Art Academy partners with students, local organizations, and community residents to design and create public murals.

View Kwadwo Adae's CreativeGround Profile >

Mayo Street Arts (Portland, Maine)

On a stage, a woman speaks before a crowd.
courtesy of Mayo Street Arts

Mayo Street Arts (MSA) is a community focused performance and live events venue, celebrating multicultural and international cultures with music, dance, and puppet theater. The mission of MSA is to strengthen its neighborhood and community by providing a vibrant, safe, and inspiring center for the arts, and to engage neighborhood youths of diverse cultural communities in quality learning experiences in the visual, performing, and literary arts. MSA's Summer Youth Programs engage youth in the arts, build community in Portland's East Bayside and surrounding neighborhoods, and are accessible to low income families in the community.

View Mayo Street Arts' CreativeGround Profile >

Laurel Jenkins (Middlebury, Vermont)

In a spotlight, a woman dances.
courtesy of Laurel Jenkins

Laurel Jenkins is a dance maker in Vermont whose choreography emerges from rigorous experimentation and interdisciplinary dialogues in the realms of contemporary dance, opera, music and theater. Her work has been presented by Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, REDCAT, Automata, the Getty Center, Show Box LA, Danspace, Berlin’s Performing Presence Festival, and Tokyo’s Sezane Gallery.. Currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middlebury College in Vermont, Jenkins has worked with many esteemed companies and choreographers.

View Laurel Jenkins' CreativeGround Profile >

Mount Island (Brattleboro, Vermont)

Painting of two nude women with a nude little girl.
Mount Island cover No. 4 (cropped) | by Lilly Manycolors

Mount Island is a literary magazine and small press dedicated to creating space for rural LGBTQ+ and POC voices to be heard on their own terms and find solidarity in community. “Mount Island is a magazine by us, of us, and for anybody who wants to see rural America for all it really is,” says Editor in Chief, Desmond Peeples. Mount Island has an open call for prose and poems that buck the standard- any genre, whether traditional or invented. This literary magazine calls in rural, LGBTQ+, and POC voices because it is important to have a space for these voices to be heard on their own terms and to find solidarity in community. Rural America’s queerness and colorfulness are cultural treasures.

View Mount Island's CreativeGround Profile >

Leslie Grant (Lincoln, Rhode Island)

A woman leans on a mannequin.
Leslie Grant | photo by Zaire Kacz

As a fashion stylist/designer, Leslie Grant aims to facilitate the authentic expression of self through clothing and accessories. A believer that what one chooses to wear matters and that style can be cultivated, Grant shares her passion for wearable art as an educator on RISCA’s Education Roster. Inspired by fabrics, fibers, and textures, Grant’s clothing design process is a dialogue with the materials.

View Leslie Grant's CreativeGround Profile >

Samara Piano Quartet (Keene, New Hampshire)

On a stage, a pianist, cellist, and two violinists perform.
courtesy of the Samara Piano Quartet

The Samara Piano Quartet was formed in the Summer of 2017 and has performed at Keene State, Dartmouth and Marlboro Colleges, Highland Center for the Arts VT, the Keiser Concert Series and in the Music on Madison series in NYC. The Quartet are resident artists for Ashuelot Concerts, a non-profit based in Keene, New Hampshire who’s mission is to find new ears for classical music and to use live classical music performances as a powerful force to inspire learning & achievement in schools. They regularly perform in this series in Keene and have visited 14 public schools with special performances designed to inspire the next generation, performing to over 3000 school children so far. The Quartet takes its name from the winged seeds produced by the abundant maple trees surrounding their rehearsal studio in Keene, New Hampshire.

View Samara Piano Quartet's CreativeGround Profile >

Thea Hopkins (Aquinnah Wampanoag) (Somerville, Massachusetts)

Thea Hopkins
courtesy of Thea Hopkins

Performing songwriter Thea Hopkins calls her music Red Roots Americana. Her EP "Love Come Down," released in fall, 2018, was nominated for a 2019 Indigenous Music Award in the folk category, an international competition. In June 2019, Thea, a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe of Martha's Vineyard, MA, was selected by the Western Arts Alliance as a 2019 Native Launchpad Artist, a three-year artist development program. Thea was given further recognition for her skilled songwriting in 2019 with a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and by being selected for the Wichoie Ahiya Indigenous Singer Songwriter Intensive at the Banff Arts Centre in Alberta, Canada. View her profile to discover what famous trio has recorded her music, as well as how her heritage has contributed to her powerful music storytelling.

View Thea Hopkins' CreativeGround Profile >