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Hartford’s Kate Callahan returns to grace the stage of the Connecticut Folk Festival, this time as the newly designated Connecticut State Troubadour. Kate, a West Hartford native, was selected in March by the Connecticut Office of the Arts to serve a two-year term as the state’s 16th troubadour, an honorary designation that offers holders a platform from which to showcase their musical talents at state-sponsored events as well as promote Connecticut through song and projects. Kate has already penned a song “Connecticut Roads” which aided her in winning the designation over intense competition. And she’s using social media – YouTube – to blog about her troubadour experiences. One goal she will pursue as troubadour during the next two years is to develop a musical therapy program to serve female inmates in the state’s correctional institutions. State troubadour is a fitting award for this singer-songwriter who describes her music as “contemporary soulful folk.” She’s already racked up several awards for her music, including being named “Best Singer-Songwriter” in the Connecticut Music Awards. All this from a woman who in 1996 was left with traumatic brain injury after a skiing accident. She attributes her recovery from the injuries to the efforts of her mom, Marcia McDavid, and the healing power of music. Kate last appeared at the Connecticut Folk Festival in 2012 as part of a Connecticut Artist Song Circle. It’s a privilege to welcome her back as State Troubadour.

— Steve Winters