Hartford Heritage Project Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is comprised of representatives from key partner institutions in the Hartford Heritage Program, experts in learning community pedagogy and programming, and academics who specialize in Hartford or Connecticut Studies. Advisory Council members collaborate with the Program Coordinator and Humanities Chair on programming, educational, and fundraising issues, as well as the direction and growth of the Endowed Hartford Heritage Program and assessment of its effectiveness. Advisory Council members guide and support the Program Coordinator in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations relevant to Hartford Heritage course development, student engagement, and fundraising. Advisory Council members serve in a volunteer capacity.

The following individuals serve on the advisory council:

Catherine Burton, Ph.D., Program Coordinator, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Click here for bio

Catherine (Katie) Burton is Program Coordinator at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. As the school programs and Student Stowe Prize specialist, she is primarily responsible for development and presentation of school programs (elementary through college) and interpretive staff recruitment, training, and retention. Before joining the Stowe Center team, Burton taught college literature, writing, and publishing for ten years, most recently at Quinnipiac University and Lehigh University. She is passionate about the public humanities and believes in the power of words to change the world. Burton holds a Ph.D. in English from Lehigh University and an M.A. and B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut.

Brian Cofrancesco, Head of Education, Connecticut's Old State House Click here for bio

Brian Cofrancesco is Head of Education at Connecticut’s Old State House where he oversees school programs, public tours, interpretation, and the museums internship program. He joined the Old State House team in 2014 after three years at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and previously worked at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the Fralin Art Museum at the University of Virginia. He serves on committees for the Connecticut League of History Organizations, Connecticut Humanities and the Victorian Society in America, and on the board of the Meriden Historical Society. He holds a Bachelors of Architectural History from the University of Virginia.

Jana Colacino, Ph.D., Connecticut Landmarks Click here for bio

Jana Colacino, Hartford Educator and Properties Manager, joined Connecticut Landmarks in 2015 and oversees educational and public programming at the Butler-McCook House and Garden and the Isham-Terry House. She spearheads education for all ages including from K-12 school programs, the Youth Employment Program (YEP) for Hartford-area high school students, and internship programs for college and graduate students. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History at Eastern Connecticut State University, teaching courses on American Art, Visual Culture, and Women in the Visual Arts. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in Art History from Syracuse University, and completed doctoral work at Indiana University in American Art with minors in African Art and American Studies.

Rebecca Gavin, Director of Education, Connecticut Historical Society Click here for bio

Rebecca Gavin is the Director of Education at the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) located in Hartford, and has worked in public history and interpretation for over nine years. Rebecca has previously held education positions at the Long Island Museum, King Manor Museum and with the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. She holds a B.A. in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington and a M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

James Golden, Ph.D., Director of Education, Mark Twain House and Museum Click here for bio

James Golden, D.Phil., is the Director of Education at The Mark Twain House & Museum, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Trinity College, Hartford, for the 2016-2017 academic year. At the Mark Twain House & Museum, he develops and teaches school programs and teacher professional development workshops, manages community outreach programs, and organizes a public lecture series. He received an M.A. in Divinity and an M.Sc. in History from the University of Edinburgh, and a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford. Prior to The Mark Twain House & Museum, he was a postdoctoral Research Associate with a public humanities project at the University of Cambridge.

William Hosley, Principal of Terra Firma Northeast Click here for bio

Bill Hosley is a cultural resource development and marketing and communications consultant, social media expert, historian, writer, and photographer. He was formerly Director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks where he cared for a chain of historic attractions throughout Connecticut. Prior to that, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, Bill organized major exhibitions including Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire (1996) and wrote the book Colt: The Making of an American Legend. As an expert in heritage tourism, Bill has studied, lectured and advised hundreds of museums and heritage destinations around the country and has served as a content specialist for PBS, BBC and CPTV film documentaries.

