Hartford Creates - an arts mobilization partnership between the City of Hartford and the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC) - has launched the second year of the Hartford Creates initiative. It is a year-round arts program designed to elevate the creative economy; increase engagement and increase diversity within the arts community; and create access and awareness of the arts through strategic activation.
Following a successful inaugural year in 2022, GHAC proudly announced at a news conference in the city earlier this month that over 1,300 artists were employed and more than 280,000 attendees were drawn to Hartford based events.
Last year, Hartford Creates activated arts experiences including: the Hartford Jazz Society, Inc. 2022 Paul Brown Monday Night Jazz Juneteenth Picnic in the Park, Night Fall Hartford, In the Presence of Trees Community Launch hosted by Justice Dance Performance Project, Riverfront Recapture Arts & Culture Series and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra Symphony in the Park.
“Arts is at the center of what makes Hartford Hartford,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “We knew that arts was a must-have as we came out of the pandemic and worked to accelerate our recovery, and that’s why we’re so grateful for the chance to partner with the Greater Hartford Arts Council and all the individuals and organizations out there who work every day to celebrate the diverse arts and culture of this city.
Bronin added, “That comes in many forms. That comes in the murals that bring blank spaces to life on buildings throughout the City of Hartford. That comes in the form of street musicians that will be activating corners in our city. That comes in the form of those big festivals that bring hundreds of thousands of people into our city.”
With the continued support of the City of Hartford and our generous funders such as the Travelers Foundation, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, through initiatives like Hartford Creates, can continue to elevate the Hartford art community, support the creative economy, build a sense of belonging, while positioning the Greater Hartford region as an arts destination, officials pointed out.
“The Hartford Creates program continues to attract top artists to our Capital City so our community can experience, engage and explore our world-class art,” said Dr. Shelley D. Best, CEO Greater Hartford Arts Council.
Hartford Creates is supporting new programming as well as long standing festivals and events in the City of Hartford, officials noted. Many of the organizations that coordinate the festivals “we all know and love” have received Arts Council funding in the past. Hartford Creates has allowed GHAC to continue to support them with financial resources, and some organizations have been able to expand their programming, including TheaterWorks "The Living Room" series, because of Hartford Creates funds, officials explained.
“After last year’s success, I am thrilled to join Mayor Bronin and Dr. Shelley Best to announce the launch of Hartford Creates Summer ’23,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01). “With help from funding we secured in Congress, Hartford Creates is supporting new jobs in the community and has already brought thousands of people into the city to celebrate arts and culture. I look forward to celebrating what Hartford has to offer this summer, and I urge all residents to take part in these exciting initiatives and activities.”
Among the new events with support from Hartford Creates include multiple Jazz Summer events, Street Stages, Symphony in the Park and the Hartford Dance Festival. A full listing will be posted to the Greater Hartford Arts Council website at www.letsgoarts.org, urging residents and visitors to “add some art to your summer.”
“I want to publicly thank Mayor Luke Bronin for trusting us to create such a vital initiative! He kept his promise to activate the arts with funding. He is “The Arts Mayor,” and leaves a lasting public leadership legacy in art activation & the public arts,” Best said.