Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation Funds Amity Middle School (Bethany) Production

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Oct 112018

Michael Crisci, Forest Vandeflor, Fred Hulley (sponsor), Judy Primavera (sponsor),
Dr. Keith Smolinski, Nina Carmeli, Spencer Fiske

With a generous grant from their headlining sponsor, The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation [based in Orange], The Spartan Players (Bethany campus) announced the production of High School Musical Jr. as its fall musical.

The show will take place at the school on  Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. 

The Spartan Players look forward to bringing this energetic story to life.

The Squarefoot Theatre Company’s Patrick Laffin has teamed up with Amity staff members, Keith Smolinski, Robert Fragione, and Marissa Nall, to bring this amazing show to the Middle School stage.

Tickets will be on sale at the door for all performances.

Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation Sponsors Zentangle Workshop

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Sep 272018

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation sponsored a workshop for students and staff at Amity Regional High School where they learned how to Zentangle during the last session of the day and after school. 

Visiting artist, Cari Camarra, came in and shared her passions and talents in the art of Zentangle. 

The students and staff who participated found a new way to meditate and persevere through mistakes whether in art or life, along with learning a new art form. 

This session would not have been possible without the support of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation, the Amity Regional High School administration, and the dedicated teachers who bring in artists to share their experiences throughout the school year. 

The photo shows some of the finished Zentangles from one of the workshop sessions.    

What You Should Know About The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation

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Jul 162018

When I was working at the Amity Observer Newspaper back in 2002, I came across a very sad notice. A young woman from Orange had passed away and the more I learned about her, the more I felt I knew her.

Jamie Alaine Hulley, the daughter of Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley, was only 20 years old when she died, leaving behind a legacy of talent and creativity.

Shortly after her death, the Jamie A Hulley Arts Foundation was established to help other young people learn about and appreciate all of the things Jamie loved. In the past 16 years, it has helped thousands of children, teens and college students realize their potential for creativity and gave many underprivileged children opportunities they otherwise would never have been able to experience.

Who was Jamie A. Hulley?

(from the foundation website)

jamieJamie was a creative soul who had the gift of seeing the world as a thing of beauty. As a child, Jamie saw pictures in the clouds, danced rather than walked, filled reams of paper with her sketches and paintings, performed for any audience, sang to anyone who would listen, and turned anything and everything into a beautiful art project. Her dreams for the future always involved “creating” in one way or another.

As she grew into adulthood, she became a talented studio artist, writer, dancer, singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian. Jamie was a lover of people who had the talent of seeing the good in others and making all who knew her feel special. She was known for her warm smile, quick wit, and her loud infectious laughter.

Jamie was an avid seeker of new experiences. She embraced the unknown with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and definitely was a person who danced through life to the beat of a different drummer. Jamie’s dream of pursuing a career in the arts was cut short in 2002 just two weeks before her 21st birthday after a brief battle with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

To celebrate Jamie’s vivacious spirit and the beauty that she brought to the world, her family and friends established the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides educational and career development opportunities in the arts including Grants for Schools, Special Project Grants in the Community; Scholarships, and Jamie’s legacy programs that reflect the experiences, the places, and the people that she loved.

This is where the money goes:

From Sept. 2017 through now, this is how the foundation has distributed its funds


 Eight 4–year college scholarships in theater and studio arts to Amity HS students
 13 full scholarships to Missoula Children’s Theatre camp at Fairfield University (based on need) to youth in greater Bridgeport area
 3 talent development scholarships for youth (based on need) to take weekly lessons in musical theater at Broadway Method Academy — The program run by Orange native, Connor Deane
 Four $1,000 scholarships awarded at the Sondheim Awards – 2 to the best actor/actress and 2 to students nominated by their high school teachers and chosen by the JAH foundation recognizing talent in both performance and in promoting a positivity on stage and off.

