Subject: Celebrate our ARTS HERO (May 1) + Join Us for ARTS DAY (May 2)

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Congratulate and Celebrate
ARTS HERO from our region
René Soto, born 1986 in La Libertad Peten, Guatemala, is an artist who arrived in the United States eight years ago. After the death of his brothers and mother, he used painting as a way of releasing the pain. He understood that if art could make this great impact on his life, then others who felt alone could also benefit from the arts. Even when working multiple jobs, René found the time to volunteer at many nonprofits, giving art lessons to the elderly, children, and families of cancer survivors. He has also donated his work to organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Stamford Senior Center, Caring with Grace, Domestic Crisis Violence Center and others.

For many years René put his passion aside to teach others and to help out other up-and-coming artists. Finally, after many struggles, in May 2018, he inaugurated the René Soto Gallery at 1 Wall Street, Norwalk. In less than one year, the Gallery has become a home to local and international artists, poets, dancers, and many other nonprofits that had been looking for a place to express and share their love for the arts.

René has also helped promote the arts by having displays in Norwalk Town Hall, Stamford Old Town Hall, and by beautifying the City of Norwalk with paintings on electrical boxes. His love for teaching continues with “Kids Draw Free,” an art activity in Stamford for children and families. His commitment to the arts is not only a personal matter to him. He shares it with young and old alike, creating exhibitions throughout CT and NY. René Soto lives for and shares his love of art with all. We join with his friends and colleagues in congratulating René on this honor.

To honor and celebrate individuals who are doing extraordinary things in, for, and through the arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) has created the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards. These awards are presented as part of COA's annual Connecticut Arts Day, an event designed to inform, inspire and celebrate Connecticut's investment in, and support of, the arts, and to reaffirm the significant role the arts play in Connecticut.

René is one of 9 Arts Heroes from across the State of Connecticut to be honored with this award.  Please join us as the Arts Heroes are honored at a special evening event on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 6 pm at Infinity Music Hall in Hartford.

The evening will celebrate each Arts Hero and will feature special performances by Tabisha; Violinists John Randolph and Corey Staggers; Hip Dance Artist Michael Okoasia & Crew; Connecticut State Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson; and Connecticut State Troubadour Nekita Waller!

The event is be free and open to all. COA asks for registrations so they can plan accordingly based on the number of attendees. Please be Creative and Chic with your formal attire! Door open at 5:30 p.m. Ceremony begins at 6 p.m.


College Street Music Hall, 238 College Street, New Haven &
Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, 155 Temple Street, New Haven

Continue the celebration on May 2 in New Haven where the Office of the Arts and the arts community across the State celebrate CT ARTS DAY.

Connecticut Arts Day is an annual event designed to inform, inspire and celebrate the arts and the cultural vibrancy that the arts provide to communities across the state.

In 2016, the Connecticut Office of the Arts initiated Connecticut Arts Day to reaffirm the state’s investment in and support of the arts.

Connecticut Arts Day includes performances, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, and the presentation of the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards and Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

For the Program, further details and to register for CT Arts Day: click here.
Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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