Full Name: Adriane Vegas Jefferson
Preferred Name: Adriane
Other Profession: Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven
What do you do? "I use the arts as a tool to shape and address cultural and racial equity."
What is one thing that you've done in your line of work that you are proud of? "I'm proud of a few things... one being launching the state’s first and only paid arts workforce program which placed over 100 young people in jobs within the arts."
What does being in DoMode Mean to Adriane? "Always Being Present and activating world change in real time. Always striving to live out my purpose of service to others not in theory but in reality."
What motivates Adriane? "I’m motivated by love and justice and the fact that God upholds those ideals. I’m motivated by the generations before me and those who will come after and that our purpose is not about us, but tied to a collective greater purpose of creating a pathway for other people."
What advice would you give someone who is trying to do what you do: "My advice is to allow discernment and authenticity to guide you. Contrary to what society teaches you, you do not need to be a “shark” to get ahead. Be guided by love, be humble, be resilient and lead by integrity always. Also make sure you have a solid tribe around because we are only as good as our team is. Find ways to elevate other people. selflessness breeds success and selfishness will destroy you."
Official Bio: Adriane is an Arts Administrator and cultural equity leader who has worked professionally in the Arts & Culture sector for over 16 years. She is currently the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven where she is leading the city on cultural equity and anti-racism work. Prior to that she has served as an Arts Program Manager for the State of CT, Department of Economic and Community Development/Office of the Arts where she has developed groundbreaking programs for the State of CT such as The Arts Workforce Initiative paid Employment Program which has placed over 100 young people between the ages of 18-40 in arts jobs across the State.
Adriane is the creator and innovator of signature state programs such as The READI Music Conference and The READI Talk professional development Series, which has provided access and opportunity to hundreds of young creative professionals across the State who are seeking careers in arts and entertainment. In addition, Adriane has served as the CT State Coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud program, Make Music Day CT, and The Regional Initiative Grant program. She manages a combined program budget of slightly over $450,000 to foster, support, and provide opportunities to the creative community through funding and professional development initiatives.
Adriane has expertise in program design, event & media production, grant making, development, external affairs, community partnerships, and strategic planning, which includes the development and implementation of new program initiatives. She particularly specializes in the areas of developing programs for creative entrepreneurs, programs that support people from historically marginalized groups, social change initiatives, and building cross-sector relationships between the arts and other business industries. Prior to her current position at the State, Adriane served as the Executive Director and Senior Director of programs for the Writers Block Ink in New London, CT. She also has served as a member of their Board of directors.
Adriane’s professional career began in 2004, where she worked behind the scenes in local television & production and special event planning in the city of Miami, Florida. Simultaneously she was also pursuing her B.A in Popular Music from Florida Memorial University in Opa Locka, Florida. She graduated Cum Laude in 2009. Developing much of her professional career in Miami, Florida from 2004- 2015, Adriane has worked in arts education as an educator in both music and theater arts. Between 2008 and 2010, she helped to develop the drama program for Alonzo Mourning Charities’ Over Town Youth center and The Gibson Charter School. Adriane Jefferson is known as a thought leader, adviser, and educator about issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Cultural Equity. Her unique approach to programming and her ability to think outside of the box has created many opportunities for creatives, arts organizations and creative businesses within the State of CT and beyond. She has dedicated her career to creating programs that result in a more equitable, vibrant, and sustainable arts landscape. Adriane has an M.A in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is a mother of one and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.