CNCTB Sat, 01 Oct 2022 17:05:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CNCTB 32 32 ‘Twinkle Point’ Wee Faerie Village opens today at the Florence Griswold Museum with superhero tours Sat, 01 Oct 2022 04:28:32 +0000

One of the whimsical Wee Faerie homes on display is Bettina Rowlands Botanical Gardens in Broad Brook, Connecticut.

OLD LYME — Since 2009, more than 175,000 visitors have immersed themselves in the spirit of imagination and whimsy that emanates from visiting at least two dozen fairy-sized installations on the Museum campus on a perfect summer day. fall, and this year will be no exception.

This year’s theme is Glitter dot, an amusement park designed for fairies. Artists and fairy enthusiasts worked for months on roller coasters, carousels, arcades and stores – everything you find in an amusement park – only tiny.

The exhibition is open from Saturday October 1 to Sunday October 30.

This jungle-themed river ride by Cromwell’s Jessica Zeedyk is sure to delight visitors to Wee Faerie Village 2022.

The 27 creative installations, including those produced by six schools and four new participants, will not fail to amaze visitors with their know-how and their imagination.

The Museum will also be offering a full list of special fairy-related programs and events, as follows:

Saturday October 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Twinkle Point Superhero Saturday
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Come meet Captain America and Black Panther, superheroes who keep Twinkle Point Park safe, serene and awesome. Pose for photos and get hi-fives from these awesome Wee Faeries friends.

Sunday October 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Painting demonstration
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Enjoy a outdoors painting demonstration by Impressionist artist Dmitri Wright, one of Connecticut’s leading teacher artists in the contemporary Impressionist style. Ask questions and learn about the process from an accomplished local artist.

Take a peek if you dare inside Essex’s Dee Dee Charnok haunted house!

Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Stunning balloon art
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Come meet April, the twisted balloon artist who can conjure up anything from her colorful balloon palette. Request a wand, sword or cartoon character and watch it appear before your eyes.

Saturday October 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oh! Oh! Pirate Day at Twinkle Point
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Come and meet the Free Men of the Sea, very good re-enactors who bring to life the myths and history of pirates and corsairs. Flintlock pistol demonstrations every hour from 12 noon.

Sunday October 16 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Splashes! Splash! A day at Mermaid Cove
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Glitter dot unveils its latest “living” sculpture of a mermaid to adorn Mermaid Cove. Marvel at the remarkable stillness of this mermaid before she disappears back into her aquatic depths.

See what you can see in the House of Mirrors by Michele Mergy of Old Lyme and Dawn Bisharat of Madison, Connecticut!

Saturday October 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Maggie’s Magical Potions & Tea Shop
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Discover the many herbs with magical healing powers and taste delicious tea blends. Make your own mix and buy delicious pastries.

Saturday October 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
BOO-HA-HA! Awesome Halloween Magic
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Enjoy magical and spooky pranks with entertainer extraordinaire Joe Howard – stilts, magic and comedy to delight all ages.

Sunday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Halloween at Twinkle Point
This event is free with admission to the Museum.
Dress up in costumes and visit the Education Center for treats.

]]> Road Trip Close to Home: Queens County Farm Museum Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:34:37 +0000

It’s that time of year again – the crisp autumn air is setting in and the leaves are changing. For families looking for all the fun of fall, the Queens County Farm Museum is home to the Big Apple’s only corn maze.

“Between the apple cider donuts, the wagon rides and the corn maze…It’s just a bucolic place. It’s a wonderful place to connect with nature,” said Jennifer Walden-Weprin, executive director of the museum.

The Queens County Farm Museum is home to New York’s only corn maze. Designed from above to look like a Georgia O’Keefe painting, the Queens County Farm Museum can even be visited at night for a spooky trail.

The area is a real working farm of 47 acres.

“I think people are surprised that there are alpacas, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs all living here in New York,” Walden-Weprin says.

Don’t forget that you can feed the sheep and the goats! You can buy the food in the store.

The farm is also home to vintage tractors that visitors can explore as well as the on-site shop and animals. Farms are open until early November.

After the fun of the fall season, the museum hosts a number of events including the Winter Lantern Festival. The farm will be illuminated with Chinese lanterns for the enjoyment of the whole family.

Cathy Bochain proud to be part of UConn women’s athletics legacy Thu, 29 Sep 2022 11:35:54 +0000

Cathy Bochain ’83 (PHR) doesn’t see herself as a trailblazer in UConn athletics, but rather as a builder of bridges to the success that Husky teams enjoy today.