School Educational Programs:
 More than 25 different educational programs were sponsored in schools in the Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford regions
• Orange schools: 5 programs including Dancing with the Racebrook stars for its 9th year; yoga program for 1st graders at Turkey Hill School for its 4th year; and sponsorship of the Peck Place Drama Club’s production
• Amity Middle School Orange: 3 programs including the film production program in its 4th-year and Sponsorship of the Spartan
Player’s production of The Music Man
• Amity Middle School – Bethany: 3 programs – including sponsorship of the Spartan Players production of Once on This Island, Jr.
• Amity High School: 13 programs including sponsorship of Amity Creative Theatre’s productions of The Laramie Project Ten Years
Later and The Addams Family, funding to have ACT students mentored by Laramie Project people and Broadway actor Erick Buckley who was a cast member in The Addams Family; sponsorship of The Duality School of Music’s after-school music industry workshop series; visiting artists in studio art, music, and English including sponsorship of the annual Storytelling SLAM; The Memory Project; NAHS annual museum trip, etc.

Programs with Community Groups:
 Fellowship Place in New Haven – sponsorship of a year-round weekly dance class for clients living with mental illness
 Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield – support for development and production of Evita
 Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford – Headlining Sponsor for the 2017-2018 season
 Theatre Fairfield at Fairfield University – sponsorship of the student independent project
 Orange Community Women – sponsorship of Bubblemania Early Career Awards
 One award to Johnny Shea – he is now starring in the lead role in Peter Pan at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Legacy Awards:
 Art Award at Racebrook School
 Art Award at Amity Middle School Orange
 Dance Award at Lee Lund Studio of Dance in Milford CT
 Senior Thesis Stipend Award at Wesleyan University

What Can YOU Do?

That said, there are ways that you can help keep the foundation strong, so it can continue its good work throughout the next year.

Obviously, you may attend the 16th Annual Gala on Sept. 8. But, if you cannot attend the event, you may make a donation at any time.

Click HERE to make an electronic donation or through VENMO: @Jamie-Hulley-Foundation-3 or simply

Send a check/money order to:
Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation
P.O. Box 1208
Orange, CT 06477

A timely donation by December 31, 2018, will help raise even more money for the organization.

If the foundation raises $10,000 in donations by December 31st it will receive $10,000 in matching funds from a generous “angel” family.

To help them win $10,000 in matching funds offered by a local family foundation, the foundation must collect $10,000 by the last day in December (New Year’s Eve!) and Remember to check if your employer will match your donation.

Have Dinner For A Good Cause At Friday’s on Friday

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Jul 132018

Appreciative Amity students who’ve benefited from the generosity and good work of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation have arranged for a fundraiser to benefit their favorite charity.

On Friday, July 13, come on down to TGI Friday’s, 348 Boston Post Road, Orange, from 5 to 10 p.m., 20% of sales will benefit the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation when you present this flyer at check-out.

Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley have given so much to our young people through this foundation named for their beloved daughter, the late Jamie Hulley, an artist, dancer, actor, singer who loved the arts and loved life. You can show them your appreciation by enjoying a meal and helping raise money for the foundation so they can continue to help enrich the lives of your children.

Amity Middle School Students Participate In Video Production Program

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May 312018

Pictured (top row from left to right):  Daniella Landino, Colleen Shaw, Zola Kneeland, Gillian Fuchs, Michael Pickett, Nolan Young, Mason Beaudette, Tristan Douglas, Kyheem Moore-Horton, Andrew Soldra, Daniel Slugoski, Emma Hatjopoulou, Alexandra Louros Pictured (bottom row):  Carly Gravitt, Jake DeMattia Missing from picture:  Jade Krukar, Kayley Mingione, Melissa Musante (Photo by Kristin Yeakel)

Amity Middle School in Orange has had a cadre of eighth-grade students participating in a video production program run by former Amity student, Tristan Douglas, again this year.  The program was made possible through a grant from the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation (www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org).

