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Musician – Social Justice Advocate – And Educator

Calida N. Jones is an accomplished musician, social justice advocate, and educator with more than 25 years of experience in performance planning, workshop and curriculum development, volunteerism, project management, and teaching in private and public institutions. Working with arts and cultural organizations across the nation, she has led efforts to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Passionate about intentional, purposeful teaching and community engagement, her mission is to ensure that children with limited resources have access to musical opportunities and activities. She is also deeply committed to correlating the art of teaching to life skills and community building through the lenses of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

She continues to be a regularly sought-after international speaker, coach, violinist, and music educator. Calida activates her philosophy of community building, inspiration, actionable solutions, and hope through motivational speeches, workshops, and coaching individuals all over the globe. Most notably, she recently had the opportunity to speak to over 500 thousand individuals in Amravati, India. There, she shared the “Impact of Kindness”. A TEDx speaker in San Jose, CA, Calida has had the privilege of speaking at prestigious institutions such as the Yale School of Music, Duke University, the Connecticut State Capitol, and the Hartt School. She has received numerous honors during her career, including a scholar fellowship at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Fellowship, a Grammy Music Educator Award nomination, the Connecticut Arts Hero Award for the Waterbury region, and the Father Thomas H. Dwyer Humanitarian Award for her work in Waterbury, Connecticut.

In addition to being the founder of CNJ Associates, she also recently co-founded an arts ecosystem called Creative Evolutions, a human-centered adaptive ecosystem that creates actionable solutions for creative individuals and organizations.

Calida has sat on many boards, including the El Sistema USA board, the Sound Crossings Music Board, and as a councilwoman for the Connecticut State Arts Council. Currently, Calida serves as the board president of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, a state-wide advocacy membership organization.

Calida holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in violin performance from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of music degree in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy from The Hartt School. For more information on Calida, and Creative Evolutions, please go to www.cnjassociates.com and creativeevolutions.com.

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