Bochain was a member of the first class of freshman female basketball student-athletes in which every member was a scholarship holder, and she graduated as an all-time scoring and assisting leader. university history. There were female scholarship players before, but never an entire class — a direct result of the passage of landmark federal Title IX legislation in 1972.

Bochain will be among hundreds of former UConn student-athletes returning to campus the weekend of October 14-16 for a 50e anniversary of Title IX and the commemoration of an enduring legacy of UConn women’s athletics since its university inception in 1974.

Former UConn student-athletes who have not yet registered for the weekend are encouraged to do so at this special website.

Cathy Bochain during her days as a member of the UConn women’s basketball team (Cyril Morris/UConn Athletics Photo).

“Those things wouldn’t have happened”

Bochain grew up in Plainfield and played the usual sports while growing up with his brothers and friends.

“It wasn’t very cool for girls to play with boys, but I did, and I got harassed a bit, but it got me pretty hard,” Bochain says. “We had an old Little League field near our house and we played baseball all summer and football in the fall. I came to basketball a little late, but as I played it more and more, I not only liked it, but I was good enough for it.

Bochain had an outstanding basketball career at Plainfield High School and was encouraged by her coach, Claudia Combies, to pursue a college scholarship.

“She was a real feminist for the time,” Bochain says of her coach. “She had a bulletin board outside our gym that had pictures of people like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova and the Connecticut Falcons softball team. She was very progressive and made sure that we knew the opportunities available to us.

Bochain was also part of the first wave of AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) women’s teams and beat 4,000 players at a tournament in Boston for a spot on a prestigious team that included future U.S. national team member Medina. Dixon and the 1985 NCAA Tournament. Most Outstanding Player, Tracy Claxton.

Bochain was heavily recruited by colleges and received scholarship offers from Yale, Boston University, and Boston College, but chose to come to UConn and its nationally renowned pharmacy school.

To this day, she is grateful for the opportunity for a full scholarship and to graduate debt-free. She also credits Title IX for the opportunities she had in high school, college, and the AAU.

“Everyone has wishes and thinks equality will evolve, but without Title IX these things wouldn’t have happened, so that was really important,” says Bochain.

“Athletics help make you a successful person”

Bochain, who grew up in the Moosup section of Plainfield, was also inspired to come to UConn by Moosup’s famous Dropo family – the “first UConn athletics family”, which included Walter, Milton and George. George was vice-principal at Plainfield High School when Bochain was in school.

“George would always call me into his office to show me all of his UConn memorabilia, especially after he did a recruiting visit to another school,” says Bochain. “He was always like, ‘You’re going to UConn, aren’t you?'”

Bochain’s Plainfield teams had great fan support from the school and community, and the gymnasiums were packed for games.

“Eastern Connecticut has always had really good women’s basketball,” she says, “and there were great crowds all over the area.”

That wasn’t the case when Bochain came to UConn in the fall of 1979. That was before Geno Auriemma and before the Gampel Pavilion, when games at the Field House were a matter of friends and family.

Bochain, right, with teammate Mary Ellen Langfield '83.
Bochain, right, with teammate Mary Ellen Langfield ’83 (UConn Athletics photo).

“We had more people from Plainfield at our games than anywhere else,” says Bochain, who was recruiting College of Pharmacy students and faculty to come to the games. They became the team’s biggest supporters.

“Being a student-athlete and a pharmacy student wasn’t easy, but the two things balanced out for me,” says Bochain. “If I had a bad day at school, I would go to the gym and work on things, and if I had a bad game, I knew there was an exam to study.”

Bochain had a successful professional career as a pharmacist for CVS and worked for many years on sites at Storrs, becoming an even more important part of the campus fabric.

“I really got to know so many people from the faculty, coaches, and students, and got to watch the campus grow,” Bochain says.

Bochain has a “family” relationship with current UConn women’s basketball coaches and staff, and was part of the search committee that hired Auriemma in 1985. She was actually the one who picked him up from the airport. for his job interview.

“When I met him and was able to talk to him a bit, I knew he was the right choice with his personality and his charisma,” says Bochain.

She credits her athletic experience to date as helping her in many aspects of life.