Mr. Douglas met with the student cadre sixteen times over the course of the school year and introduced the students to the art of video production.  Students learned how to storyboard, set up and use a professional video camera and equipment, navigate the intricacies of filming a video, and much, much more.

This year’s participating students were:  Mason Beaudette, Jake DeMattia, Gillian Fuchs, Carly Gravitt, Emma Hatjopoulou, Zola Kneeland, Jade Krukar, Daniella Landino, Alexandra Louros, Kayley Mingione, Ky Moore-Horton, Melissa Musante, Mikey Pickett, Colleen Shaw, Dan Slugoski, AJ Soldra, and Nolan Young.

Thanks to the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation grant, the video production students were exposed to a wide array of learning opportunities.  Amity Middle School in Orange does not currently have a course in video production like Amity Regional High School does; however, many students are interested in that aspect of art and drama.  This opportunity was embraced wholeheartedly by the students.  The program was a resounding success; and if offered again next year, there are several seventh graders who are very interested in participating in it.

The final video will be shown at the Amity Middle School in Orange Moving Up Ceremony in June and will be viewed by the nearly nine hundred people who will be attending the ceremony.

BMA Announces Stephen Sondheim Award Nominees

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May 212018

For many years, Amity Regional High School participated in the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards program, and year after year it received numerous nominations and prizes, and twice won the lead actor award: John Jorge for Les Miserables and Alli Kramer for Legally Blonde.

The CHSMTA program, now extinct, after its creator retired, left Amity in Limbo — Would there be a way to honor the hard work of Connecticut’s High School Theater programs.

In comes Orange native, Amity Grad Connor Deane to the rescue — Read On!

Broadway Method Academy (BMA), in association with the Shubert Theatre of New Haven and Westport Country Playhouse, is proud to announce the nominees for the Stephen Sondheim Awards. The black-tie gala will take place on June 4 at 7:30 pm at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT.  The program’s mission is to recognize excellence in high school musical theater.

BMA Executive Directors, Connor Deane & J. Scott Handley announced today that Hamilton’s Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza Hamilton) and Ryan Vasquez will host the 2018 black-tie gala.

“We are thrilled to partner with two organizations that have contributed so much to the American theater,” said Deane. “We are looking forward to bringing some of Broadway’s brightest talents to share this special night with the next generation of musical theater performers,” Deane said that over the next two weeks BMA would utilize their social media channels to announce the Broadway presenters.

Over the past eight months, a panel of judges attended performances by the following 14 (fourteen) high schools:

Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Suffield Academy

West Warwick High School

Notre Dame High School

North Kingstown High School

Trumbull High School

Branford High School

Newtown High School

Darien High School

Nonnewaug High School

Cheshire High School

Amity Regional High School

Shelton High School

Immaculate High School

The panel of judges was comprised of performing arts educators, entertainment professionals and Broadway performers & designers. On May 19, these judges met for a final discussion and a review of highlights from each high school performance to subsequently create nominations.

The nominees for the 2018 Stephen Sondheim Awards are …

*Amity received 8 nominations in the 10 available categories.

Best Scenic Design

Isabel Adolphe – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Justin Mossa – Footloose – Darien High School

Bobby Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Todd Perrin, Dan Reilly and Nina Soriano– Les Miserables – Newtown High School

Best Costume Design

Sophie Howard – Footloose – Darien High School

Kira Turlington – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Marissa Proto – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Best Lighting Design

Alicia Foster – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Emily Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Oak Chaisathaporn – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

James Gallo – Curtains – Trumbull High School

Dean Jones – Footloose – Nonnewaug High School

Bobby Gaffney- Les Miserables – Newtown High School

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Hoadley – Shrek – Pinocchio – Branford High School

