Putting New Britain on the Map: Using the Art League of New Britain to Energize a City

For those of you who love to mix art and history, the Art League of New Britain is the place for you. Formerly known as the George Post Stable and Carriage Barn the original structure was built in 1870. During this time Mr. Post used the barn for horses, wagons, buggies, and feed.

Originally the Art League of New Britain was founded as the second art league in the United States back in 1928. During these difficult times the League managed to evolve into an art club where artists could gather for social affairs. To this day the Art League of New Britain strives to maintain the historical significance of this space. In the words of a former Art League member, Meta Grimm-Lacey, “Let no man presume to modernize our old barn by stripping it of its architectural personality, which properly dates it as a fine example of its period.”

In efforts to stay true to its roots the Art League of New Britain has introduced the Paint the Barn! initiative. The renovation will preserve the original essence of Carriage House while providing some much needed updates. This long awaited project includes a full exterior paint application, the repairing of windows, and replacement of the shakes and clapboard. There is still more work to be done to make this space fully accessible. Find out how you can help here!

While Art League of New Britain was hard at work updating the exterior of the Carriage House they were simultaneously working on the internal structure of their organization. As one of the six community art centers partnering with the Greater Hartford Arts Council in the Catalyst program, the Art League of New Britain identified the following marketing and outreach goals; to build membership, develop a more competitive gallery of artists, build overall attendance to events and classes, increase artworks sales, expand overall class offerings, develop a social media strategy, improve current marketing tools, and increase Board engagement in the online community.

With much success, the Art League of New Britain worked with their Business Volunteer for the Arts consultant, Stephanie Glasgow to reach their marketing goals. “It was a pleasure working with a group that was both inspired and enthusiastic about achieving their goals,” says Glasgow. Stephanie has been working in Marketing and Communications for over 10 years with a recent focus in legal marketing for organizations with strong historical ties.

Meta Lacy Gallery Event | Photo Curtsey of the Art League of New Britain

Stephanie was responsible for spearheading the creation and implementation of a membership survey, newsletter template, and a salon series project plan and proposal. The newly implemented outreach strategies will help build membership awareness and participation as well as attract new visitors of varying interests. The President of the New Britain Art League, Paul Baylock says, “Specifically thanks to her, we have a template for implementing our plan to inaugurate a salon series; a night of lecture, poetry, discussion, etc. By including music, movement, poetry, visual arts, and dynamic discussions on relevant cultural issues, we hope to attract people from around the state of Connecticut.”

New Britain is one of three urban cities in our region. There is a thriving art community in this area that is sometimes overlooked. Baylock, describes the importance of art in the community, “The arts are the key to putting New Britain on the map.” Many first-time visitors say, “I never knew of this place. I love it here.” Even Stephanie admits, “as a previous resident of New Britain, a place I once drove past without thought, I now know of this wonderful organization and can share that with friends and family.”

30 Cedar Street
New Britain, CT 06052

Gallery Hours
Saturday: 1 PM – 4 PM
Sunday: 1 PM – 4 PM
And by Appointment

Meta Lacy Gallery Event | Photo Curtsey of the Art League of New Britain

Check out their upcoming exhibits:

Visual Exchanges: Portraits by Marc DeNovellis
Meta Lacy Gallery
Friday, June 16, 2017 – Sunday, July 2, 2017

Remembering Jyll Kashmann
Sanford B. Low Gallery
Friday, June 16, 2017 – Sunday, July 2, 2017

Stay tuned for Stories from:
Farmington Valley Art Center
Southington Community Cultural Arts
Windsor Art Center


Help us make an impact in your community!