“The real world of work is tough, and having an athletic education teaches you gut strength, resilience, and courage,” Bochain says. “Pharmacy work is tough, especially now, and you have to buckle up and be focused. I work as hard at my job as I have ever done in athletics. I hiked the Appalachian Trail with a 50 pound pack. Athletics helps make you a successful person and also teaches you to feel like you had a good day.

Coventry and Mansfield want to improve tourism Thu, 29 Sep 2022 05:33:21 +0000

September 28—The cities of Coventry and Mansfield are among four cities seeking input from community members on how to improve their tourism brand.

The cities of Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield and Tolland have engaged Dornenburg Kallenbach Advertising to create a tourism brand for the four-city region. This new collective branding of the territory as a destination will complement each city’s marketing and will not replace each city’s logo or branding.

An Economic Vitality Action Plan prepared in 2020 by AdvanceCT in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Community and Economic Development determined that the area could better promote its assets to encourage visitor attraction and business growth.

According to the action plan, the area has the potential to become a tourist attraction.

“The action plan recommended that the region have a significant opportunity to be considered a premier dining, shopping and gaming destination, based on its distinctive mix of resources across the four cities,” reads- on in a statement posted to the online survey.

Resources in the four cities include outdoor recreation, agriculture and agritourism, culture and entertainment, institutions of higher learning, and small businesses and entrepreneurs.

At this point, the four cities would like community feedback on draft branding options.

The survey is short and will only take you a few minutes. The survey is open to everyone, regardless of city of residence. Responses will remain anonymous.

A link to the online survey can be found on the City of Coventry website ( under news and announcements. A link to the Economic Vitality Action Plan can be found in the survey.

The survey must be completed by October 11.

Wilton artist hosts exhibition with her family’s art at the Hammond Museum Tue, 27 Sep 2022 16:10:29 +0000 The official title of the triptych of exhibits currently at the Hammond Museum, a few miles west of Ridgefield in North Salem, NYis “Artistic legacies and Zen sanctuary.” But a simpler title might be “Lucy Krupenye, family and friends”.

Lucy, a sculptress from Wilton who works with found materials such as stone, wood, metal and bone, is at the center of the three exhibitions as an artist, conservativedaughter and granddaughter.

Family legacies, as Lucy explained, begin with her grandmother, Berta Gladstone who ran a gallery in Woodstock, NY which, in its heyday of the 1960s, had an impressive list of artists.

“I played there when I was little,” Lucy said. “Its artists were exhibiting at the Met Museum, MOMA, National Gallery. I knew it was a top gallery, but when I grew up it wasn’t there. As an adult looking back , I thought, ‘Oh?’ So I went through the archives of the Woodstock library and it reinforced my memories.

She did her research about five years ago, and the newspaper clippings she found reporting on exhibitions at the Gladstone Gallery, along with other material, occupy a corner of a gallery at the Hammond.

Meanwhile, Lucy and her mother, Berta’s daughter Grace Krupenye, had established themselves as artists independently of each other, at least at first. Lucy’s earliest memories are of her mother’s oil paintings. She later switched to collage, in part because the family spent summers in the south of France, where Lucy’s father, Ira Krupenye, a concert violinist, performed with two orchestras. One was the Philharmonie de Monte-Carlo.

“My mother started playing with the paper the French use to wrap bread,” Lucy said. “Then she started making her own paper. Incredibly, that was around the time I was starting out as a sculptor. We would do it totally separately and then come together and always be amazed at how similar the feel was to our artwork. It was wonderful because my mom always inspired me so much, but there was a moment when she said how much I inspired her.

A look at New Jersey-based Goya Foods, Inc. Mon, 26 Sep 2022 23:44:32 +0000

In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, News 12 New Jersey visited the largest Hispanic food company in the United States.

More than 2,500 products are manufactured right out of the Goya Foods, Inc. plant in Secaucus. It all started in 1936.

“Our company has really tracked the immigration to this country of Latinos,” says Robert Uanaue, the company’s president and CEO. “It’s a melting pot.”

Goya Foods employs 5,000 people. As Latin American migration grows, the company’s product portfolio and footprint also grows. It has 26 installations worldwide.

“They say we’ll be the biggest band by 2050, if not maybe next week,” says Unanue. “Seventy million Latinos in this country and we are the second largest Latino country in the world.”

Unanue says that despite the recent inflation the United States has experienced, Goya Foods continues to maintain its affordability.

“What Goya sells is good, delicious and nutritious food. Rice and beans are a big part of our business,” he says. “We also produce our own cans and bottles. We are vertically integrated, so controlling the quality of canning, packaging, also allows us to reduce our costs.

