Arts Innovation Day Presenter Spotlight: Josh Stoffregen

As we gear up for Arts Innovation Day on June 2nd, we’re taking a moment to shine the spotlight on one of our amazing presenters, Josh Stoffregen, Vice President and head of the Global Communications Retirement Practice at Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role, Stoffregen leads global marketing communications strategy and media relations for Prudential Retirement’s people, products and services.

He also serves as the project lead and spokesperson for Prudential’s groundbreaking “LGBT Financial Experience,” an in-depth look at the current financial landscape of LGBT Americans, which launched in November 2012.

Let’s get to know Josh Stoffregen of Prudential Financial. Josh will be partnering with his colleague Monique Freeman to present a workshop on Building Your PR Toolkit.                                                Continue reading →

“Embrace what makes you Different” and other Fundraising Techniques

“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.” – Henry Russo

I don’t know how it happened, but because of a Bluegrass festival, a Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru and decades’ worth of pronounced Girl Scout guilt, every attendee left the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Fundraising Messaging Workshop with something different.

And it’s all thanks to 2nd Vice President of Enterprise Leadership and Organization Development at Traveler’s, Ann Kelley.

On Thursday afternoon, on the second floor of 100 Pearl Street, I sat in a conference room, pen poised and ready. Kelley’s presentation at our 2016 Arts Innovation Day “Refining Your Elevator Speech” left attendees mesmerized. To provide staff support to our presenters and guests and actively live tweet from various locations at once, our Community Program Manager (and Arts Innovation Day coordinator), Amanda Roy assigned us to different presentations throughout the day. As I absorbed information on Managing Talent and HR Best Practices, I also spent a good portion of my day reading tweets from our guests who LOVED the storytelling session.Continue reading →

14 Awesome things to do in Hartford this weekend

Trashion Fashion dress by Katrina Orsini | Photo credit: Sabato Visconti 

Let me paint you a picture.

It’s Monday and I’m in my cubicle mapping out the 7-Day Arts & Culture Guide to be sent out the following afternoon. I’m scrolling through events on our Cultural Calendar and I’m completely frazzled.

Why am I frazzled?

There are too many great events and not enough space in the 7-Day.Continue reading →

One-on-One with 2017 Featured Artist, Edward Santos

Photo: Edward Santos | via

There are a few words that come to mind when you see Edward Santos’ photography for the first time. Beautiful. Complex. Stunning.

Not only is Santos an impressive artist, he is one of the Arts Council’s 2017 Featured Artists and an advocate. Currently Vice President of the Board of Directors at the Veterans Art Foundation, Edward Santos works to fulfill their mission: to inspire veterans and their family members to utilize the arts as their own form of self-therapy to help them cope with any difficulties they may be having and help them with their transition back into society.

We chose Edward Santos to be one of our 2017 Featured Artists because of his impressive creative talents, his passion, and the impact he’s made in advocacy on behalf of Veterans and the arts. We sat down with Santos to discuss his artistic journey and his passionate efforts in advocacy.Continue reading →

Introducing 2017 Featured Artist, Arnaldo Sanchez

Michael Galaburri and 2017 Featured Artist, Arnaldo Sanchez | Painting: Arnaldo Sanchez, Juan Colon, Matthew Emmerthal, Bryan Cressotti, New England Forest, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 36 in.

You’ve probably heard of our friends over at Art Connection Studio.

We’ve covered them on the blog (Art Around Town: Art Connection Studio and One-on-One with Art Connection Studio), we’ve featured them on our social media platforms and in the 100 Pearl Street Art Gallery. But this year, we took our relationship with them to the next level: we are showcasing one of their artists, Arnaldo Sanchez, as one of our 2017 Featured Artists.Continue reading →

Neighborhood Studios Alumni Spotlight | An Artist in the Real World

2015 | Genesis during the Networking Workshop by Sea Tea Improv hosted at Real Art Ways | Photo by Defining Studios

I first met Genesis at Open Studios Hartford where she was displaying her stunning artwork on the walls of the Colt Gateway Building. The allure of her artwork and the potential for her story to resonate with incoming apprentices is what inspired me to spotlight her as one of our three Neighborhood Studios Alumni. After spending 3 summers with the Artists Collective as a trombonist for the Youth Jazz Orchestra studio, Genesis is now a high school graduate, attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, and continuing to pursue her artistic career. Genesis is a prime example of someone who is willing to break the mold of practicing only ONE artistic discipline. Learn more about how Neighborhood Studios helped her expand her artistic reach in the Greater Hartford Community below.Continue reading →

Have you Heard About the Community Art Center Catalyst Pilot Program?

Have you heard?

The Greater Hartford Arts Council is partnering with five community art centers to help provide quality art experiences in your town! We have been working with these organizations behind the scenes to provide capacity building resources to help strengthen their business practices and impact their communities. Without further ado; our five partners for the Community Art Center Catalyst Pilot Program are:

        Continue reading →

Grantee Spotlight: Playhouse on Park

“Passing Strange”, Playhouse on Park, December 2015 | Photo Credit: Rich Wagner

Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, our mission includes funding over 150 arts and cultural organizations that help make our community strong and vibrant. That’s why we invest in programs like Neighborhood Studios, our award-winning, nationally recognized summer arts apprenticeship program and organizations that fuel creativity and innovation by awarding grants.

Ignition Grants  fuel the research, design and execution of new strategic plans to support arts and cultural organizations as they strive to create unique and innovative solutions that go beyond “business as usual”—delivering exciting, cutting-edge programs that reflect the creative spirit of our community-and encourage innovation in all aspects of our daily lives.Continue reading →

Neighborhood Studios Alumni Spotlight | An Advocate for the Arts


2007 | SNAP! Photography Apprentices

I began my contact with Lauren through the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s Master Teaching Artist, Caleb Portfolio. Caleb has been the Master Teaching Artist for SNAP! Photography since Lauren’s first year as an apprentice in 2007. She continued her work with the program as a Teaching Artist Assistant for Caleb in 2009 and 2010. 10 years have passed since Lauren began Neighborhood Studios and she continues to advocate for the program and the impact it has made on her career. Learn more about how Neighborhood Studios helped her land a job in the arts field below.Continue reading →

11 Events in Greater Hartford You Don’t Want to Miss this April!

Sea Tea Improv is hosting the 4th annual Hartford Improv Festival April 6th-9th | Photo via

Spring is a very busy time for us at the Greater Hartford Arts Council! We’ve kicked off our 2017 United Arts Campaign with our signature event: Big Red for the Arts. We’ve officially opened the Art Room, designed to combine creative inspiration and corporate team building. We have our eyes set on a summer full of vibrancy and community innovation with Neighborhood Studios and Art on the Streets! Not to mention, we have a collection of Innovation Workshops in the works (our Fundraising Messaging Workshop is scheduled for May 11th). And that’s only the beginning!

Like I said, we’re in the midst of a very busy time!

And the arts and cultural organizations around Greater Hartford are no exception! We’ve curated a collection of events occurring throughout the month of April to give you a dose of the cultural vibrancy of the capital region!Continue reading →