My Summer @ the Greater Hartford Arts Council

Workplace Campaign at UnitedHealthcare

As I complete my summer internship at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, I wanted to write this post to thank everyone who has allowed me to work alongside them these past few months. I have truly had a blast and found my summer here to be rewarding in many aspects. Coming into the Arts Council, I had a lot of respect for non-profit organizations, but very little knowledge of how they operated behind the scenes. I was very excited to finally be a part of an organization that was clearly in tune with its community and its mission of supporting arts and culture throughout the region. As a political science major, I have always been fascinated by the process in which policies and legislation have an impact on different groups of people, especially the disenfranchised. Being a part of an organization such as the Arts Council has allowed me to better understand how the arts resonate the universal values of culture and community. I have also learned how non-profits manage to sustain themselves while also impacting their communities in a manner that is both efficient and effective. In this sense, I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to work with both the workplace team and the grant manager, Jose Feliciano. I was able to see the process as money came into the organization through workplace campaigns and money went out through different grant programs. Read More


This Is My Story: SNAP! Photography Photo Exhibition

The ten apprentices at Snap! Photography have worked tirelessly over the past six weeks to create a photo series that coincides with the Amistad Center’s exhibition “This is My Story, This is My Song: Writers, Musicians, and the Black Freedom Struggle.” The apprentices were asked to explore and capture their own story in their photography and share it with others while also learning about every detail that goes into making a great image.  Snap! Photography is a part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios teen apprentice program.

With guidance from Master Teaching artist Caleb Portfolio and Studio Assistant Molly McGuire, the apprentices were able to use many different photography techniques and styles to help convey their story. Through lessons in Photoshop and dark room photography, each apprentice has developed a unique style that radiates from their photos.

Each apprentice has shared one photograph from their collection that they feel best showcases their abilities and story.

“My series is about how we are told what is right and what is wrong. In my images, the shadow represents the obedient side of myself, whereas the model is meant to represent my true self.” – Chris Healis, Windsor, CT

“My series is about how we are told what is right and what is wrong. In my images, the shadow represents the obedient side of myself, whereas the model is meant to represent my true self.” – Chris Healis, Windsor, CT

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Getting to the Point with the Mark Twain House Summer Apprentices

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Seventeen teen apprentices devoted 30 days of their summer writing, editing and sharing their work with one another at the Mark Twain House and Museum as a part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios program, a summer arts apprenticeship for teens. After spending some time in the silence of the museum classroom you quickly learn that this group is patient and disciplined when it comes to writing. With their earbuds in, each apprentice typed away at their laptop, spilling their life experiences out onto a blank document. Read More



Save the Date: Mark Twain House Studio Showcase

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Have you ever written a collaborative story or poem without knowing what anyone else was writing? Sounds pretty tricky, huh? That’s exactly the kind of challenge we set up for the apprentices at the Mark Twain House and Museum’s “Write to the Point!” program. “Write to the Point!” is a part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios teen apprenticeship program. After spending 4 weeks writing creative non-fiction in the same room, could one line from each of them really give us a glimpse into what the Neighborhood Studios experience has been like for this group of talented young writers? Read More


Save the Date: Artists Collective Studio Showcase

Artists Collective 2015 Youth Jazz Orchestra apprentices and teachers

Artists Collective 2015 Youth Jazz Orchestra apprentices and teachers

“Studying music enhances one’s being.” Those are the words musician René McLean shared with me on my last visit with the Artists Collective’s Youth Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra is a part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Studios teen apprenticeship program this summer. McLean is the Master Teaching Artist working with the young musicians as they hone their skills and work together to produce a jazz showcase for family, friends and the public. Read More


The Artist’s Guide to Using Social Media Professionally

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It’s become a Neighborhood Studios tradition to have Hartford-based Sea Tea Improv give a presentation on social media and networking every year. As you know, Neighborhood Studios is the Arts Council’s award-winning summer apprenticeship program for teens. There are five studio programs where apprentices can gain hands-on experience including film, breakdancing, photography, jazz orchestra, and creative non-fiction. Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay and learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms professionally is an integral part of your career, especially as an artist. Read More