Goya Gives, the organization’s philanthropic arm, continues to provide relief and supports nearly 300 organizations each year.

“We like to think of ourselves as first responders,” says Unanue. “Puerto Rico was devastated by [Hurricane] Fiona and here we are.

Unanue says the company has never stopped working internally during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also allowed them to help give back to the community in need.

“We didn’t stop for a moment…we were the first responders, we had food. We were the only businesses open and we were lucky to have people to provide packaging and materials,” he says.

Goya Foods was founded by Unanue’s grandparents. He says it proves the mission is as much about the importance of family as it is about achieving the American Dream.

The Greaney Brothers lead Albany past Central Connecticut, 45-26 Sun, 25 Sep 2022 01:32:37 +0000

ALBANY, NY (AP) — Thomas Greaney caught two touchdown passes and his brother, defensive lineman Joseph, recovered a fumble and rumbled 77 yards for his first career touchdown as Albany beat Central Connecticut, 45 -29 Saturday.

Todd Sibley rushed for 97 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first offensive play to give the Great Danes (1-3) a lead they never relinquished and finished with 190 yards on 18 carries. Albany rushed for 224 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns.

Reese Poffenbarger passed 18 of 26 for 257 yards and two touchdowns.

Nasir Smith rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to lead the Blue Devils (0-4). Shon Mitchell was held for 116 yards on 7 of 16 passes.

Mitchell pulled back to pass fourth down in the red zone, but Albany’s pass rush pushed him to a fumble on the Great Danes’ 23 and Joseph Greaney recovered the loose ball and ran intact for the touchdown with 11:16 to go in the third quarter. Poffenbarger then found Thomas Greaney for two touchdowns in the third quarter to give Albany a 45-20 lead heading into the final period.


]]> The World Heritage Cultural Center will showcase a global array of artists October Sat, 24 Sep 2022 12:10:52 +0000

After too long a hiatus due to travel and event restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Newtown-based World Heritage Cultural Center returns to center stage with what promises to be a rich showcase , colorful, steeped in dance and music on stage at Edmond Town Hall on October 1.

The globally connected nonprofit empowers and promotes diverse and unique cultures around the world, creating a global village to foster tolerance, appreciation and unity, according to its founder and Sandy Hook resident , Satie Persaud. She said The Newtown Bee that the event is about more than just bringing in members of the public to watch a show and then get back to their lives.

She hopes to help make a lasting impression on every member of the audience, exposing and enlightening them to their ignorance of the cultures of the neighboring world and the incredible experience of experiencing and embracing them through visual and musical storytelling. . The first of the local non-profit events to be held in Newtown, Persaud also highlighted how this “world of color concert” will further his organization’s mission of promoting diversity.

“We understand that cultural identity reinforces diversity, and therefore believe that acceptance and tolerance are promoted through our creation of a common ground where the creative arts are a powerful tool used to tell great stories of traditions. “, according to the WHCC website.

Residents and visitors interested in the full immersion experience that Persaud and WHCC hope to share are encouraged to start their evening early, as a red carpet celebration kicks off at 3 p.m. Thereafter, a host of artists invite themselves to the stage of the Théâtre de l’Hôtel de Ville in Edmond from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., followed by a VIP gala from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets to the red carpet, concert, and gala—with refreshments and food by Dodgingtown Market & Deli and Cash Bar—are $75; under 16 and seniors $55. Veterans, public sector workers, police, local volunteer paramedics, teachers and firefighters all also benefit from the reduction.

Tickets are available at Dodgingtown Market, which is also owned and operated by Persaud and his family, and tickets can be purchased at the door until they sell out. All proceeds are used to help artist groups cover their travel expenses.

According to Persaud, his organization has produced nearly 250 concerts to date, many of which have been featured on several travel and adventure shows in 16 states.

Since the creation of the WHCC in 2009, Persaud has maintained that “cultural diversity is the glue that holds humanity together, and it is as important as biodiversity is for nature”.

“My organization is not a hobby, but an extension of who I am and the people who have helped me find my voice,” she added. “I give gratitude every day by giving back, and that’s what drives me.”

After helping her family sell candy and cigarettes outside her family home in Suriname after school between the ages of 7 and 11, Persaud came to the United States to achieve an arranged marriage that only lasted a short time.

