Meet our staff!
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.
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.
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 programmatic activities. She lives with her husband Van in New Haven, CT. Alex is a professional artist and painter, and paints commissioned artworks through her business Pearl Studio New Haven.
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.
Board of Directors
The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
People’s United Bank
Megan Dawson Topliff
Apparel and Retail Consultant
Dr. Jennifer Dauphinais
Assistant Professor of Education & Coordinator of SEL and School Climate Certificate Program
Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Privacy Officer, Business Insurance
Marketing Communications and Branding Consultant
Chilton and Chadwick Art
Artist and Art Consultant
Yale School of Management
First Choice Health Centers
Chief Operations Officer