Meet our staff!
Loraine has worked with Arts for Learning Connecticut since 1998. At the organization, she plays an integral role in coordinating the arts in education activities for AFLCT’s artists and school and community partners.
Since 2009, Loraine has served as a member of the Hamden Arts Commission, helping the Town of Hamden plan cultural events for children, senior citizens and Hamden’s Summer Series on the Town Green. In addition to her work with AFLCT, Loraine is an accomplished stained glass artisan. She founded Sparking Creations in 1999 and continues to create a wide range of works, from commissioned pieces to her signature stained glass stepping stones. Loraine enjoys time with her family and their many animals, as well as tending her gardens.
HOT Schools Director
Christopher formerly served as the Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools’ Associate Director for Professional Development under the leadership of the Connecticut Office of the Arts. He was named AFLCT’s Director of HOT Schools in 2021.
As a playwright, designer, director, actor and producer he’s created over fifteen original theatrical works and has performed throughout the world. Christopher has provided arts residencies, professional development and keynote addresses for arts and educational institutions throughout the United States. He’s based in NYC and also serves as the artistic director of eavesdrop®. Christopher is a member of the Arts in Education Roundtable (NYCAiER), the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the Monacan Indian Nation and the U.S. Department of State Speakers Bureau.
Alex Novak Foster
Alex brings rich experience in arts and education to AFLCT. She is a Connecticut dual-certified teacher in Art and Elementary Education. Alex received a BA in Art Education from Ithaca College in 2011 and went on to obtain her MA in Teaching from Quinnipiac University in 2013. Alex has 7 years teaching experience in New Haven, CT. Currently, she teaches the course “Facilitating the Arts in the Academic Classroom” to both graduate and undergraduate program students at Quinnipiac University’s School of Education.
At AFLCT, Alex works to ensure the educational impact of all programming, leads the Arts Learning Framework internal professional development program, serves as the AFLCT Accessibility Coordinator, and leads Teaching Artist recruitment efforts as well as Teaching Artist services.
She lives with her husband Van in New Haven, CT. Alex owns and operates Pearl Studio New Haven where she creates artwork, jewelry and other commissioned artworks.
Please contact her at the link below for related questions or concerns.
John-Michael is an artist, educator, and non-profit leader who was born and raised in Connecticut. After graduating from Yale, he moved to New York City and taught elementary and middle school science. He then joined the founding team of The Future Project, a national education non-profit bringing social and emotional learning opportunities to high school students. As the front-man of indie rock band Great Caesar, he has toured across the country and shared music and storytelling in the hopes of building a more just and beautiful world.
John-Michael began his work with AFLCT in July, 2019. As Executive Director, he helps the organization continue to build on its long record of success while deepening impact and responding to Connecticut’s ever-evolving educational, artistic, and non-profit landscape.
Kim Renee Thibodeau
HOT Schools Program Manager
Kim Renee Thibodeau is an accomplished arts and well-being innovator focused on strategic development, consulting, designing, implementing and evaluating programs and services. Kim founded Kimnetics in 2004. Kimnetics is dedicated to introducing and sustaining creative, evidence-based learning methods that sharpen minds, open hearts and imaginations to greater awareness, confidence and joy in life long learning.
Her national program, Recess Rocks, wove kinesthetic movement into school lessons in order to enhance the common core curriculum, trained movement instructors, and workshopped with schools to create their unique self-sustaining Recess Rocks program. She continues to teach NIA classes, coach clients on expanding their well-being, and consult to the American College Health Foundation. Kim enjoys volunteering at Common Good Gardens and chasing sunsets with her dog and husband.
Board of Directors
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
Megan Dawson Topliff
Apparel and Retail Consultant
Strategy Insights & Planning Consultant
Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Privacy Officer, Business Insurance Manager
Bowdoin Street Health Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. Jennifer Dauphinais
Assistant Professor of Education & Coordinator of SEL and School Climate Certificate Program
People’s United Bank
State of Connecticut