“Still a teenager, I had the opportunity to become the nanny of my mother’s cousin, and by working two other part-time jobs, I put myself through university,” explained Persaud. After completing additional training in accounting, she entered the corporate world and now works full-time as a senior foreign exchange manager in corporate treasury at OTIS Elevator.

Concert programming

The October 1 “World Of Colors Concert” is hosted by actress, producer and educator Isabella Hofmann (Second City, Burlesque, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Flash), who will arrive from Los Angeles for the evening. Among the scheduled performers representing 21 countries in song and dance, with elaborate costumes and cultural attire, are:

Aubre Hill, a friend and supporter of WHCC since 2009, who is an international dance artist, choreographer, educator and event producer for major ensembles across the United States, Egypt, Morocco, Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan;

Bolivian traditions, a dynamic group from Washington, DC, traveling to Connecticut to showcase the beauty of Bolivia through folklore, dance and music;

The Daynomies including Baby Opie representing Native Americans. Persaud says Baby Opie, 5, has more than 63,000 Instagram followers who clicked to see him performing with his parents and siblings;

Anindita Nanda, performing the Odissi dance, one of eight classical dance forms originating in India that is considered one of the oldest ritual dance forms still in existence, a spiritual expression of devotion to a higher being, Persaud said ;

Manuel Trillo, a global ambassador for Spain with WHCC since 2018 and a master dedicated to Latin performing arts who has been seen on Dancing with the stars representing Spain and Argentina;

Svet, a unique talent of international renown recently featured on America has talent, the Bulgarian electro violinist and friend of WHCC since 2009 merges his talent on the violin with contemporary musical styles;

Together Barynya, founded in 1991, this ensemble shares folk traditions through arts representative of Jewish, Ukrainian, Moldavian and Russian cultures; and

Kaiholuni, trained in both Kahiko (the ancient and original form of hula) and the more modern auana, the multicultural group of women, youth and keiki represent Polynesia and Hawaii.

“This event aims to empower our community with the noble mission we have at the World Heritage Cultural Center,” Persaud said, “to invite people to be part of an important legacy in the making for our future generations.”

Learn more by visiting or the organization social networking sites, or contact WHCC at or 203-489-0963.

Twenty-one different nations and cultures will be represented by the artists, dancers, musicians and bands performing on October 1 at the World Heritage Cultural Center “World Of Colors Concert” taking place at Edmond City Hall . Hosted by actress, producer and educator Isabella Hofmann (Second City; Burlesque; Homicide: Life on the Street; The Flash), and featuring artists like Ensemble Barynya, an ensemble sharing folk traditions through the arts representing Jewish, Ukrainian, Moldovan and Russian cultures, the event promises to showcase diversity through various artistic performances.

Sandy Hook resident and founder of the Newtown-based non-profit World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC), Sattie Persaud presents the organization’s first “World Of Colors” concert on October 1 at Edmond City Hall – photo courtesy of WHCC

Westport Museum Creates Escape Room For Connecticut Witch Trials Fri, 23 Sep 2022 17:22:36 +0000 WESTPORT — Just in time for the Halloween season, the Westport Museum of History and Culture is hosting an escape room that will transport attendees into a spooky, fictionalized adaptation of the real-life Connecticut witch panic of the 1600s.

The event runs from October 2 to October 30. Taking place inside the museum’s newly restored 19th century cobblestone barn, the escape room features antique props and decorations, where groups will solve a series of puzzles to find a key piece of evidence that will uncover the truth about an accused witch.

“Many do not know that witch hunts have taken place here in Connecticut, and even fewer know that they happened almost 50 years before Salemsaid Nicole Carpenter, Director of Programs and Collections at the Westport Museum. “Our hope is that by solving these puzzles, guests reflect on the reality of these persecuted people and how the end result of the escape room – albeit fictional – makes sense in this convoluted story.”

Executions of accused witches in the state date back to May 1647 in Hartford, where Alys Young was hanged. A single line of text in the governor’s diary from the colonial era exists today to recount the event.

Events even approached the Westport area, where in 1653 Goodwife Knapp of Fairfield was convicted of “suspicion” of witchcraft and eventually hanged. Rumors swirled after Knapp confessed to Roger Ludlow, then the colony’s vice-governor, that Compo’s Mary Staples was also a witch.

Carpenter said he chose this story because the Connecticut witch hunts are unknown to many, whereas the Salem witch hunts are more popularized.

