August 13, 2020
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Charlotte Kundrath is a realtor by day and arts volunteer by night, though she also tries to get in some time at the helm of her Sunfish sailboat at her home in Clinton. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Charlotte Kundrath is a realtor by day and arts volunteer by night, though she also tries to get in some time at the helm of her Sunfish sailboat at her home in Clinton. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

Charlotte Kundrath: Connecting Arts and Audiences

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Charlotte Kundrath grew up in a home that embraced the arts, which may explain why she has found a way to translate that love of culture into a regular part of her life as a volunteer at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate).

Charlotte’s parents were German immigrants who were very fond of the arts.

“My house was filled with music. I was always steeped in classic music,” says Charlotte.

Charlotte, a Clinton resident, has volunteered at the Kate for the last two years, mostly as an usher.

“My favorite job is to be a greeter. I’m very outgoing, I enjoy people,” Charlotte says.

Charlotte says she’s been going to the building for years and recalls going into the building since the ’80s when it was the Town Hall, long before the space became The Kate.

She’s had some notable moments while at The Kate. One was when she discovered a performer had shared a hometown connection. In November 2017, Charlotte was an usher for the show Louis Prima, Jr., and the Witnesses.

“During the show, Louis mentioned that he learned to jitterbug from his mother in Toms River, New Jersey,” she recalls.

“I spoke to Louis after the show when he was finished signing his CDs for the patrons. I told him that I might know his mother because she may be about my age and I jitterbugged all through my time at Toms River High School,” Charlotte says.

It turns out that Louis’s mother, Gia Maione, and his aunt, June Maione, were both in high school at the same time as Charlotte.

“The day after the show, I messengered Louis on Facebook that I did know his mother and his aunt. He messengered me back, ‘How small our world is.’ It was very exciting,” says Charlotte.

For her own artistic pursuits, Charlotte enjoys spending her spare time doing oil painting and sewing. She also enjoys spending time with her five children, Therese, Mary, Maureen, Catharine, and Joe.

Volunteering has always been important to Charlotte.

“I started volunteering when I was 18 in college. It’s always important to do things for other people,” she says. Charlotte “believes in serving other,” and notes that by volunteering, she’s had the opportunity to make new friends.

Prior to her time at The Kate, Charlotte volunteered at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford for 10 years.

Charlotte moved to Clinton in 1979 and quickly became a big fan of the area.

“I liked Clinton very much,” says Charlotte. “We’re in vacation land without having to go anywhere.”

When she’s not volunteering, Charlotte is a realtor for William Raveis in Madison. Originally, she was an elementary school teacher, but after moving to Connecticut, she found it hard to get a job as most schools wanted new teachers.

Charlotte met a friend who worked as a realtor and so she decided to give that career a try. While Charlotte says she did miss being a teacher, she has enjoyed her new career path.

“I like it very much,” she says.

Tying two facets of her life together, Charlotte once had the opportunity to attended a realty event that was a tour of Catharine Hepburn’s house in Old Saybrook, not far from where The Kate is located downtown.

For now, she has no plans to slow down her service in Old Saybrook.

“I believe the shows at The Kate are top notch and they have a great variety of shows. And I think the executive director at The Kate is wonderful,” Charlotte says.

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