-A poem written by a young CAFTA student about her program after just one week of class.
"CAFTA runs a wonderful program that my son has attended on numerous occasions. He raves about his experience there and I’ve witnessed his progress as a creative person in multiple areas: art, story writing and acting. It’s a gem of a resource for kids and adults alike in Litchfield County. I would highly recommend CAFTA for anyone looking to explore and further their creative side.” ---- -Jeremy Schaller, West Hartford
“Teresa and John Sullivan of CAFTA have presented two workshops here at the library. Both programs were well received and well attended by the community. We feel fortunate that Teresa and John shared their artistic knowledge and talent at the Harwinton Library because their sharing enabled us to enrich the lives of our patrons.”
-Mary Lee Bulat, M.L.S, Harwinton Public Library
“As residents of Litchfield County, we are absolutely in awe of the wonderful programs offered by CAFTA. The artistic instruction provided by the Sullivans has nurtured projects by their students of an unusually high quality. CAFTA is getting results. Such an organization is a great asset to the entire region.
-Natalie and Julian Goldsmith, Litchfield
“The CAFTA after school program has given my daughter access to a community of children who share the same desire-to experience art in their life. My daughter is learning to utilize the arts as a way to define who she is, and be in touch with her own and other peoples’ feelings. Being sur- rounded by art at the CAFTA studio is exciting and engaging and drives her to create”
-Lori-Jean Foster, Torrington
“Our daughter is six years old and she loves going to CAFTA. She is encouraged to express herself freely and in a variety of media. The instructor, Teresa, has great energy and creates a supportive and inspiring atmosphere for all students, regardless of their level.”
-Hilary P. Woods
“dear CAFTA, thank u for all the work. I love acting for films...this week is going to be great be- cause of you...so thank you very much...this week will be the best week in my whole intier life and I will always rember this week always...I wish I could stay longer..thank you for everything.”
CAFTA has made a big impact on who I am. Before I came to CAFTA, I didn’t really know how to talk to people or be asertive. In just a few weeks at CAFTA, I can tell that I have changed for the better. Not only have I improved my social skills, I have grown as a person. During the planning for the CAFTA Rio Block Party event to celebrate the opening of the Olympics, I had to leave my comfort zone and call businesses, sponsors and learn to talk to professional people.All the other students were encouraged to make an effort to try, which helped us all grow. We all learned to talk to people without feeling stressed and awkward and how to communicate as a team of co-workers. During the CAFTA Summer Art Camp I explored different media that I would never have thought of before. CAFTA has opened my eyes to how the world works and who I am.
Clara Kijonka, age 15
My parents are hard workers, but couldn’t afford to pay for the CAFTA after school art program, but CAFTA gave me the opportunity to continue my studies on a full scholarship valued at aproxi- mately $58,000. I have been a student at CAFTA since 2011 when I was 12 years old,
From the beginning Mrs. Sullivan encouraged me. It just took a boost of confidence from her to make me realize that I had nothing to lose to try my talents.. Mrs. Sullivan submitted my first t-shirt design in a national contest, and a few days later she told me that I was in the semifinals. Within a month I was the national 1st prize winner!
From then on my life changed. After the competition, I decided stay with my classes at CAFTA, and it was the best decision I could have ever made..CAFTA has opened many doors for me. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan have supported and taught me so much in these six years. I learned to collaborate with other students and that working together is the key to developing a great concept.
The three ideas I learned from CAFTA that I will always keep in my heart are: know myself, be myself, and give of myself.
Thank you Connecticut Academy For The Arts (CAFTA).
Leslie Tapia-Bernal, age 17
NOTE: Leslie has been offered over $380,000 in scholarships from various art colleges and universities and CAFTA has just published her first illustrated book "CALHOUN", about her neighborhood in Torrington.
This summer I worked/studied 6 weeks for CAFTA and the Summer Youth Employment Program. Our team was asked to make up a list of core values to live by. We came up with 28 core values of our choice. They were all fairly simple. At first I didn’t take it very seriously. I normally work well with others, but near the middle of the second week, I fianlly understood why we needed them. It was a pact with my fellow workers/students. It was an agreement to be the best we could be. And I finally understood that only when I broke a few of the values. The one core value that I wanted to improve on the most was Motivation. Not just motivating the team, but motivating myself as well. Far too many times I was faking a smile and being drowsey with phone calls and instructions. But after my realization, I made it my duty to improve my ways. I began to come into class/work with a real smile on my face ready to work with good energy and passion.If I can take just one thing out of my experience at CAFTA, I would say that I learned that I can make a difference and we can make a huge impact on this town. The block party we created as a community was a great example of how we can improve Torrington. In a matter of just 4 weeks we were able to plan and put on a big event with sponsors and hundreds of people to come and participate. And I am happyI was a part of it. I plan to participate in CAFTA’s Gap Year Program as I build my portfolio for college as I develop my creative skills. Thanks to CAFTA!