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CREC Arts Director Kim Stroud Receives 2018 Arts Hero Award from State's Office of the Arts

Kim Stroud, director of the arts at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School (GHAA), was chosen from 165 nominees to receive the 2018 Arts Hero Award for the Greater Hartford region by the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts. The award recognizes ordinary people who do extraordinary things through the arts. This year’s emphasis was on harnessing the power of the arts to build resiliency. Stroud was selected for her “impactful and responsive contribution to (her) community and the profound impact it has had on the state and beyond.” She will receive her award on April 25 at the Hartford Stage as part of CT Arts Day. She will also be featured in a CT Arts Day publication. Stroud’s is one of nine annual Arts Hero Awards recipients recognized for their artistic excellence and community contribution. The awards review panel was comprised of CT Arts Day Task Force members, who are arts leaders and artists from throughout the state.

“I am awestruck. I just can’t think of any better title than to be called a hero,” said Stroud. “I know what comes to my mind when I think of the heroes in my life who were the mentors, guides, and stewards who made me strive to be more than I could imagine at that time. If I can be that for my students, there is nothing greater I can achieve.

“I am well aware that I work with some of the best and most caring artists, educators, and humans in the world,” she continued. “We do this together and we all share in the joy for any of the students who leave us and make a place for themselves in this world that they could not imagine before we met them. I thank all my heroes, mentors, colleagues, and fellow artists who make magic happen for students every day.”

Stroud lives in Madison and has worked at GHAA since 1993, where she has been the school’s dance department chairperson, assistant director of the arts, and director of the arts. She is also the general director of the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University. Stroud's former positions include being the administrator for dance programs for city youth through the school of the Hartford City Ballet, the general director and dance chairperson for the Center for Creative Youth, and the head of the diversity committee for the International NETWORK of Performing and Visual Arts Schools.

Stroud’s other honors include being named a member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO and receiving a citation from former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and the City of Hartford for teaching. In 2012, Dance Teacher Magazine honored her as Outstanding Dance Educator. In 2009, she received the Teacher of the Year award from the International Arts Schools Network. Stroud was bestowed Teacher Recognition from the Connecticut Dance Alliance in 2007 and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in 2000. The National Dance Education Organization named her Outstanding Dance Educator of the Year in 2005.

Stroud served on faculty at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City, SUNY Purchase, the University of Hartford, and The Hartford Conservatory. She was a Principal Soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company for eleven years, touring the world. She has also danced and toured with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, performed in the Universal Studio film production of The Wiz, and as a guest artist with Katherine Dunham and the Gemini Dance Company. Stroud was also a master teacher for the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Southern California at Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Randolf-Macon Women's College in Virginia, the University of Hartford, and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Stroud attended SUNY at Purchase and holds a degree in Dance Performance and Pedagogy.

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