Summer Soirée

An evening to support arts education!
Thursday, June 9  |  1075 Prospect Ave, West Hartford |  5:30PM - 8PM

The Greater Hartford Arts Council invites you to our Summer Soirée at the historic and beautiful residence of Douglas and Tita Hyland, to support Neighborhood Studios, our arts education program for local teens. Mix and mingle as you enjoy sparkling wine, delicious food, and hear from special guest speaker Dr. Jane Best, Director of The Arts Education Partnership. Dr. Best has extensive experience working among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Learn more about Dr. Best and The Arts Education Partnership below. 

Why Support Neighborhood Studios? 

During the six-week summer apprenticeship program, students receive hands on instruction in an artistic medium, as well as career skills training to prepare them for today’s creative workplace. Each apprentice also receives a weekly stipend so they don’t have to choose between a quality arts education and a summer job. Please help make their summer of arts education possible!


Lead Sponsor


Summer Soiree 2015 

About the Residence

Douglas and Tita Hyland have graciously opened their home to us for this soirée. Built in 1907, the Georgian brick mansion was designed by renowned architect Charles Adams Platt. Platt’s career spanned more than 50 years during which he designed a wide range of structures that included the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Lyme Art Association Building in Old Lyme, CT, and Connecticut College in New London, CT among many other public buildings and private homes. 

The Hyland’s home, which was commissioned by prominent Hartford businessman, Robert Hutchins Schutz, features Platt’s signature style, including a geometrically-based, well-proportioned design. Platt’s taste was understated, dignified and aristocratic, all of which are evident in this beautiful home.

In accordance with his belief that a building should be well connected to its site, Platt designed the gardens that surround the property. The garden area to the south of the home is natural with an undulating border, while the area to the west of the house is a square formal garden. The gardens are well documented with the blueprints housed at the Connecticut Historical Society, as well as photographs of the gardens on record in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens. 

Today, the home is filled with an eclectic mix of 17th, 18th and 19th century furniture and features works by Connecticut artists throughout the first floor including David Brown, Cynthia Cooper, Steven Di Giovanni, Mary Dwyer, Cleve Gray, Zbigniew Grzyb, Mundy Hepburn, Jennifer Knaus, Sol Le Witt, Brenda Manning, Nicholas Napoletano and Walter Wick, among others. 

About Dr. Jane Best 

Dr. Jane R. Best was named the Director of The Arts Education Partnership in April 2016.The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is a center within Education Commission of the States dedicated to securing a high-quality arts education for every young person in America.  AEP is a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic organizations.  Established in 1995 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, AEP serves as the nation's hub for making high-quality arts education accessible to all U.S. students, improving arts education practice, and researching how art influences and strengthens American education. The partnership provides priority access to research and information, and creating opportunities for communication and collaboration between arts disciplines and across sectors on key education issues, which benefits their work with their constituents in schools and communities nationwide.

Dr. Best has extensive experience working among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. She previously held leadership positions at McREL International, Learning Point Associates (now American Institutes for Research) and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She started her career in education as a high school French and ESL teacher in Columbus, Ohio.  Jane has served on the board of directors of Knowledge Alliance and the STEM Education Coalition, trade associations thatadvocate for federal funding for education research and development. Dr. Best also served on the board of governors for the College of Education at The Ohio State University.  Jane holds a B.A. from Indiana University, a M.A. from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

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The Greater Hartford Arts Council

PO Box 231436, Hartford, CT 06123-1436

100 Pearl Street, 1st Floor, Hartford, CT 06103



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