Grantee Spotlight: Bated Breath Theatre Company

Freedom in 3 acts 2

Photo credit: Bated Breath Theatre Company

Have you ever visited a museum and wished the artwork would come to life in a full-fledged performance? You’re in luck! Bated Breath Theatre Company, a Hartford-based theatre group (and our grantee!) partners with area museums to create visceral performances based on exhibitions. Many of these performances take place in museum galleries, reimagining museum space as a theatre stage, and breaking down barriers between the audience and paintings on the walls. It’s an intriguing concept and one that I hope will become more popular.  Read More

Mark Twain House

At Your Service: Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grants 2014

Funded by the City of Hartford and managed by the Arts Council since 2009, The Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grants supports arts and heritage programming and projects that generate or retain jobs, support local business and drive economic activity. Since its inception the Jobs Grant program has retained more than 30 jobs, expanded more than 45, created over 650 (FT, PT and Temp), added over 170 youth employment positions and resulted in more than 5.5 million in visitor audience spending. In 2011 it became a national model for using the arts to impact the local economy, winning the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award.
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Live togehter, die alone

“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.

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Funding to ‘Drive’ Arts Innovation

Over the last two years I’ve been analyzing the Arts Council’s overall investment strategy and considering ways our organization can provide the most meaningful support to cultural organizations in the Capitol region while also fostering growth of new organizations. Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ research shows that the types of financial support that are most associated with long-term nonprofit success are:

  • General Operating Support
  • Multiyear Support
  • Capacity-Building Support

While the Arts Council has been offering General Operating Support grants since its inception in 1971, there are a number of organizations that don’t meet the program’s eligibility requirements and deserve meaningful support to increase their operational effectiveness.

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Spotlight On: Real Art Ways’ Eye On Video

NeighborhoodStudiosIconOur final stop on this summer’s Neighborhood Studios tour lands us at Real Art Ways’ Eye On Video Studio located in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.  Working in the realm of filmmaking, ten apprentices have self-identified their own creative goals for the summer while simultaneously completing individual and collaborative assignments, acquiring technical skills and dabbling in film theory.  With an eye towards their showcase this Thursday, these apprentices have set their sights and ears on their culminating work, a film festival to highlight their music videos.

Erika Van Natta, Master Teaching Artist, has led the Eye On Video Studio for the eight years that Real Art Ways has been a Neighborhood Studios partner.  Between plotting video scavenger hunts and fostering creative problem solving, Erika sat down to share with us just how she guides these young filmmakers through their summer apprenticeships.

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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! Read More

Defining Cultural Vibrancy in the Greater Hartford Community

I’m a guy who likes to keep his ear to the ground about all things culture in Greater Hartford. From exhibits to plays, I’m on a constant bustle to explore and to unearth the cultural gems of our region to share and promote to our community. Amidst these voyages, I’ve heard time and time again that art and culture rest at the core of a community’s vibrancy, bringing that —WOW— factor that both defines and creates a city or town as unique and distinct.


Taste of Caribbean and Jerk Festival

A vibrant community appears much more obviously at some times throughout the year than others. For instance, Riverfront Recapture fills each summer with cultural events that draw thousands to simply enjoy our region’s multicultural, multifaceted identity. For instance, The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival this weekend (Saturday, August 3, 2013) will bring thousands to the heart of Hartford to celebrate West Indian culture, a heritage that Greater Hartford hosts the third largest population of in the nation. Another great example is EnvisionFest in the fall, a free, one-day festival that showcases over 100 events, activities and performances in downtown Hartford. Read More