She said diseases like smallpox, yellow fever and influenza were rampant in the Colonial Connecticut area. There were also attacks from rival colonizers and native tribes. This led to an escalation of fear and hysteria, with repercussions for people believed to be witches.

A total of 11 people were killed in the state from 1647 to 1662, Carpenter said.

This is the museum’s first escape room, although it has been in the works since late 2019, she said.

“I don’t think most people understand the work that goes on in an escape room,” Carpenter said. “We were very lucky to have a small team working on it.”

Carpenter said one of their interns, Claire Menard, spearheaded the creation of clues.

“She’s done a really fabulous job of putting all of her thoughts together on how to make all of these puzzles work,” Carpenter said.

They also wanted the space to feel authentic to the 17th century.

“We wanted to make sure the space felt like time travel,” she said.

The escape room is currently being tested by staff and volunteers to ensure the puzzles make sense, the space is appropriate and safe, and the language and rules are clear, to ensure that the room is as good as it gets when attendees enter, Carpenter said.

Carpenter said they turned to an escape game company in Poland to buy materials and advice on some of the puzzles they created, as well as the accuracy of historians.

“We were very lucky to not only have good, multi-talented staff working on this project, but also to have key advisors,” she said.

This is the first event held in the cobbled barn since its restoration over the summer. It’s also the only such barn in Connecticut, Carpenter said.

“Our goal and hope is that in solving these puzzles, our guests and attendees reflect on the reality of the people who were actually involved in the Witch Panic,” Carpenter said. “And also to think about the end result of our escape room — even though it’s fictional and meant to be educational fun — how it all ties into this very, very complicated time in Connecticut history.”

Tickets are $20 for museum members and $25 for non-members. At least two people are required to participate with a maximum of 10 people.

At the Capitol, Connecticut Latinos celebrate heritage and set priorities Thu, 22 Sep 2022 22:12:28 +0000

Sandra Ferreira-Molina said that when she was 6 years old and her family immigrated from Colombia to the United States, her parents “knew they were coming to the land of opportunity, and as I sit here, I I feel privileged.”

Her mother looked at opportunities in America, like children buying cheese and bread at school, and wondering how they could be brought back to their home country. Ferreira-Molina wasn’t sure if she could bring things back, but pledged to do her best for families here in Connecticut.

“Sometimes you can’t be part of the system; you have to be outside of that, to make sure communities have a voice at the table,” Ferreira-Molina said. “Communities have a voice, and we just need to hear them.”

She is the deputy executive director of Latinos for Educational Advocacy and Diversity, and was one of many Latinos in the fields of education, health, housing, finance and politics to speak at Thursday’s a roundtable at the State Capitol celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The Commission on Women, Children, Older People, Equity and Opportunity (CWCSEO), a nonpartisan agency within the legislature, organized the event.

Leticia Colon de Mejias, acting chair of the commission’s Latino-Puerto Rican subcommittee, noted that Latinos make up 17 percent of the state’s population, but there is confusion over: “Who are Latinos and Latinas in Connecticut?”

She noted that Latinos and Latinas come from 33 countries and have different hair, dialects and foods, some from islands and some from continents.

The subcommittee has held listening sessions over the past 12 months to identify its priorities.

These include a transparent and equity-based state budget process, opportunities for home ownership as opposed to simple vouchers, equity in education funding, prioritization of health care mental health, police reform, and representation on state boards and commissions.

Colon de Mejias said the CWCSEO wants to expand housing programs such as Time to Own, a new state program offering reimbursable down payment assistance.

Connecticut Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno said 297 borrowers have been approved and are in the process of closing, 25% of whom are Latinos, and the department is processing another 544 applications.

On Thursday, Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, discussed her recommendations for what the state should do with its $4.8 billion surplus.

She said she would like to see more money spent on education in places where it is needed, housing, health care, broadband technology and advertising the free community college program. ‘State, “because we don’t have enough young people applying for this, especially in the Latino community. The word isn’t there.

The event provided an opportunity for the public, including students visiting the Capitol, to see Latinos in various leadership roles.

CWCSEO executive director Steven Hernández said it was “important that young people see themselves in front of the room” and at the top of the organizational chart. An example at the roundtable was Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, who immigrated to Hartford from Puerto Rico when he was 9 years old.

“As a product of the Hartford Public Schools District, I have a duality that informs my leadership every day,” she said, “the fact that it was inspired not only by educators, but also by educators who looked and sounded like me and understood where I was coming from.