JA­MAICAN IS CON­NECTI­CUT’S ART BOSS

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS & EDUCATION - Shar­maSharma Amitabh Gleaner Writer

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.

POW­ER­FUL OF­FI­CIAL

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

Kristina New­man-Scott

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