Tiffany Colston-Ballard is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and owner of Musical Arts of Dover. She performs professionally throughout New England as lead singer for Nightshift Entertainment, and is also signed to Sony affiliate Amnesty Records as a solo artist and songwriter.
"Unfortunately, as an African-American originally from Colorado, I have lost a lot of hope in regards to the professional music scene here in New Hampshire after a brief introduction to it a few years ago. I say not ALL hope, because I believe it can still happen. After graduating from Berklee with a degree as a performer, and landing an amazing teaching job for young dancers and musicians, I was under the impression that the arts scene for professionals would be great. Scott Ruffner and I were quickly introduced and I admired and continue to admire his drive and dedication to broaden the state’s music scene and also ignite some vibrancy into the town of Exeter. It was the only thing that kept me inspired locally beyond my amazing students once I realized how challenging it was here, especially with such a lack of diversity. I knew things were gong to be difficult when Scott couldn't even get a return phone call from a Portsmouth venue when he contacted them regarding possibly supplying an opening act or even helping to promote an upcoming R&B/Soul performance from a national act we both had direct ties to. With our collective industry experience and Scott's time invested in cultivating a local scene, to not even get a response was very telling.
When I was presented with the opportunity to start my own business, seeing the lack of support from a town like Exeter given to the younger generation of arts professionals really swayed me to choose Dover because there seemed to be a stronger system and a more diverse community. These things do take time in regards to artist and musician appreciation, support and compensation, but expecting the current establishment to implement the change will take far too long. I stand behind Scott and all of the other artists and musicians taking action through Arts Industry Alliance and TEAM. It's rare to have professionals venture into this area, so I really hope those in power start to have more appreciation for the help that is being offered. I have dedicated my career to building up the youth through my business, as well as inspiring them through my experience and music industry connections in hopes that they can extend into other areas and nationwide. We can do this!"