Please join us at the Connecticut Historical Society for a special reception to honor four extraordinary traditional artists and Connecticut residents who have recently received significant awards!
Daniel Boucher, Paul Luniw and Jampa Tsondue have received the Connecticut Office of the Arts 2015-6 Artist Fellowship in Folk and Traditional Arts. Somaly Hay has received a Special Citation from the Connecticut General Assembly and the Governor.
Daniel Boucher grew up in a French Canadian family in Bristol, CT, absorbing cultural traditions such as maple sugaring, French language, and music. Fascinated by songs and tunes heard at family and community gatherings, Daniel became an excellent fiddler, singer, and composer. He organizes regular music gatherings and celebrations of French Canadian holidays through his organization Jam Français.
Paul Luniw is a master of the Ukrainian decorative art tradition called pysanky. Learning the craft as a boy from his mother and Ukrainian community members, he has continued to “write” the intricate etched and dyed designs on ostrich, duck, hen, and quail eggs throughout his life. Father Paul is an expert in Canon Law, and serves as the parish priest at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Church in Terryville CT.
Jampa Tsondue was born in India to Tibetan parents who had fled the Chinese occupation in Tibet. He became an apprentice to a famous painter at the Gyudmed Tantric University, studying techniques of Buddhist thangka painting with this mentor, who lived with the family, for fifteen years. Some of their thangkas are in the Dalai Lama’s collection. Jampa is a leader in the Tibetan community in Old Saybrook.
Somaly Hay began to learn traditional Cambodian dance from the age of four, at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. From 1975, when the brutal Khmer Rouge began to devastate Cambodia, Somaly helped her family to survive, although only five escaped to refugee camps in Thailand. Somaly came with them to the US in 1981, settling in Waterford where she has raised her two daughters. Somaly’s life has been devoted to performing and teaching Cambodian culture across the US. She was designated a Master Teaching Artist by the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism, and is beloved by generations of students and fellow artists.
The evening is free and open to the public, but we ask that you let us know that you are coming at [email protected]. For more information please call Lynne Williamson at 860-236-5621 x 235 or at [email protected]. This reception is presented by the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program at the Connecticut Historical Society, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD. Support also comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.