"We're All In This Together": Collaboration through Hartford Events Grants

Live together, die alone.” Although a bit hyperbolic, this phrase from the hit television show Lost more popularly, though more roughly reiterates another common saying that has emerged from the arts and cultural community throughout Greater Hartford—“We’re all in this together.” Now more than ever, our local organizations are working with one another to ensure that our culture—one of the region’s most important and valuable assets—sticks around for generations to come. That’s why I’m very excited that our latest round of Hartford Events Grants includes unique collaborations that provide truly dynamic, multidisciplinary projects for the public to experience multiple forms of art at one event.

Full Force Dance Theatre provides a shining example of collaboration this February through a world premiere performance called “Life, Death and Immortality.”  Inspired by the Wadsworth’s Thomas Cole painting of the same title, the performances (taking place February 8 and 9, 2014) will be held at the Wadsworth’s historic Aetna Theater.  But Full Force Dance Theatre doesn’t stop with dance and fine art:  a film component, original compositional score and new set design will also be part of this mixed media experience.  All of the participating artists are local and each section of the work (the project is a trilogy, a reflection of the painting) will have a different ‘color’ and emotional element, each expressing the theme of life, death and immortality.

For a more here-and-now example, Artists in Real Time’s Open Studios Hartford kicks off this Thursday, November 7th with a reception at ArtSpace Hartford. Now in its 24th year, this program encourages art studios, galleries, schools and other creative locations to open their doors to the public, bringing visitors and residents to a variety of spaces in Hartford to experience and share their passion for art with each other and the artists.  These artists range in mediums from paintings and sculptures to jewelry, interactive installations and live performances. Through this program, visitors also have the opportunity to purchase art “right off the easel,” enhancing their experience and helping artists learn how to promote and sell their work.  The communal environment of this event develops personal relationships and artistic appreciation between artist and audience, but also among the artists themselves.

Through collaborations like “Life, Death and Immortality” and Open Studios Hartford, our Hartford Events Grants help connect arts enthusiasts with artistic genres that may not always seek out on their own. Thus, by working together, our cultural community only further invests people in Hartford’s arts scene and helps create the city as a whole as a fun, exciting and culturally-rich place to live.

To learn all about our Hartford Events Grants, or to see the full list of HEG projects we’re funding this year, visit LetsGoArts.org/HEG.