Grantee Spotlight: CREC’s Center for Creative Youth Program

In 2010, an IBM Global CEO study found creativity to be the most important leadership quality. Creativity is also among the top 5 applied skills sought out by business leaders- with 72% stating that creativity is crucial when hiring. 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 Aspiring Film Editor

I came into contact with Atiya through Lindsey Fyfe, Education Coordinator for Real Art Ways and beloved artist of Hartford. Atiya participated in the Eye on Video Neighborhood Studios program during the summer of 2013 and as a teaching assistant during the summer of 2014. Now as a student at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, Atiya reflects on her time as an apprentice and how it helped motivate her to choose the career path of film editing. Read more about how Neighborhood Studios helped Atiya decide how her story would be told below.

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4 More Reasons You’ll Want to Attend Big Red for the Arts: Live Performances

Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, we frequently discuss the significance of the relationship between the arts and a healthy well-being. The arts, for example, are “a positive experience in a troubled world,” according to 73% of Americans. The arts even offer healing benefits to medical patients including reduced length of hospital stays, fewer medical visits, and improved recovery time. We explore the science behind the arts and your mind in 7 Ways the Arts Can Benefit your Health. We even award annual Arts & Wellness Grants to support programs and projects that address health issues by utilizing creativity as a tool to enrich lives. We know the Arts are a key ingredient to a happy and healthy life, and we work every day to ensure the arts enhance the vibrancy of the Greater Hartford community.

This year, at Big Red for the Arts (coming to Infinity Music Hall on March 9th), we’re supporting the arts in an entirely new way: through live performance. In our efforts to build bridges among communities and showcase the healing powers of the arts, we’ve curated an impressive lineup you won’t want to miss!Continue reading →

Why the Arts & Humanities are Vital to the Future and Culture of America

Let’s get one thing straight: we need the Arts.

“We” is a relative term that can include your family, your community, or your workplace. It encompasses a group of people with an applicable label of your choosing. In this case, “we” expands past your town, your region, and even your state. “We” is referencing the entire United States of America currently and going forward. And here’s why we need the Arts, and why your support is crucial now more than ever.Continue reading →

February DIY Calendar Challenge

Be honest –  how many times have you saved a DIY on Pinterest only to forget about it months later (don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it)? This February we want to get your creativity flowing, so we put together a calendar of DIYs to channel your inner artist. Studies show that creating art helps improve mindfulness and relieve stress, which is why we’re committing to creating at least one of these tutorials each week. From macaroon bottle cap ornaments to a Valentine’s Day wreath, each day has been given a DIY craft to quench your creativity and help you beat those winter blues. Tutorials and instructions are linked below in the caption of each photo- now get crafting!  Tag your creations with #letsgoarts on Instagram and we’ll reshare. P.S.: follow us on Pinterest for more DIYs!

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How to Boost Your Arts Organization with Business Volunteers for the Arts

You’ve heard the acronym. You know it’s relevant, but what can it actually do for YOU?

Over the past eight months, you’ve probably heard us at the Arts Council consistently reference “BVA” or Business Volunteer for the Arts. If you recall, on a rainy Friday morning in early June, GHAC partnered with Aetna and we hosted our first BVA Arts Innovation Day. (Check out our blog recap series here!) Whether our guests were looking to enhance their marketing strategy or building strategic partnerships, attendees were given the opportunity to work with their peers and corporate professionals towards their goals of a more efficient and innovative organization. Arts Innovation Day was a small piece in the greater puzzle of BVA.Continue reading →

2017 At A Glance

January always seems to be about new beginnings: fresh starts and resolutions. However, in a world constantly changing in the blink of an eye, it can be comforting to know what lies ahead. Although we can’t give all our secrets away, the Arts Council can provide you of a sneak peek of what we have in store for you this year. Keep reading and mark your calendars- 2017 is looking to be just as exciting as we hoped!Continue reading →

Best Moments of 2016

Happy Holidays! We want to take a moment to thank all of our donors, followers, grantees, and partners for an amazing year! In 2016 we celebrated our 45th anniversary (that’s 45 years of building a strong arts community thanks to you!), and developed new and exciting community arts events like Art on the Streets and I Am An Artist Day. We hope you’ll join us again in 2017 to make an even greater impact!

Big Red for the Arts

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Concert & Cocktails Preview with Dr. Liu

Concert & Cocktails
Photo by Jennifer Torrance 

Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, we talk a lot about the role of the arts in improving quality of life, health, even happiness. Arts education, for example, has been shown to help high school students increase GPA and standardized test scores. It’s no wonder 57% of Connecticut adults identify as artists. But what about the role of the arts in the sciences? We partnered up with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for a special fundraiser (yup, Concert & Cocktails) to learn just that. Featuring a live performance and presentation by Dr. Edison Liu, President and CEO of JAX, Concert & Cocktails will showcase the intersection of art, music, and science as you enjoy signature cocktails by Hartford Flavor Company and Waypoint Spirits (lemon lavender vodka martini, anyone?)

In addition to being a jazz pianist (he’s been playing since the age of 7!), Dr. Liu is also a world-renowned cancer and genomics researcher at JAX. We chatted with Dr. Liu to get a preview of his presentation “The Art & Science of Creativity” and find out why the arts are important to him.Continue reading →