Stories of Impact

UAC 2016 Facebook
Photo credit: “The Hartbeat” by Art Connection Studio.

As our CEO, Cathy Malloy, says the “arts and culture are the backbone of our community.” Arts celebrate diversity, keep restaurants open, and parking lots full. Can you imagine Hartford without art? Neither can we! Your gift to our United Arts Campaign keeps the arts alive, supporting over 120 arts and cultural organizations in our region from providing essential operating support to funding innovative programs and community events that make Greater Hartford a fun place to live and work. Read on to learn more about the impact of your gift to our United Arts Campaign.

Neighborhood Studios

Every year the Arts Council runs Neighborhood Studios, a summer arts apprenticeship program for teenagers across Greater Hartford. Working with partner organizations like Hartford Stage, the Amistad Center for Art & Culture and Real Art Ways, teen apprentices spend six weeks immersed in an artistic discipline—from theater and dance to photography, videography and jazz.

Amistad Center

“Our apprentices grew tremendously over the six weeks they worked in our studio.  Through collaborative assignments, peer critiques and analysis, they increased their critical thinking skills, and became confident expressing their ideas in a group.”  Master Teaching Artist


Neighborhood Studios apprentices meet regularly to learn valuable career-building skills: how to search for jobs, prepare for interviews and write a resume. During their apprenticeship, each student receives a weekly stipend, teaching them that they can make a living from the arts and the important responsibility of a paying job. At the end of the summer, each studio hosts a showcase where the community can see the one-of-a-kind work created by these up-and-coming professional artists. Learn more about Neighborhood Studios and our partner organizations.

United Arts dollars provide the funding for the administrative support for managing Neighborhood Studios and providing annual grants for partner organizations to hire master teaching artists and run studio programs. Thanks to you, dozens of area teenagers start the school year with an exceptional education in the arts, learning valuable life-long-lessons applicable to today’s workforce. This invaluable experience is all thanks to you.  Your donation to the United Arts Campaign provides the fuel that drives our cultural community and supports up-and-coming young artists here in our community.  Don’t wait.  Donate now at!


Charter Grants 

Funded by our United Arts Campaign, Charter Grants provide arts and heritage organizations with one of the few remaining sources of critical unrestricted operating support, which is necessary to invest in technology, personnel training, facility maintenance, program supplies, education programs and anything that allows our organizations the ability to create and innovate. Here’s what some of our Charter Grantees say:

Amistad Center

Charter Oak Cultural Center

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Hartford Stage



Noah Webster House


Real Art Ways


Wadsworth Atheneum



Artscape Grants 

The Arts Council’s Artscape Grants help transform communities and improve quality of life for Greater Hartford residents. The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a perfect example of the amazing impact of Artscape Grants. The Center works with people with low or no vision and those 55 and older to develop their skills and interest in weaving original handwoven items, which are available for purchase. Similarly, Hebrew Healthcare utilizes art therapy to improve quality of life for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s, providing an outlet for self-expression and mental stimulation, otherwise lacking in a facility.

Hartford Artisans Weaving Center


Ignition Grants 

Recognizing the amazing ability of the arts to drive change in our region, Ignition Grants give local arts organizations the power to develop revolutionary new ideas and cutting-edge programs. These grants fuel the research, design and execution of new strategic plans and innovative solutions that go beyond “business as usual”. Funded by our United Arts Campaign with significant support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Bated Breath Theatre Company, a Hartford-based theatre group, was recently awarded an Award of Merit by the Connecticut League of History Organizations for Freedom: In 3 Acts, a play inspired by The Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s Emancipation exhibit that featured artwork and artifacts from the Emancipation Proclamation era.




Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grants 

The Arts Council’s Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grants, in partnership with the City of Hartford, funds the valuable work of our arts and heritage organizations and provides jobs and real economic opportunities for the City of Hartford.

The Institute for Community Research’s Mas Camp Youth Employment Program is a perfect example of the tremendous success of Jobs Grant funding. Mas Camp had two simple goals: to teach the rich cultural history and traditions of the Caribbean community to teenagers in Hartford’s North End—a neighborhood steeped in artistic heritage—while hiring local educators and artists to create Carnival-style costumes for performers at Hartford’s Caribbean festivals and celebrations. The Mas Camp program was wildly successful: 5 temporary jobs and 15 youth employment positions were created, nearly $8,000 was invested at Hartford businesses and more than 5,000 people had the chance to see these exquisite costumes on display. But more important is the indefinable impact of these Jobs Grant-funded programs: thanks to your investment, girls employed by Mas Camp learned a valuable, time-honored skill in a one-of-a-kind workshop that generated revenue for the community.

Hartford Prints! received funding to kick-start their small paper goods shop and studio located right here in Hartford.  The Gale sisters are natives of Hartford and now have a thriving business creating custom paper products—a perfect model of a small business giving back to the community.

With the help of Jobs Grant funding, Hartbeat Ensemble continued its 8-week youth paid internship program, Youth Play Institute, providing training in acting, play writing, theater design, and stage management to aspiring artists age 16-21.


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