The City of Hartford and the Greater Hartford Arts Council named the 16 recipients of the 2012 Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program, Phase 1.
The Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program, funded by the City of Hartford and managed by the arts council, is designed "to drive economic activity and create, expand and preserve jobs across a wide variety of sectors by funding arts, heritage and cultural projects within the city."
Of the 38 applications submitted, 16 projects were ultimately selected by the Jobs Grant Panel to receive funding which ranged from $7,000 to $30,500.
The grants had to fall under one of the following categories: new or expanded works, facilities improvements and youth employment.
The recipients are:
$30,500 for the Fifth Annual Jackie McLean International Arts Festival (Expanded Program)
The Artists Collective celebrates the legacy of famed alto saxophonist, educator and founder Jackie McLean with the expanded Fifth Annual Jackie McLean International Arts Festival. Performances, residencies, visual arts exhibits, film screenings and theatre productions spanning from March to December 2012 will celebrate McLean’s legacy within the larger context of the African Diaspora artistic traditions. Program expansion will create a new part-time event coordinator position while generating work for Hartford artists, service providers, and vendors.
Asylum Hill Congregational Church
$7,320 for “Under the Sea” (New Program)
“Under the Sea” will bring together local artists and Asylum Hill residents to create costumes and puppets out of recycled materials to “parade” at the annual Sigourney Square Family Festival on August 25, 2012. This project will employ Hartford teaching artists as well as local performers to foster a sense of community pride in Asylum Hill.
Billings Forge Community Works
$9,150 for Graphic Entrepreneurship at Billings Forge (New Program)
Billings Forge will double its arts class offerings and youth participation by adding Graphic Arts Instruction classes to its afterschool arts program, in collaboration with Compass Youth Collaborative. Students from the Latino Studies Academy at Burns School will gain a better understanding of computer skills, graphic design software, the creation of goods and sales. Classes are expected to increase participants’ creative thinking, communication and problem solving skills.
Charter Oak Cultural Center
$30,463 for Charter Oak Concession Stand Construction (Facilities Improvement)
Charter Oak Cultural Center will convert a portion of its sanctuary performance hall to include a concession stand and increase accessibility to its sanctuary restroom. Once built, the concession stand will be stocked with items purchased from Hartford suppliers and a Hartford resident will be hired part-time to staff it. All service providers and materials will be contracted through Hartford-based vendors.
$30,500 for the reopening of the Isham-Terry House (Facilities Improvement)
Closed since 2006, the Isham-Terry House (built in 1854) is one of the few Italian-villa style houses left in Hartford. Connecticut Landmarks will employ Hartford contractors to renovate the house and re-open it as a historic house museum, with the goal of hiring Hartford-residents as tour guides and drawing 2,000 new visitors to the City of Hartford. This project is part of the larger revitalization of the area surrounding Hartford’s new Public Safety Complex. Construction begins in early 2012.
$28,975 for “Water Night” (New Program)
Artists and community organizers Anne Cubberly and Steve Mitchell will produce “Water Night” – a multimedia arts event in Elizabeth Park that will employ local artists, technical, production, and sound crews, as well as cultural organizations to produce performances featuring music, dance, theater, spoken word, costumes and puppets. The project will culminate in a free outdoor performance celebrating community, the arts and nature on October 14, 2012, attracting audiences from both urban and suburban populations.
$30,500 for Arts in the Park (Expanded Program)
Building on the Ensemble’s Plays in the Park series, this expanded project will employ Hartford artists, technical and design crews to bring a free day-long multi-disciplinary arts festival to Bushnell Park. This project is part of Hartbeat’s ongoing work to bring theater to underserved, low- to moderate-income families and will feature almost 80 Hartford youth. Arts in the Park will take place on August 4, 2012.
Hartford Children’s Theatre
$12,200 for Hartford Children’s Theatre in Downtown Hartford (Expanded Program)
The talented artists from Harford Children’s Theatre bring its productions to downtown Hartford to better serve increased audience demand that their Asylum Hill Carriage House facility can no longer accommodate. Families and children coming to downtown Hartford to enjoy high quality theatre are expected to spend money on parking and dining as part of their experience.
Hartford City Ballet
$30,500 for the Hartford Arts Center (Expanded Program)
Hartford City Ballet will expand its programming as a multidiscipline arts center to offer dance and fitness classes to Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood. The new Hartford Arts Center will enrich and broaden the neighborhood’s exposure to the performing arts and fitness, while employing local artists and instructors.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
$11,156 for CityMusic (Expanded Program)
City Music brings together Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Billings Forge Community Works, Connecticut Center for Nonviolence and Burns Academy’s Latino Studies Academy to offer comprehensive after-school programming in music education, nonviolence training, and nutrition instruction for K-3 students. The program will create new jobs for teaching artists.
Institute for Community Research
$30,500 for Mas Camp 2012: Carnival Costumes from Hartford’s West Indian Community (Youth Employment)
Mas Camp 2012 will employ Hartford-based educators, artists, and youth in the design and fabrication of masquerade costumes celebrating West Indian culture. Hartford teens will earn stipends while learning the history, traditions, construction, and display of Caribbean carnival costumes. Costumes will be on display at local parades and the Institute’s Gallery during the Summer and Fall of 2012.
Judy Dworin Performance Project
$15,168 for Youth with Incarcerated Parents – High School Mentor Project (Youth Employment)
This project will employ and train teenage children of incarcerated parents as mentors to younger children with parents in prison, while compensating them with stipends for their work. Hartford teaching artists will train the mentors in using the arts to understand and express their emotions and experiences. Workshops and performances will occur throughout 2012.
The Mark Twain House and Museum
$30,500 for “Race, Rage, & Redemption,” A Special Exhibition (New Program)
Jobs Grant support will make possible an exhibition of artifacts that embody the challenging legacy of Jim Crow-era racism and Civil Rights Movement violence. This exhibit seeks to examine historical and contemporary expressions of racism while promoting racial understanding and healing. The Mark Twain House is one of New England’s leading tourist attractions, and the exhibition will be a significant driver of new and return visitors.
Real Art Ways
$30,500 for Art & Science (New Program)
“Art & Science” will celebrate the intersection of science, art and creativity in Hartford’s business and cultural communities. Programming will feature an exhibition, a film series, a theatrical performance and discussions. This project expects to bring increased traffic and revenue into Hartford while showcasing the technological and creative advances being made within the city. Events will occur throughout 2012.
Samba Fest 2012
$30,500 for Trinity College’s Samba Fest 2012 Celebrating Hartford’s African Diaspora (Expanded Program)
Samba Fest brings together local arts and community organizations to present Hartford’s various artistic expressions of the African Diaspora to children, teens, and families. Workshops, performances and artist residencies (staffed and run by Hartford artists and educators) will promote cultural understanding and appreciation. Samba Fest’s series of events will occur in the spring of 2012, culminating in a festival on May 5th at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.
Sea Tea Improv
$11,706 for Long Form Showcase and Education Programs (New Program)
Hartford’s prominent improvisational comedy group brings long-form improv showcases and workshops to the Studios at Billings Forge. Sea Tea Improv prides itself on a dedicated following in Hartford and the Greater Hartford region. Shows continue to drive visitors to downtown Hartford, especially local young professionals. The project will provide work to local artists and comedians while advancing Hartford’s growing comedy community.