Thrive 2016 Event















2016 Featured Presenters- Spotlight on Southeastern CT!
Breakout Sessions – Attendees choose four of six available sessions with 30 minute presentations (20 min./10 min. Q&A) featuring projects from around the region, including:

Dr. Jason ManciniMashantucket Pequot Museum– The Museum is committed to transforming how indigenous cultures and peoples are represented to accurately portray a next generation Native narrative that gives greater understanding to the evolution of a new Native voice. With over 300,000 square feet of space and covering seven acres, the museum has experienced ebbs and flows on many levels since opening in 1998. In 2014, the museum closed for the first time during the winter season. With the appointment of its new Director, Dr. Jason Mancini in 2015, the museum looks ahead to a healthy and promising future. Learn more about changes made, being made, and the issues the museum is overcoming to thrive.




Artful Access– Join Norwich’s Dan Topalis, Artist/ Entrepreneur/Wauregan Gallery Owner, and Elanah Sherman, State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, to hear about what it means for art to be accessible to all. From working with individual artists in a gallery to fashion shows and collaborating on community projects, artists and arts leaders can help create an environment for
diversity, equity, and inclusion from which we can all learn and benefit.


logo1CT’s Submarine Century– City of Groton Mayor Marian Galbraith will give a behind-the-scenes look at the year long, 30+ person, multi-agency, multi-city, and multi-sector collaboration to celebrate 100 years of submarines in the region and State. CTSUBCEN coordinated efforts to market arts, cultural, and history events and activities, including the creation of the Submarine Art Trail. Hear more about planning, activities, and impact of this inspiring collaboration.



wbi-group-onstageWriter’s Block Ink– Join President and Founder Clarissa Beyah-Taylor to learn more about this small community arts organization in New London that is having big impact with our region’s youth. Their mantra is igniting social change on the page and stage. Programs offer students the ability to address social issues like domestic violence, bullying, and incarceration through spoken word, hip-hop music, multi-media production, dance, and performance. Students create original productions which explore these critical themes and topics.


Historic House GraphicHistoric House Museums Collaborative– Join Stephanie Lantiere of Avery Memorial Association of Groton and Joanie DiMartino of the Smith-Harris House in East Lyme to hear about the collaboration between 16 small historic house museums that worked together for big impact. The initiative created and produced 15,000 rack cards, a launch event and cooperative marketing presence. Learn more about the process, benefits and impact of this region-wide initiative.


exp-logoExpressiones– Join Guido Garaycochea and Jose Garaycochea-Ulloa, Curator and Executive Director of Expressiones in New London. Expressiones connects and builds multicultural bridges through artistic and educational endeavors. Guido, an internationally trained artist, and Jose, an arts administrator, are committed to sharing & promoting mutual understanding, respect, and appreciation of Latino culture through the arts in our community. Expressiones celebrates diversity by inspiring the community to immerse themselves in the music, art, and customs of our multicultural population, and is highly regarded for its Artist-In-Residence program for Latin artists, ArtVenture program for bilingual arts education in partnership with local schools, libraries and a thriving gallery with changing exhibitions.

2016 Featured Speakers


Preston Whiteway, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center


Kristina Newman-Scott, CT Director of Culture, CT Office of the Arts, DECD


Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation









Bob Ross, Office of Military Affairs


Lisa McGinley, Ret., The Day Publishing Co.


Jennifer O’Brien, Community Foundation of Eastern CT








Dee Schneidman, New England Foundation for the Arts


Daniel Meiser, Entrepreneur & Owner of Oyster Club and Engine Room Restaurants














Keynote Speaker-Daniel Meiser
“Southeastern CT’s Creative Economy : Why here, why now?” 


Native American ‘Bounty of the Season’ Buffet Lunch
Sherry Pocknett is chef at the Pequot Museum where she skillfully unites Native culture and cuisine with family-friendly dining. A descendant of the Mashpee Wampanoags who first welcomed English settlers nearly 400 years ago, Chef Pocknett started her first food stand at age 13.
Chef Pocknett’s award-winning food has has been featured in popular outlets including Williams-Sonoma, The Boston Globe, Craving Boston and Afar Magazine. Her menus are celebrated for their uniqueness, creative delivery and promotion of Native American heritage.

Thrive Photo Gallery

Arts And Culture Groups Told To Dare Greatly
By Lee Howard, The Day, December 6, 2016


Mashantucket Pequot Museum Presentation

Expressiones Presentation

Historic House Museums Collaborative Presentation

Writers Block Ink Presentation

CT Submarine Century and CT Sub Trail



Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Resource Center

New England Foundation for the Arts

Community Foundation of Eastern CT

CT Office of the Arts

CT Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (OPA)

CT Submarine Century


Historic House Museums of SECT (

Gallery at the Wauregan (Dan Topalis)

Writers Block Ink

Oyster Club Restaurant and Engine Room



Atlantic Broadband

Garde Arts Center

Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center

Mystic Aquarium

Slater Memorial Museum

INET (Imagine Networking Everyone Together)

The Day

Connecticut College

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Norwich Community Development Corporation

Goodspeed Musicals