NEW BRITAIN - Dayna R. Snell, executive director of the Queen Ann Nzinga Center, was among those recognized as a 2017 Arts Hero at the recent Connecticut Arts Day at the state Capitol.
The award recognizes the “tireless efforts and dedication of residents who are doing extraordinary work for or in the arts in Connecticut,” according to organizers.
Snell was nominated by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and was presented the award by the organization’s executive director, first lady Cathy Malloy.
Snell opened her acceptance speech by singing “I believe the children are our future,” the first line of Whitney Houston’s song, “The Greatest Love of All.” The audience, including Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, joined in, and Snell and the group ended up singing the entire first verse.
Snell is known in the city for her work in founding the nonprofit Queen Ann Nzinga Center, which for 27 years has used the arts and a series of concerts and events to promote positive youth development among children and teens of all races and abilities throughout the state.
The Connecticut Office of the Arts, in partnership with the state’s nine regional arts organizations and the Connecticut Arts Alliance, developed the annual Arts Day “to celebrate Connecticut’s investment in and support of the arts and to reaffirm the significant role the arts play in our state,” according to the state Culture & Tourism website.
The day included networking opportunities and a selection of workshops, performances, and interactive opportunities to share arts-related stories.
- Christopher Fortier,