Freddie McInerney, TheaterWorks Click here for bio

Freddie McInerney is Director of Communications and Marketing for TheaterWorks in downtown Hartford. She has been affiliated with TheaterWorks since 2008 where she also manages events and community relations at the theater's home, City Arts on Pearl. Freddie is co-founder of Paper New England a Hartford based visual arts organization and former Executive Director of Artworks Gallery (City Arts on Pearl tenant). Freddie received a B.S. in Marketing from Georgetown University and pursued graduate studies in Studio Arts at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Brenda Miller, Executive Director, Hartford History Center Click here for bio

Brenda J. Miller is curator of the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library. Her responsibilities include connecting the community to heritage resources while maintaining, securing, and preserving the library’s special collection and archive, in all its formats, for future generations. She holds a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and a MA in American Studies, Museums, Archives and Communities from Trinity College, Hartford. She is a member of the Connecticut Explored editorial team (a magazine focused on Connecticut history); and serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and on the Connecticut Olmsted Heritage Alliance. She was recently chosen as one of twenty-four candidates nationwide to take part in the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.

Angela Parker, Docent and Tour Programs Manager, Wadsworth Atheneum Click here for bio

Angela Parker is the Docent and Tour Programs Manager at the Wadsworth Atheneum where she manages current docents, trains incoming docents, and contributes to the museum’s school and adult tour programming. She has a background in middle school education, as well as museum education. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and a MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is continuing to pursue a Ph.D. in Art History.

Julia Pistell, Managing Director, Sea Tea Comedy Theater Click here for bio

As a founding member of Sea Tea Improv, Pistell has ushered the company from a tiny seven-person start-up to a fully fledged professional theater producing hundreds of unique productions a year. She has also worked as the Director of Writing Programs at the Mark Twain House & Museum, is the host of nationally renowned podcast Literary Disco, and the creator of Hartford's popular reading series, Syllable. She holds an MFA from Bennington College in Creative Nonfiction.

Stacey Queen, Education Associate, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Inc Click here for bio

Stacey Queen serves as Education Associate at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and has been involved in arts education programs in Baltimore, MD and Washington DC since 2011. She has held positions in museum education at The Maryland Historical Society and The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum where she developed and managed public programs for school groups K-12, youth and adult audiences. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Burroughs-Wright Fellowship awarded by the Association of African-American Museums. Stacey received her B.A. in Studio Art from Hampton University and her M.A. in Art History from Towson University.

Jennifer Roberts, Director of Education, Hartford Stage Co. Click here for bio

Jennifer Roberts is in her fifth season at Hartford Stage, having previously held the position of Education Associate for Literary and In-School Programs. Before coming to Hartford Stage, she worked as the Resident Teaching Artist at George Street Playhouse and served as the Artistic Director of the Papermill Children’s Theatre in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Her work as a director and playwright has been recognized by the Austin Circle of Theatres and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Her essay on the future of theatre and education, “Changing the How”, was published in the November 2008 issue of TCG’s American Theatre magazine. She received a Masters degree of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin.

Julia B. Rosenblatt, Playwright, director, actor and theater educator Click here for bio

Julia was the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the award winning HartBeat Ensemble for 16 years. She is a current Graustein Memorial Fund Playwriting Fellow and an adjunct theater professor at Capital Community College. This year, Julia is a Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame “Women Center Stage” Honoree. She was also nominated for the 2018 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2015 and 2016, Julia was the Playwriting Consultant at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Julia is a Theater of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner and has taught TO workshops throughout the United States, Nicaragua and Mexico. Julia holds a BA from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University.

Andrew Walsh, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Trinity College Click here for bio

Andrew Walsh, Ph.D., is associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life at Trinity College, where he teaches in the Cities Program. His Harvard doctoral dissertation (1996), “For Our Cities Welfare: Building a Protestant Establishment in Late Nineteenth Century Hartford,” addressed religious and demographic change in the period when Hartford was emerging as a significant American manufacturing center. He has taught courses at Trinity on Hartford’s history since the mid-1990s, served as a consultant to area historical institutions, and frequently gives talks on history of the region.

Matthew Warschauer, Ph.D., Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University Click here for bio

Matthew Warshauer, Ph.D., is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and Co-Chair of the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission. The author of three books, Dr. Warshauer is a specialist on nineteenth century political and constitutional history, Andrew Jackson, and the American Civil War. He also works closely with the public history community in Connecticut to help bring the state’s history to residents.