“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘

What are you doing for others’ “


Vision Statement

CNJ Associates believes that positive change begins with dialogue, and can be enhanced with action
plans, tools, and resources that are designed specifically for a community your company or
organization impacts.

My Story

Calida was appointed Director of Development and Advocacy for the El Sistema inspired program PROJECT MUSIC
from 2018-2019. In 2012, Calida was hired by the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra to design and implement
the El Sistema inspired program “Bravo Waterbury!” (Bravo). She continued her work in Waterbury until
August 2018. Currently Calida is the Program Director for Hartford’s Music Matters, and coordinates a High-School
Mentorship program in New Britain, Connecticut. She continues to consult all over the country.
An accomplished musician, social justice advocate and educator, Calida’s work has taken her all over the world
teaching and performing. Calida is passionate about intentional purposeful teaching and community
engagement. She is committed to correlating the art of teaching to life skills, and community building.
During her tenure as the Artistic Director of Bravo in Waterbury, she had the privilege of creating dozens of
community collaborations, as well as ongoing performance opportunities for the youth in Waterbury.
Calida has had the privilege of speaking multiple times at the prestigious Yale School of Music, Duke
University, Ravinia, The Connecticut State Capitol, The Hartt School of Music, and was a Tedx speaker in
San Jose, CA. Most recently Calida worked with The Cleveland Orchestra, The Utah Cultural Alliance, and a
host of other organizations.
A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Bachelors of Fine Arts in Violin Performance), she
received her Masters in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from The Hartt School of Music.
Calida is honored and humbled to have received awards, and honors during her career including a scholar
fellowship at the Aspen Festival of Ideas, The Elizabeth Mahaffey Fellowship, a Grammy nomination for the
Music Educator Excellence Award, the Father Thomas H. Dwyer Humanitarian Award for her work in
Waterbury, Connecticut, and the 2018 CT Arts Hero Award in Waterbury CT.
Calida serves on the Board of The Hartt School of Music, The Women Composers Festival of Hartford
(Board Vice President), El Sistema USA (Board Clerk), and chairs the Racial Diversity and Cultural
Understanding Committee; she also serves on the board of the Connecticut Arts Alliance.

Speaking Engagments

Consultant– Salty Cricket, Utah Cultural Alliance, Plan B Theatre- Salt Lake City, Utah
Summer 2019
Consultant– The Cleveland Orchestra Summer 2019
Consultant– Music at the Red Door 2018-present
Speaker- Patterson Music Project- Fall 2018 Patterson, New Jersey
Presenter– National Suzuki Association of the Americas Minneapolis, Minnesota May
Guest Speaker– El Sistema USA Symposium Durham, North Carolina Winter 2018
Keynote Speaker– Play on Philly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Fall 2017
Presenter– University of Connecticut Greater Waterbury Fall 2017
Presenter– Sistema Ravinia Chicago Summer 2017, Fall 2018
Speaker– Tedx Spring 2017 San Jose, California
Presenter– University of Connecticut Greater Waterbury Fall 2012
Presenter– National Suzuki Association of the Americas May 2014, Minneapolis,
Fall 2015
Guest Speaker- Hartt School of Music Fall 2013, Fall 2015 West Hartford, Connecticut
Guest Speaker- Yale School of Music Fall 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014, Summer 2015
Keynote Speaker– Dare to Aspire Conference 2015, Boston, Massachusetts

Board Appointments and Associations

Women Composers Festival of Hartford– Vice-President 2019-
The Hartt School of Music– Board Of Trustees- 2019-
El Sistema USA– Clerk 2016- *Co- Chair of the Racial Diversity and Cultural Understanding,
Executive Committee
Connecticut Arts Alliance– Board Member 2017-
Suzuki Association of the Americas
Southern New England Suzuki Association– Secretary 2010-2012
Tri-State National Diversity Council