JAMAICAN IS CONNECTICUT’S ART BOSS
WHEN KRISTINA Newman-Scott and her husband, Gordon, emigrated to the United States, it was clear that she wanted to work in the arts.
She was a graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and a painter a growing reputation on the Jamaican scene she has held jobs in that area: curating exhibitions, broadcasting on radio, and being a television producer. Her husband was into music.
“Even before Gordon asked us to move to Connecticut, I was
struggling to find what I was going to do next,” recalls Newman-Scott, reflecteding on her career at the time. “It wasn’t the most stable of circumstances if you want to have a family, especially if you are in Jamaica.”
But few people, NewmanScott included, would have plotted her future career trajectory, not withstanding their appreciation of her talent.
“I found a job after two months of us reaching here,” she said.
Newman-Scott was the director of Visual Arts at Real Art Ways in June 2005, where she was responsible for organising exhibitions and public arts projects.
Accolades poured in for her work. She moved to Boston Center for the Arts as director of programs, and after a stint as Creative Community National Fellow at National Arts Strategies in Connecticut, she moved to her current employer as director of marketing.
A dozen years later, Kristina Newman-Scott is perhaps the most powerful official in art and culture in Connecticut. She is the state’s director of culture, overseeing all its programmes and services related to art, culture, and historic preservation. She has just turned 40.
“If you told me that I would work for the government,” she said, “I would have told you that you are crazy, it is impossible, because I am not one of those people.”
But on the way to this job, which she has had since 2012, Newman-Scott has held several other important posts of influence at the city and state level in America’s north-east. She has been, for instance, director of visual arts at Hartford’s Real Art Ways; director of programmes at the Boston Centre for the Arts; and director of marketing, events and cultural affairs for the City of Hartford.
“This wouldn’t have happened