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Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and activist from Fairfield, CT, serving as the current Connecticut State Troubadour. With catchy songs, funny stories and inspiring lyrics, Kristen performs approximately 175 shows a year throughout the country. Her most notable performances have been with David Amran and Pete Seeger. She has four albums, as well as a Christmas CD and two EPs to her credit.
In addition to a rigorous performing schedule, Kristen makes sure to focus time on humanitarian efforts through different organizations.
"In 2001, I took a trip to a children's home in Mexico to volunteer for a week. The kids that I met there, and the things I experienced in seven short days changed the entire course of my life."
Currently, Kristen spends about three months of her year volunteering with Simply Smiles, a Connecticut-based charity run by her husband, Bryan Nurnberger.
"I play benefit concerts whenever I can. I have a few non-profits that I'm really passionate about and to me, the combination of arts and service makes perfect sense."
Kristen also has a political passion. "During the 2012 election things got so mean and nasty. I thought it would be funny to start my own political party called the Just Be Nice Party. I'd mention it at shows as a joke, and people started asking if they could join!"
Kristen now has a website for the Just Be Nice Party. It's a page that lists small non-profits that take on a variety of social issues. And she's determined to grow the party during the next two years.
"During my time as the State Troubadour, I want to take the opportunity to encourage artists of all ages to not only make great art, but take things a step further outside of themselves and use that art to inspire change.
"When we all do our part to use our talents and make the world a better place, beautiful things happen."
For more information on Kristen and her efforts, please visit, www.kristengraves.com, www.thejustbeniceparty.com, and www.simplysmiles.org.