Funding Vibrant Communities: Neighborhood Arts & Heritage Grants 2013

We recently announced the recipients of our Neighborhood Arts and Heritage grants—grants that provide funding for projects and programs throughout our 34-town service area.  Recipient organizations use arts and heritage to enhance a vibrant local community and enrich the quality of life for its residents and visitors.

Funding for these grants comes from the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign, and the United Way Community Campaign.  A special thanks to United Way donors who checked the ‘Neighborhood Arts and Heritage’ box—you made this possible!

A full list of grant awards can be found here.  More about the grant application process and eligibility can be found here.  And if you want to read about some great examples of the programs (and your dollars) at work, just look below!

The Mishi-Maya-Gat Spoken Word Series


Manchester Community College has developed a vibrant arts and education center on Main Street in Manchester.  Since its opening in September 2012, MCC on Main has welcomed over 600 visitors each month.  The center hosts visual art shows, workforce development programs, and regular performing arts events.  Neighborhood Arts and Heritage grant funding will support two performance series at MCC on Main:  Mishi-maya-gat: a Spoken Word and Music Series and Urban Storytellers.  Mishi-maya-gat focuses on poetry readings paired with emerging music artists, engaging audiences through both mediums.  Urban Storytellers embraces the spoken word art form, establishing a connection between audience and artist to share stories and cultural histories.  Both programs bring together diverse communities with local, regional and national artists.  Through your generosity, MCC on Main is able to grow the arts awareness and participation in Manchester and the surrounding communities.

Harvest the Arts Festival Mural 2012


Southington’s Harvest the Arts festival (now it its fifth year!) encourages attendees at the annual Apple Harvest Festival to welcome art into their lives through a variety of art forms.  The festival, which will be held October 11-13, 2013, is free and open to all ages.  Past years have had almost 40,000 people in attendance, and organizers expect this year to top that.  Harvest the Arts will include street performances, live music, art exhibits and theatre improv, as well as workshops and hands-on activities for the public.  The festival’s iconic feature is a large-scale community mural painted by local artists.  This year’s mural will mark the seventh commissioned by Southington Community Cultural Arts.  Created by local teenagers over the summer, the mural will be installed on a tattoo and body art studio and will help to transform the downtown community.  The mural and festival at large will connect the artists to the public, increasing education about the abundance of local cultural art activities.

Ethan Boisvert’s 2009 Bus Shelter Mural for ArtWalk


The West Hartford Art League is celebrating its tenth anniversary of ArtWalk, a free all-day festival promoting community and social interaction.  This year’s event will be held on September 14, 2013 and is expecting to welcome over 700 people.  ArtWalk brings together artists, families and visitors from West Hartford to enhance community engagement and participation in the arts.  The day will feature artist demonstrations and exhibits to showcase their work, a side-walk chalk competition and community project, and more.  In celebration of the tenth anniversary, this year ArtWalk has also commissioned ten public murals on bus shelters throughout the town.  These murals, combined with art displays in local storefronts, serve to build community art awareness and increase the vibrancy of West Hartford life.  Your Arts and Heritage investment helps this festival continue to unite artists and audiences.