Grantee Spotlight: Elizabeth Park Conservancy

Elizabeth Park

Whether you’re looking to take date night outside or snap the perfect picture for Instagram, nothing says summer in Greater Hartford quite like Elizabeth Park and America’s oldest public rose garden.

Home to over 800 varieties of new and old roses, the rose garden is the center of Elizabeth Park. Not only is it the first municipal rose garden in the United States, but it’s the third largest in the nation today. Theodore Wirth began designing the rose garden in September 1903; the garden opened nine months later in June 1904. Initially, the garden was home to approximately 190 varieties of roses. Today, there are over 15,000 rose bushes and over 800 varieties. Read More

Hartford Residents: The Wadsworth Atheneum Belongs To You

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Photo credit: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

In an unprecedented move, our friends and grantees at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will offer free admission to all Hartford residents effective immediately. “The Atheneum belongs to you,” said Thomas J. Loughman, Director and CEO of the Wadsworth at Tuesday’s press conference. As the largest public art museum in Connecticut, and the oldest in the country, the Wadsworth holds a legacy of firsts: from being the first museum in the U.S. to purchase works by Caravaggio and Salvador Dali to spearheading a collection of contemporary American art. Read More

7 Things to do in Greater Hartford before Labor Day


I don’t know about you but I’m holding onto summer with a mighty grasp. I absolutely love autumn; cute scarves, pumpkin spice lattes, and apple picking are some of my favorite things. However, I’m not quite ready to let go of beach trips, barbecues and flip flops. With that being said, Labor Day is right around the corner! Our cultural calendar is FULL of things you can do all-year round, but here are 7 events that we recommend you don’t miss before summer comes to a close! Read More

16 Quotes Every Creative Soul Needs in Their Life

Whether we’re happy or sad, thriving or defeated, we’ve come across someone who said it better. Someone who took the words out of our mouths and tied them together with a pretty pink bow. Someone who knew what we were thinking before we even knew we’d ever feel this way; and someone who said it so much more eloquently.

We gathered 16 of our favorite quotes from our Pinterest page (see below) so you wouldn’t have to. Sixteen quotes to express moments every creative soul has experienced and sixteen people who were able to say it so much better than we ever could. Read More

Celebrating Mind & Muscle: When the Olympics Awarded Medals for the Arts


The Olympic Rings sculpture on Brazil’s famous Copacabana Beach is made entirely of recycled plastic: uniting athletics, the arts, and environmental awareness. Photo via


Vancouver. London. Sochi. And now, Rio de Janeiro.

Each night, millions have been tuning in to the leading international sporting event featuring the world’s best athletes. However, few are aware that during the first half of the 20th century, the modern Olympics included arts competitions.

According to the New York Times, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, from which the modern Olympics emerged in 1896, believed that muscle and mind (sports and the arts) were intrinsically connected. Read More

Grantee Spotlight: Monday Night Jazz


Joshua Bruneau Quintet performing at the August 1st Monday Night Jazz; photo by Maurice Robertson via the Hartford Jazz Society

For the record, I tried really hard to squeeze a Chicago reference in the title of this blog post; REALLY hard. However, these things can’t be forced; it needs to flow. Your writing should be smooth, and easy with a rhythm, kind of like jazz.

It’s difficult to put your finger on what makes Monday Night Jazz so special. Is it the talent it brings in? The tradition and history behind it? The way it transforms a mundane Monday into a whirlwind of brass instruments and melodies? Maybe all of the above. Why don’t YOU decide for yourself? Read More

The Arts vs. Summer Slide


When we think of summer we often think about the beach, hot and humid weather, ice cream cones, and of course summer vacation. For teens, there are a number of ways to keep busy during their extended time away from school. Whether they choose to hit the pool, put in extra time at work, or play Pokemon Go, they are at risk of something called “summer slide.” Summer slide is the learning loss that occurs when school aged children and youth are not engaged in educational activities over the summer. This learning loss can potentially set students’ reading and math skills back by two to three months. Engagement in the arts can help prevent this loss and provide young people with an upper hand when they return to the classroom at the end of the summer. Read More