Antonio Mantero – Into the Woods – Mysterious Man – Notre Dame

Callum Zak – Legally Blonde – Kyle/Chad/Dewey – Shelton High School

Thomas Leonard – Curtains – Christopher Belling – Trumbull High School

Ryan Kennedy – Addams Family – Lucas – Amity High School

Best Supporting Actress

Alex Hernandez – Shrek – Dragon – Branford High School

Marina Kolistas – Grease – Patty Simcox – Immaculate HS

Molly Schalenghe – Legally Blonde – Brooke – Shelton

Madison LaPlante – Shrek – Dragon – West Warwick

Ainsley Lugal – Legally Blonde – Serena – Shelton High School

Best Choreography

Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Emily Frangipane – Footloose – Darien High School

Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School

Katherine Sedlock – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Mia White – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

John Carter – Merrily We Roll Along – Cheshire High School

Best Direction

Rob and Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Tim Sorenson – Footloose – Darien High School

Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School

Fiona Bryson, Katherine Sedlock, Justin Zenchuk – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Thomas Dugan – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

Richard Marchetti – Shrek – West Warwick High School

Best Actor

Marty Gnidula – Addams Family – Uncle Fester – Amity High School

Grady Allen – Footloose – Willard – Darien High School

Joshua Cocuzzo – Footloose – Ren – Nonnewaug

Cooper Cardone – Beauty and the Beast – Beast – North Kingstown

Connor Wall – Legally Blonde – Emmett Forrest – Shelton

Max Weiner – Hairspray – Edna Turnblad – Suffield Academy

Matt Sullivan – Legally Blonde – Professor Callahan – Shelton High School

Best Actress

Alaina Dwyer – Addams Family – Alice Beineke – Amity High School

Lexi Staubi – Footloose – Ariel – Darien High School

Teah Renzi – Les Miserables – Eponine – Newtown High School

Kyla Hackett – Legally Blonde – Elle Woods – Shelton High School

Jacqueline Mate – Curtains – Georgia – Trumbull High School

Mia White – Hairspray – Velma Von Tussel – Suffield Academy

Lilli Querker – Addams Family – Pugsley Addams – Amity High School

Best Musical

Hairspray – Suffield Academy

Shrek – West Warwick High School

Footloose – Darien High School

The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Grease – Immaculate High School

BMA is thrilled to partner with the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to present more than $4,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students who submitted auditions and written responses pertaining to how theater has influenced their lives.

Tickets for the gala are $35 per person and are currently on-sale through the Shubert box office or Ticketmaster.

The gala will be music directed by Jad Bernardo and will feature choreography by Julie Kavanagh and Audra Bryant. Weston G. Wetzel serves as Director of Production.


Broadway Method Academy is a non-profit organization that offers a premier musical theatre-training program and provides the essential tools for young artists in acting, singing, and dancing. BMA also connects children and teens that are passionate about the arts with some of Broadway’s top talents and guest instructors. BMA’s goal is to create a thriving artistic atmosphere where students can create lasting friendships and develop skills they will use forever. 


Opened in 1914, the Shubert Theatre in the New Haven earned the title “The Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits” by staging over 300 shows that later opened in New York. Although the Shubert is best known for its Broadway presentations, the theatre has played host to the greatest artists of ballet, opera, classical music, jazz, big bands and popular solo artists – a tradition that continues today. The Shubert Theatre is owned and operated by CAPA—A Connecticut Not-For-Profit Organization. CAPA is one of America’s most respected theatre managers and diverse arts and entertainment presenters. In addition to the legendary Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CAPA is owner/operator of downtown Columbus, Ohio’s magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the contemporary Riffe Center Theatre Complex and Lincoln Theatre.


The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

Don’t Forget, “Bubblemania” Is Coming To Town On Saturday

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Jan 182018

Orange Community Women (OCW) invites you to see “Casey Carle’s BubbleMania” at High Plains Community Center, on Saturday, January 20 at 3 p.m. 

BubbleMania is a highly-acclaimed show combining the science of bubbles with theatrical showmanship and comedy.   Its website describes the show as an “extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement.  

BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids: 20-foot bubble serpents; bubbles that bounce, dance and shimmy; jaw-dropping fog filled bubble sculptures; gravity-defying blobs of bubble foam; bubble spaceship; crystal ball; soap bubble ping-pong and more! This will be a wonderful community event and lots of fun for all ages.

This show is sponsored by the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation.

Tickets are $7 at the door – under 1 free.

Publicity Chairman Laura Griest said, “Orange Community Women is a chapter of Connecticut Junior Women, Inc.  We seek to unite the women of Orange and surrounding areas by participating in community service and providing enrichment, leadership and social interaction.  Our projects include awarding scholarships to Amity students, donating children’s books to the library, collecting for veterans, organizing activities for the Tracy Bunch (a group of special needs adults sponsored by Orange Community Services), visiting and working with the seniors at Silverbrook, donating holiday food baskets and gift cards to Orange Community Services and partnerships with Days for Girls, Manes and Motions Therapeutic Riding Center and Female Soldiers/Forgotten Heroes. Proceeds from this fundraiser support projects such as these.”

For more information on Orange Community Women, contact Donna Wesolowski, 203-799-3519.

Here’s A Great Opportunity For Theater Lovers and Supporters Of The Arts

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Nov 272017

The Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford is offering special “preview night” fundraisers for Jamie’s Foundation. 

Your donation is the cost of admission – the amount is up to you!!!    

Come see Annie on Thursday evening, Nov. 30. For reservations: e-mail Kathleen Kilian at kmkcpa@optonline.net then pay at the door: cash or checks only.

Amity High School student and Orange resident Ann Driscoll plays Little Orphan Annie. Orange resident and Amity High School student Ethan Selmon also appears in the show.  This is a great opportunity to see one of America’s favorite holiday musicals and support the work of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation at the same time.

Square Foot Theatre is located at 950 Yale Ave in Wallingford directly off the Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 66 … it is an intimate BYO cabaret-style venue so bring your favorite food and drinks to enjoy before and during the show. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Look for these future “Jamie’s Foundation” preview nights during the rest of Square Foot Theatre’s exciting 11th season.

“These preview nights are a wonderful thing for Jamie’s Foundation,” said Judy Primavera, founder of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation. “Square Foot Theatre is ‘giving back’ to us by opening up a preview night and all ticket “sales” go to the foundation.  Normal ticket price is $28 but guests can see the show for whatever donation they wish to give – it is a real bargain!

E-mail jamieart@snet.net to receive announcements for future preview nights and other special offers.

Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation Benefits Region 5 Third-Graders

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May 122017

The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation, headquartered in Orange, is dedicated to providing arts programs for students of all ages in the Amity region and many surrounding cities and towns.

This week, third-grade students at Bethany Community School benefitted from a Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation grant and participated in a Magic Storybook play “Haunted in Time” set in the 1920’s.

The classes worked collaboratively on the “Page to Stage” program writing the script, memorizing lines, rehearsing and gathering costumes.

“They did an amazing job and should be commended,” said teacher Meladee Ruzbarsky.

ATTENTION: Get Your Tickets For Fiddler On The Roof Before They’re Sold Out

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Mar 272017

The Amity Theater Department JUST made tickets available for its Spring Musical “Fiddler On The Roof” on Feb. 4 and by 7 p.m. the front center section already was pretty much sold out.

We’ve covered many Amity musicals in the past and can state with certainty that when sales are this brisk on opening day, every show will be sold out before you can blink — and that certainly is the case here.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a beloved classic show that Amity Theater’s Andrea Kennedy calls the “Best musical of all time.”

Today the Amity Theater Department announced that the show is nearly sold out. Click HERE to buy your tickets NOW!!!

Performances will take place at the John J. Brady Center for the Performing Arts
Amity Regional High School, 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge on March 31, April 1, 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information call (203)-392-2019 or e-mail: amityboxoffice@gmail.com

Visit their website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com

This Production of Fiddler on the Roof has been made possible through generous donations from The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation, Laticrete International and Caldwell Banker.