Grantee Spotlight: Unified Theater

via Unified Theater

If you read our post “Why the Arts and Humanities are Vital to the Future and Culture of America,” you’ve probably seen some of these stats before.

But here’s a quick recap.

Did you know that 67% of Americans believe that “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62% of Americans believe that the arts help them understand other cultures better? And, did you know that 89% of Americans believe that arts are included in a well-rounded K-12 education? And students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on the verbal and math portions of their SAT’s?Continue reading →

Video: 2017 Featured Artist Arnaldo Sanchez

As one of the Arts Council’s Featured Artists for 2017, Arnaldo Sanchez never ceases to inspire us. His work runs the gamut from fiber arts and photography to acrylic painting and watercolor, portraying still life motifs such as landscapes, animals, and villages. Arnaldo is also a member of Art Connection Studio, a Hartford-based community arts center that provides arts programming for people with disabilities in a creative, nurturing space.Continue reading →

Grantee Spotlight: Little Theatre of Manchester

Shrek, The Musical | via Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall

One of the best things about summer is the hundreds of concerts, festivals and cultural events occurring throughout the Greater Hartford region. The season is a constant celebration of the art, music and culture in the capitol city and our grantees are hosting several events to keep our community vibrant.

This month, we’re shining our grantee spotlight on the Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, an organization dedicated to presenting a variety of live theatre productions, concerts and other performing arts programs located within Cheney Hall, the oldest operating theater in Connecticut. Their production of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film thriller, The 39 Steps, runs from August 11th to 27th. (Buy your tickets here!)Continue reading →

12 Awesome August Arts & Culture Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival | via www.riverfront.org

Between beach trips and ice cream cones, summer 2017 is flying by! But there’s still plenty of time and plenty of local festivals, performances and celebrations for you to attend. Hundreds of events have been taking place all summer long throughout our region. Summer is a constant celebration of art, music, and culture in the Capital City and there’s always something to do! With Neighborhood Studios showcases coming up and several Summer in the City events on our radar, we decided to highlight some pretty awesome local art, music, and cultural events that you need to attend before school is back in session.Continue reading →

Grantee Spotlight: Connecticut Ballet

African dance presentation: Education of the Dancer | via connecticutballet.org

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 →

Summer in Hartford: Live Music in the City

2016 Jazz Festival | via summerinhartford.com

If you follow us on social media and regularly visit our cultural calendar, you’ll know this summer is shaping up to be a fun one! In addition to the long list of exciting events our local arts and cultural organizations have planned, the Greater Hartford Arts Council has teamed up with the City of Hartford to bring you Summer in the City: a celebration of art, music and culture in the Capital city!

In the spirit of our Summer in the City launch, we’ve compiled a list of local outdoor concerts and music series throughout the city of Hartford for you to stop by during your work week! Keep reading to find a performance close to you!Continue reading →

A Budget That Works: Mapping out Southington Community Cultural Arts’ Future from the Ground Up

Southington Community Cultural Arts Center | Photo curtsey of SoCCA’s Facebook Page

Southington Community Cultural Arts Center (SoCCA) has come a long way from their initial gathering of local artists and art advocates in 2008 to opening and operating a fully functional community art center that is gaining media coverage all of over the state of Connecticut. The spearhead of this vision, Mary DeCroce, worked diligently with her team and the community to raise the funds necessary to make her vision a reality. SoCCA’s grand opening in 2016 coincided with the infamous Apple Harvest Festival, an event that is awaited by an estimated 100,000 visitors annually. Formerly the M. Gura Building, SoCCA is located in a high traffic area of town and includes a gallery, small performance area, retail space for artisan work, a catering room, a large workroom, five artist studios, a pottery room, and a soundproof music room.Continue reading →

Neighborhood Studios Prepares Local Teens for a Career in the Arts and Beyond

If you aren’t familiar with our nationally-recognized, award-winning 6-week summer arts apprenticeship program, Neighborhood Studios, you should be. In its nineteenth year, Neighborhood Studios provides area teens between ages 14 and 18 six weeks of hands-on education in the arts, as well as career-skills training. Apprentices are chosen from the Arts Council’s 34-town service area, providing an opportunity for teenagers to learn from others with different cultural, economic, and geographic backgrounds.Continue reading →

#SummerInHartford Events to Bookmark for July + August

What’s summer without live concerts in the park, fireworks, cultural festivals, and tons of food? Lucky for us, Hartford has all of the above (insert cheesy hashtag #HartfordHasIt) and more. The Greater Hartford Arts Council and City of Hartford have partnered on Hartford’s first Summer in the City series, a celebration of art, music and culture in our region. The series kicked off with the Black-Eyed & Bluesfest a couple of weeks ago, and the Greater Hartford Latino Fest just last weekend.

So, before you make any plans to go out of town, here’s what’s coming up in July and August. Tag your photos with #SummerInHartford on Instagram and we’ll repost!Continue reading →

Arts Innovation Day Recap: Partnerships that Work

In a room full of art enthusiasts at the 2nd Arts Innovation Day conference, art organizations throughout Connecticut, and surrounding states assembled to share their experiences, and tell their stories. This inspirational gathering was created to brainstorm together, share best practices, and gain knowledge to allow each person to walk away with valuable tools that will help their establishments thrive. The day is split into two sections with a total of four panels to participate in. As the Director of Community Engagement for a local nonprofit arts organization, I was eager and excited to learn about Business Volunteers for the Arts Program at the “Partnerships that Work” panel.

As a small arts organization that runs mostly on volunteers and a modest staff, you know the struggles that can present themselves when you’re wearing many hats, and juggling more than one task at a time. The end result- vital projects neglected-to tend to immediate concerns.Continue reading →