CHS Names New Director of Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program

September 27, 2018 · Press Releases

The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) announces it has appointed Katharine Schramm, PhD, as the new director of the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP).  Schramm succeeds Lynne Williamson who will be retiring from the CHS in October 2018 after 25 years of leadership to the program

Dr. Schramm comes to the CHS from Indiana University Press where she was assistant acquisitions editor.  She has many years of experience as a folklorist and in museum curation, having previously worked at Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures and with Indiana’s state folklore and folklife agency, Traditional Arts Indiana. As the new CCHAP director, she will continue Lynne’s work overseeing exhibits and events from Connecticut’s diverse base of folk artists who preserve traditional ethnic art forms and cultural practices. Dr. Schramm also will continue CCHAP’s fieldwork efforts to document and preserve these communities, giving important support to unknown or under-represented artists.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Kate join the CHS in this role nurturing the traditional arts that add so much texture to the fabric of Connecticut’s artistic heritage and culture,” said Jody Blankenship, CEO of the CHS. “Kate brings wonderful creativity and enthusiasm to CCHAP and the CHS.  At the same time, we are deeply thankful for the dedication Lynne Williamson has given CCHAP.  She stepped in during a crucial time to help CCHAP transition to the CHS in 2015.  Her mark is forever on this important program.”

Established by the Institute for Community Research (ICR) in 1991, CCHAP partners with local cultural groups to locate and interview artists from their communities, photograph or record their work, and learn from them about their art form.  The program also helps preserve and present this folk art through public exhibits, performances, and other demonstrations. CCHAP has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Connecticut Humanities, the City of Hartford, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Community Folklife Program, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, the Knox Foundation, the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls, and several other foundations and donors.

The Connecticut Historical Society ( is a private, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center. Founded in 1825, the CHS is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. The CHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, works to connect visitors to the story of Connecticut, and to help create a society that values historical perspective and understanding as essential tools in shaping communities and making informed decisions. To accomplish that, the CHS has collected more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials related to Connecticut’s social, cultural, and family history – which are available to the public onsite at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, off-site at other locations, and online.

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