Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and humanitarian from Fairfield, CT, serving as the 2014-2015 Connecticut State Troubadour. With catchy songs, funny stories and inspiring lyrics, Kristen performs approximately 175 shows a year, delighting audiences throughout the country. Her most notable performances have been with David Amram, Dar Williams, Guy Davis, Dan Zanes, Peter Yarrow and Pete Seeger. She has five albums, as well as a Christmas CD and two EPs to her credit. Her newest release, entitled, ‘Now Ain’t the Time for Tears’, came out in 2014.
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. I’ve been volunteering ever since.”
Kristen spends months at a time in Mexico, as well as on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota helping run children’s camps, community events, and musical concerts, as well as build homes, schools, and town centers with her husband’s non-profit organization, Simply Smiles.
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. She presents these pro-kindness, Just Be Nice summits at schools, libraries, in homes, and at traditional concerts. “I love reminding folks that there’s always something we can do - we can always be kind.”